As mass shootings and gun violence continues in the United States and overseas, I’ve noticed a real shift in how Americans think about it. For a long time, there was more of a, “That’s shockingly horrible but I can’t imagine this happening in my kid’s school or my workplace.” But now, it’s more of, “Sooner or later, it’s going to happen to my community or my family.”
And with the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shootings, it all seems raw again. Which is why it’s so incredible that 50 Senators recently defeated background checks. (By the way, those Senators have received 27 million dollars from the NRA.) You can find out how your Senators voted here.
Right now criminals can avoid background checks by purchasing guns from unlicensed sellers online and at gun shows. Of course, some will say, “Well, background checks wouldn’t have prevented the San Bernardino shooting.” Maybe not, but why not start closing gun loopholes and save future lives?
As so many have said before me, why is it easier to buy a gun than get a driver’s license in this country?
Plus 88% of Americans favor universal background checks (and that includes a lot of gun owners). Why isn’t Congress listening to the people instead of focusing on their next reelection?
And yes, we need more than background checks. We need more resources for mental health. We need to close the terror gap, to prevent individuals on terror watch lists from getting armed. We need more people to say something, when they see something.
We keep saying #NotOneMore. But there is one more. And another. And another. And it doesn’t stop. Which leaves many of us feeling completely helpless. And terrified for our safety.
So we can do nothing. We can live in our bubbles and hope it doesn’t happen to us or someone we know. Or we can make a call to our Senators. We can make a donation to Moms Demand Action or Everytown for Gun Safety or The Brady Campaign or Americans for Responsible Solutions. And we can start walking.
This weekend, I’m going to a March for Gun Safety in Miami (David T. Kennedy Park in Miami on Sunday, December 13 at 10 AM). Please join me there or walks are happening all over the country. Click here to find the one closest to you.
On the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, isn’t it time we finally said #enough?
Enough gun violence.