Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a passionate person. I have two stepdaughters in high school now who I care a great deal about who could potentially be impacted by our countries negligence in protecting our children This last one in Houston is too close to home for me not to share my thoughts on it.
We need to keep in mind that there are several issues here with this last mass shooting: First and foremost being the negligence of the FBI for not following through on critical leads. Another, the lack of support for social programs for the mentally ill. Taking monies away from those programs instead of funneling more into them exasperates the problem. Mental illness is an epidemic in our country that needs to be put at the forefront of legislation as evident with the slew of mass shootings that occur each year.
Our silence on this matter comes at a very high individual and collective cost. On average, there are 10 school shootings per year since Columbine in 1999. Of those, there have been 130 fatalities with another 254 being injured.
It’s time for policy and change but first, it starts at home. On a micro scale, we need to teach our children that bullying is never okay and we need to be monitoring our children’s activities on their phones, tv’s and devices while also paying attention to screen time and the violent games they are playing on their devices. Communities need to rally together to support the broken and less fortunate and most importantly, teach our children to have compassion for the lonely child sitting alone in the cafeteria.
On a macro scale, we need universal background checks in every state. We need to make it more difficult for guns to get into the hands of criminals. Those states that have adopted universal background checks have seen a 50% decrease in gun violence against a domestic partner and a near 50% decrease in gun violence used against Police officers.
We also need to fully support federal research on gun violence so that we can better understand and address its root causes. Unfortunately, the issue has now been reduced to you either support guns or you don’t. This is a false dichotomy.
My husband owns guns and I feel safer for it. I support responsible gun ownership. That being said, I do not in any way support the NRA just because I support responsible gun ownership.
I know that I’m not alone. I know that there are millions of us who believe in common sense gun laws and have no interest in vilifying respectful, responsible gun owners. I also know that there are millions of us who find the NRA and the politicians who take millions of dollars from them and, in turn, support laws that endanger all of us morally reprehensible.
“The only way to successfully bring about gun reform is if a critical mass of us are willing to have honest, tough, civil conversations. Gun reform will not happen unless the silent majority of gun owners who passionately disagree with the NRA’s divisive rhetoric and complete lack of respect for responsible gun culture speak out and take political and economic action.
When we engage in the “us versus them” argument, we lose. The only person who wins is the person who owns the framing of the argument.
Own your opinion. Fight for what you believe in.
And don’t let others frame your beliefs.”
There is a way out of this mess. We can not just pray for the families and victims than not take action. It’s our civic responsibility.