I find myself distraught over yesterday’s Senate Vote about gun laws–common sense, reasonable measures that 90% of the American public supports.
Here is the bipartisan statement of purpose of the background check bill, direct from the US Senate website:
To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.
In other words, let’s work harder to prevent criminals from buying guns.
Men with a history of domestic violence.
The criminally insane.
According to 45 US Senators (discounting Harry Reid who voted no for procedural reasons) these people’s rights to own guns trump my family’s right to be safe from them.
You know most of the excuses. Here’s another. And oh, it’s rich:
Think about that for a minute. It’s nothing short of reprehensible.
It’s also a lie. This has everything to do with following the money back to those who earn their living buying and selling guns. Or fear of the NRA supporting opposing candidates. Very little to do with “too much paperwork.”
We’re not stupid.
I read lots of frustrated, thoughtful, confused, infuriated, optimistic, super pisssed-off, inspiring, encouraging, humorous and sadly humorous tweets about it. But truly, like so many of us, it was Gabby Giffords’ op-ed in the New York Times that really got me.
Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on.
It makes me wonder how we all react in the face of defeat. I know a formerly enthusiastic political advocate who became so embittered after the 2004 election and (alleged but not really) shenanigans in Ohio that he withdrew entirely from the system, from the campaign donations, from proceeding with optimism or hope in any way. And then I know people who push forward, determined to make their voices heard so that they are not drowned out by loud, vocal minorities with questionable motives.
I want so badly to be in the latter group. I want to be like Amanda Magee who tweeted Ok, mustering hope. Advocating for changes to gun regulation don’t end w/a non-vote. Stand back up, don’t attack, build support.
And so here I am, writing about one of the few topics that creates such irrational discourse, I have to cross my fingers when I hit publish that the conversation can remain civil.
If you feel like I do, whether you feel comfortable saying so publicly or not, here are some things you can do and organizations you can join, to keep pushing forward, making your voice heard, making sure that our elected officials know that they represent their constituents, and not the gun lobby.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America: This is a grassroots effort formed in the wake of the Newton massacre. More than just writing your own senator, they have a super simple form that allows you with one click, to send a thank you note to all the senators who voted in favor of the measures, and to send a shame on you note to the others. It takes about 2 minutes. And yes, they read these. And yes, it makes a difference. “I don’t like what you did and I vote” can be a very powerful words spoken to career politicians who should be more afraid of losing their jobs than losing the NRA contributions–for a job they may not have.
Texting and Tweeting: You can text MYVOICE to 877877 to a senator who ignored the voice of the people. You can also tweet that measure using the hashtag #myvoice
Join a Million Moms March Chapter: Now part of the Brady Campaign, click to join a local chapter. There are tons. All over the country. I look forward to seeing what we can do next through them.
Share a Personal Story or Tribute: This is one more effort of the Brady Campaign (love those guys) and it’s so simple to do. You can of course use your blog or social media profiles, but this is a nice way to connect to the greater majority of Americans who share your views.
Work at the Local Government Level: Mayor Bloomberg is pouring millions into his Mayors Against Gun Violence effort, which aims to preserve 2nd Amendment rights while keeping guns out of criminal hands. You can get more info at demandaction.org.
I know it’s just a start. There are so many ways we can keep from feeling helpless, afraid, defeated. Or more importantly–from actually being helpless, afraid or defeated. As Congresswoman Giffords wrote:
Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.
I definitely could not have written that better myself.
67 thoughts on “The Senate gun vote is in. So what are we going to do about it?”
THANK YOU for this list of resources. I will be reposting!
Thank you for these resources. I will email those senators now.
You can also add Mayors Against Illegal Guns (http://www.demandaction.org/) to your list.
Oh crud – I should have read more carefully! It’s already on your list. ::rolls eyes at self::
Thank you so much, Liz, for posting these resources. I was searching this morning for such a list. Gabrielle Gifford’s op-ed is a brilliant piece of rhetoric. I’ve passed it along to everyone I know this morning, but most of them already agree with her and with me on this. I hope the Senators she was addressing read it. And I hope they heed her message.
As someone who went through the hell that gun proliferation and escalating “hot-headedness” makes, and knowing to what gruesome craziness all that leads, I am offering you all support I can.
US government, please take care of your citizens. This is now beyond simple lobbying. This is now a question of seeing the obvious.
Thank you! Joining the above organizations – and there are many more if someone is involved in faith organizations, OFA, Ceasefire, community groups, youth groups, and so on – is an important way to feel motivated and supported.
