I’ve written letters, sent tweets, sat in their offices and talked to them and their staffs. No federal laws have changed.
After Sandy Hook, then Governor O’Malley here in Maryland took action and expanded gun control. Virginia, 15 minutes away, did not. Virginia is where the Navy Yard shooter purchased his gun before carrying into heavily restrictive DC and killing…how many? I don’t remember. The mass shootings blur. There have been so many.
State lines are permeable. Bullets can cross them.
I beg and beg for change. I talk to other parents about gun safety in their homes. I ask about guns before I let my kids play at their houses. I encourage other friends to do the same. I talk to gun owners and gun-control advocates about where the common ground is, how to encourage safe storage, safe attitudes, safe kids. I believe women should ask men they date about guns before decided how serious to get. Women are shot by romantic partners every day.
I talk, and I talk, and I talk, and then…gunfire. Another mass shooting. Another toddler grabbing an unsecured gun. Another woman killed by her lover. More wounded. More dead.
My son has practiced lockdown drills. All of our kids have those now, don’t they? It’s like the old days when we had disaster drills in case of nuclear war. Only no one wanted a nuclear war. Many, many people want guns.
I know every argument on every side of the issue. I know all the apologies everyone utters before launching into their chosen script. I have heard every word. I have responded to every word, I have had every conversation, over and over and over.
Then the words are drowned out by gunfire.
How can we be heard over the gunfire?
I remember the day of Sandy Hook. I remember pulling my car over to sob by the side of the road. I remember vowing to stay strong and be a part of the change. Maybe I have been. Maybe the conversations I’ve sparked about gun safety have changed some thinking. Maybe some gun owners have locked their guns up more securely because of my words, maybe someone has reminded to ask a relative of friend to be mindful of what the kids can access because of something I said or wrote on the subject. Maybe a woman has said no to a second date because of a certain glint in a man’s eye when he talked about his collection of weapons.
Or maybe I need to keep talking, keep writing, keep posting and tweeting.
I will not be silent. I will not shoot or be shot. I will use words. Join me. Join me until we’re loud enough to be heard over the gunfire.
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