Kristen and I each went to bed distraught last night, and woke up no less unsettled after yesterday’s news about two mass shootings in San Bernardino and Savannah — the 354th and 355th in the US in 2015 alone. We alternate between outrage and grief, wondering just kind of world we are raising our children in right now. Especially when 10,000 US children a year are injured or killed as a result of guns.
As far as we’re concerned, even one is one too many.
While this is not a site where we tend to discuss politics, we have never shied away from sharing the causes and concerns that are dear to us personally. And so, after much discussion, we decided we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about unnecessary gun violence today, and what we can do about it.
(Crying Dove image via unicorn baby, created to commemorate the children of Sandy Hook)
We’ve see so so many of our readers on social media sharing feelings of hopelessness, and asking just what can be done — if anything at all. And so we felt it was important to share a few organizations advocating for common sense changes to legislation.
When we say common sense changes, we’re talking about increasing background checks for purchases. Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and those with a history of domestic abuse. Closing loopholes that currently allow individuals on the terrorist watch list to purchase guns. And taking a hard look at why civilians need unfettered access to military-style assault weapons.
We think these measures make good, common sense. A recent Pew Research Center poll about gun laws indicates that a vast bipartisan majority of Americans support these initiatives as well. Even the AAP is getting involved in a letter to congress, calling firearm-associated death and disability now “a major public health threat to American children.”
So if you’re feeling hopeless, please don’t. Take look at the work of these organizations and find strength in a likeminded community. Not all of them may be right for you to support, but perhaps one is.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was started by Sarah Brady and the late James Brady, former press secretary to Ronald Reagan, who was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt on the President. Their aim is to cut US gun deaths in half in the next ten years.
Americans for Responsible Solutions founded by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired Navy Captain and astronaut Mark Kelly, they work to reduce gun violence and support lawmakers who support responsible policies.
Everytown for Gun Safety is a union of the bipartisan organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns (co-founded by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino) plus Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a nonpartisan group mobilizing moms at the community level.
Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence is a faith-based, interdenominational group supporting specific legislation to increase criminal background checks, eliminate high-capacity weapons, and criminalize gun trafficking on the federal level.
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a national law center offering legal expertise and pro bono support to protect Second Amendment rights while still enacting for laws that will reduce death and injury from firearms. It was created in response to an assault weapon rampage that killed 8 at a San Francisco law firm in 1993.
MomsRising amplifies mothers’ and family voices on issues that affect families, including working toward common sense gun safety reform through legislation.
American Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership (late addition) Founded by self-proclaimed gun lover and semi-automatic firearm owner Mark Carman, ACRGO is a growing delegation of trained and responsible gun owners. They aim to reduce gun violence, and increase responsible gun ownership legislation. They are not a non-profit, but offer helpful links on their site and the Responsible Guns Facebook page specifically geared toward fellow gun owners.
The US Congress and Senate: This link takes you to the contact info for all federal, state, and local elected officials. These are all individuals who have sworn an oath to represent your interests and you have the right to tell them what those are.
We have military members, hunters and gun owners in our families too. We understand the complexity of the issue. We certainly don’t want to create contention in our comments.
However this week alone we discussed ways to eliminate preventable childhood deaths from diseases like polio with vaccinations. So many of you showed your amazing support with donations and social shares. We hope with those same big hearts of yours, you can also consider ways to eliminate preventable firearm deaths in this country.
We know that this is a site that many readers visit as a way to escape the horrible news of the day. Self-preservation is absolutely understandable, and if you would rather look at our gift recommendations, play a game of Candy Crush, or watch an entire Real Housewives marathon, then please do what you have to do.
We’ll be back with our regular content shortly. Thanks for understanding our need to share this today.
-Kristen + Liz