And another way to show your views is to wear them (pins, t-shirts, bumper stickers); it’s begun lots of conversations. And get educated about details, legislation, penalties, procedure. Attend events! Tweets and emails are easy and effective for what they are. Phone calls are a step up from those. And showing your face (bring the kids! bring letters!) at your Congressional Rep’s office is even better. Find out their office hours, make an appointment, show up – even if it is with a staff member – share your demands.
The gun lobby is organized, funded, and not afraid to offend and threaten. We can be better than they are, but it has to be consistent and loud and maintained over time. *Every* day we lose more than 30 people who are loved to gun violence. And that doesn’t even take into account the devastating injuries so often ignored.
Then there are the mass shootings that horrify and spur action – often temporary. The LIRR families have been fighting for 20 years – Columbine is about to have its 14th Anniversary – VTech just passed its 6th sad Anniversary – Tuscon is two years out. I could list Montclair, Binghamton, Oak Creek, and so many more. It’s a long haul, but so many tools make it easy to be gadflies more powerful than those of the gun lobby.
Sorry for the lengthy comment.
Thank you Kristin! You’re always such a smart voice on this issue. I really appreciate the suggestions.
I really thought for once we might make a modicum of progress on this issue. I really did. And I am so disheartened.
Thank you for the list. I will add my voice to others and hope it is heard.
It’s not over.
Long time lurker, here. Thank you for this resource round-up — I will be sharing it. I helped my oldest friend bury her 6-year-old in the wake of Newtown, and yesterday’s outcome enrages me. We can and must do better as a nation.
Oh God Ruth, I’m so terribly sorry. I imagine this hits so close to home for you.
Yeah, choking back tears today.
I agree that the violence that is becoming commonplace in our country is devastating, and something needs to be done NOW. But please allow me to make these two points:
1. The valid fear of gun-rights supporters is that criminals, including all of the categories you listed in your post, DO NOT OBEY LAWS. That’s why they’re criminals. If they want a gun and they can’t get one legally they will get it illegally, which most of them do anyway. No amount of gun control law is going to stop criminals from doing what they want to do. What it will stop, however, is the ability for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals.
2. The only way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals would be to confiscate every.single.gun in this country, if that’s even possible. If it were, it would leave us totally vulnerable to a dictatorship. Anyone who thinks this can’t happen doesn’t know their 20th century history very well.
I don’t have a problem with universal background checks. But why don’t people understand that that wouldn’t have prevented Adam Lanza from doing what he did? Why aren’t they decrying the violent video games Adam Lanza played, ones in which he role-played the horror he ended up acting out in real life? How will it help our society to restrict guns for law-abiding citizens yet allow kids to continue to be bombarded with the images of the slaughter of human beings at their own hands in their games?
I agree that something has to be done, but why aren’t we demanding anything else besides gun control??
If I may respond:
1. Background checks do in fact work. Every day for the past 22 years, California’s background checks have stopped about a dozen felons, mentally ill people and others from buying guns. They nearly double the rejection rate of the rest of the country. There are currently no background checks at gun shows which is why so many criminals (like the Columbine Shooters) easily purchase guns there–they can buy them from unlicensed sellers. No one believes it will stop all crimes, but if it stops 1000? 100? One? Doesn’t that make it a good step? From the same article: San Jose Gun Exchange owner Michael Fournier agreed. “I’ve got no problem with it,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep at night thinking someone got a gun who shouldn’t own one.”
For more facts, check the Brady Center Report on background checks [pdf]. Page 6 describes the numerous murders in our country and terrorist cells that have armed themselves via the gun show loophole.
2.I have always had a hard time with this argument–let’s not have any regulations because some people will break the laws anyway. Some people run red lights, but it doesn’t stop us from having them and saving lives in traffic accidents. Also consider that if gun dealers are held legally accountable for their sales, that could change the environment significantly.
As for the dictatorship line, that is the newest NRA talking point, I know, but it’s implausible. Look at the number of nations in the world with low gun violence. Are they all dictatorships? Is our political system set up to create a dictatorship?
3. Video games that are violent are played in many countries. They do not have the gun massacre issues that we do here. Data shows no correlation at all.
The bill in the senate had strong provisions for making sure that current Second Amendment rights remained intact, with hefty penalties otherwise. In other words, law-abiding citizens still get their guns.
I’m sure I won’t change your mind, but I appreciate the chance to address your points.
I should have known I was opening a can of worms when I commented, but I feel like there are legitimate concerns on both sides of this issue that need to be discussed.
1. “Background checks do in fact work.” I am in agreement with background checks. The reason I didn’t state it that specifically in my earlier comment is I don’t think it’s the answer everyone seems to think it is. However, the links you included in your reply are definitely encouraging.
