It’s been almost one year since a lone gunman murdered 26 teachers and students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. After the tragedy, I thought surely this is going to be a wake-up call to our legislatures. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans want to see gun violence prevented, nothing has happened. While some states (e.g., Connecticut and New York come to mind) have tightened their laws on the state level, NOTHING has happened other than partisan bickering at the federal level.
In the meantime, approximately 11,000 more lives were cut short by gun violence since the shooting at Sandy Hook. 11,000 people have been murdered by guns! Do you know how many people have lost children, spouses, parents, cousins, siblings, and friends as a result of those 11,000 lives that are no longer with us? It’s just too hard to count how many people have been impacted by the untimely passage of lives.
I went to Washington, DC in 1995 as a college student. I volunteered in the White House of Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. I believe in the political process. Despite the opposition, I still believe something can change, which is why I participated in Faiths Calling today. I called my sentators this afternoon to remind them, as I have done on numerous other occasions in the past year, that there are those of us who believe in universal background checks, a limit on magazine sizes, and increased funding for the mentally ill. I got an automated message at Sen. Casey’s Office and left a detailed voicemail. The person who picked up my call at Sen. Toomey’s office wouldn’t connect me to the staffer who works on gun violence prevention (that didn’t shock me), but she logged my phone call. I can keep calling… and so can you.
The world is not a safe place. I cannot put a bubble around my child to keep her safe. However, as an ordinary citizen, I can do my part at making my voice heard. I will continue to stand up for what I believe. And I really do believe we need to do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. It is my sincere hope that something will give in Washington next year so real change can take place.