2. This is not really significant, but I have to say that your analogy of stop lights could just as easily apply to guns as regulations, i.e., we don’t get rid of stop lights (guns, regulations) just because some people pay no heed to their proper usage. Your comment about gun dealers being legally accountable for their sales is excellent.
I did not know the fear of dictatorship was a new talking point for the NRA. I became aware of this while doing some research into the second amendment. It’s interesting that you asked if our political system was set up to create a dictatorship, because one of the men who founded our political system stated the following: “if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.” (Alexander Hamilton) It sounds to me like he and his peers understood the very real possibility of their grand social experiment – the creation of a country with unprecedented freedoms – not working out like they hoped. I would trust their judgment much more than any political leaders of today, on either side of the aisle.
3. I looked at the graph you linked to, and although I won’t argue against its validity, it seems to fly in the face of common sense. I am not convinced that violent tv shows, movies and games don’t have an impact, particularly on teenage boys and mentally unstable persons.
“I’m sure I won’t change your mind…” – my mind isn’t made up. As I said in my previous comment, I know something has to be done, and I wasn’t in disagreement with the proposed legislature. I just don’t think it deals with the heart of the issue, i.e., why are these people doing this? Unless and until that’s fixed, I expect these events will continue, with or without new gun control laws.
Grace – but a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines that were obtained by his law-abiding mother might have lessened the carnage and lowered the death toll in a situation like Sandy Hook’s. and if it was MY kid’s school, and there was a chance that the bad guy would have a harder time getting ahold of something that would make it easier and faster for him to kill more, you can bet your sweet butt that I’d be all over it. I absolutely can.not.fathom why ANYTHING in the proposed bill is a problem. ANYTHING. It CERTAINLY is not going to hurt anything. Law abiding citizens do not need assault rifles to rotect themselves, and it is illegal to hunt game with them. They also do not need high capacity clips to protect themselves or to hunt, either. And background checks do not prevent anyone who has obeyed the laws of the land and are mentally stable from owning a gun. There is absolutely NO reason that this should not have gone through. And, yes, this should only be one prong of the crusade to end the violence that has permeated so many communities and threatened the safety of our families and children, but it’s a start.
If you can agree that gun control laws cannot totally prevent another Sandy Hook massacre, would you be willing to consider this: what if personnel at the school had been armed and could have stopped him, maybe not before he started but how about halfway through? That would have saved 13 lives. I hate the idea of a shoot-out as much as anyone – but if it would have saved the life of even just one child, wouldn’t it have been worth it? There’s a school in Texas that has implemented a concealed carry policy and parents are transferring their kids to this school from other areas because they believe their kids will be safe there.
James Holmes didn’t bypass theaters closer to his home or forgo traveling just a few miles further to a theater with a much larger audience for no good reason – he chose the only theater in the area that prohibited concealed carry. He assumed law abiding citizens would obey the law and no one would be able to stop him. He was right.
Grace, I really appreciate your openness and the way you’re responding. I like this discussion.
I just need to point out that not one gun massacre was ever stopped by ordinary citizens with guns. There have only been 3 out of 84 incidents in which the gunman was stopped by a gun, and in all cases, the firearms were wielded by police officers or military. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/mass-shootings-rampages-rising-data
I think what’s difficult is that the NRA is so powerful, and their information dissemination network so strong, that these myths they send out start to become “truths” and it’s so easy to mistake spin for fact–the dictatorship, the guns stop guns, video games cause violence, all of it.
It’s important to remember that this is a powerful, well-funded lobbying group with billions on the line. They have a financial interest in keeping all guns available with few limitations. (In fact, how many more do they sell if they continue instituting these concealed carry policies or arming teachers?) The gun-regulation contingency on the other hand, is only interested in safety based on evidence and support of law enforcement officials. So honest question: who is more trustworthy?
What’s sad to me is what my gun-carrying, hunter/fisherman, former military stepfather says: He shakes his head somberly and says, “The NRA–they used to be the good guys.”
“I just need to point out that not one gun massacre was ever stopped by ordinary citizens with guns.”
I’d be interested to know how many of the 84 incidents occurred in areas where concealed carry was not permitted. I checked your links and could not find a list of the locations, but I’d be willing to bet most of them occurred in areas where it wasn’t permitted – and that wouldn’t be coincidental, as I mentioned in the case of James Holmes. If this is the case, then it is irrelevant to state that no citizens have been able to stop the incidents – because they were law abiding citizens who weren’t even given the chance to try.
If you have the time (I don’t), I’d challenge you to find and report that information – how many of the 84 locations allowed concealed carry? And I can honestly say, if it turns out that even half of them did, and citizens tried to intervene unsuccessfully, I will rethink my entire premise.
“these myths they send out start to become “truths” and it’s so easy to mistake spin for fact–the dictatorship…”
How can you call dictatorship a myth? Certainly it has not been our experience here, but do you believe the European dictators of the last century were myths? If not, why can’t it happen here? And why were our founding fathers concerned enough about the possibility to ensure our right to protect ourselves from it?
I’ll just say the founding fathers were not discussing semi-automatic weapons with unlimited munition clips. I imagine today they’d phrase that extremely differently. They were smart dudes.
As for the 84 cases, which is a great question, I’ll have to do more research.
Here’s the raw data of that one investigation.
Part of the report reads: in other recent (but less lethal) rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, those civilians not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed.
Armed civilians attempting to intervene are actually more likely to increase the bloodshed, says Hargarten, “given that civilian shooters are less likely to hit their targets than police in these circumstances.” A chaotic scene in August at the Empire State Building put this starkly into perspective when New York City police officers trained in counterterrorism confronted a gunman and wounded nine innocent bystanders in the process.
And in Armed Civilians Do Not Stop Mass Shootings (really thorough answer to some of your questions with examples: Attempts by armed civilians to intervene in shooting rampages are rare—and are successful even more rarely. (Two people who tried it in recent years were gravely wounded or killed.) And law enforcement overwhelmingly hates the idea of armed citizens getting involved.
I look more when I have time. You bring up smart questions.
I completely agree with you. The background check would have denied anyone with a history of taking anti-depressants the ability to own a gun. Depression is not mental illness. Considering that the vast majority of gun violence in this country comes from illegal guns (and that most homicides are caused by knives not guns), this would have only hampered law-abiding citizens. I also understand your point about dictatorship. I live in Los Angeles where the biggest opponents to this bill that I’ve met are those who come from communist backgrounds (mostly Chinese and Cuban but a few USSR survivors as well). Any time the government attempts to limit access to put further limitations on legal guns while simultaneously not pursuing the real problem (illegal guns – Fast and Furious scandal), it’s terrifying for citizens. The Newtown shooting was horrific, but it is not a characterization of usual violence in America. It’s a rare case. I believe that it proves that it’s more than enough to prove we need to protect kids in school, but that does not equal ridding citizens of guns. In Newtown, the man stole the gun from someone. He did not even own it. Background checks would not have helped that situation. Also, the survey you quoted is from Washingtonpost.com only, That does not encompass the spectrum of the United States, only the political views of those who visited that specific page during a given voting time, hardly a definitive and reliable figure to draw inferences on the beliefs of the general public.
I can pretty much guarantee you that Brooklyn parents wouldn’t transfer their kids to a gun-carrying school. Ha. Oh, Texas…
As a Texan, I can tell you that if my daughter’s school ever allowed anyone the right to enter the building with a gun…other than law enforcement officers…I would pull my kids OUT of that school that very day. That being said, I’m not at all surprised others would respond differently. I’m often in the minority compared to my fellow Texans.
That’s reassuring Heather. All night I’ve been troubled with the idea of parents pulling children out of school to put their children in a new school with armed personnel. It’s really starting to feel like madness to me. Congrats NRA: Your campaign of instilling terror and fear in families is doing awesome. Great marketing effort.
“the founding fathers were not discussing semi-automatic weapons with unlimited munition clips. I imagine today they’d phrase that extremely differently.”
I’m afraid I have to disagree with you: the 2nd amendment was created to prevent governmental tyranny by means of the army. The founding fathers understood that not allowing the citizens firepower would be tantamount to forcing them to fight the army’s firepower with swords, which would, of course, be useless. For the protection to be anywhere near effective, the weapons have to be at least somewhat compatible.
In my research this evening I stumbled upon an interesting quote: “Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” Mohandas Gandhi, referring to the Indian Arms Act of 1878
umm…make that comparable, not compatible…sorry, it’s late and I’m tired.
Can I just ask where you have gotten the impression that someone is depriving our whole nation of arms? There’s nothing in the senate bills that indicate that at all.
Only depriving arms from criminals and the mentally ill.
“Can I just ask where you believe we are depriving a whole nation of arms?”
I don’t believe that. However, allowing citizens to own handguns while banning weapons that would allow them to adequately defend themselves against government tyranny is condescending patronization.
Grace, I’m saddened that you have so little faith in our democratic institutions that you think that the only thing standing between us and a dictatorship is a bunch of guns.
Although maybe you’re looking at the fact that one of our democratic institutions just ignored the will of 90% of the populace. How ironic that this undemocratic act was done by people who claim that they are protecting our right to democracy. But I have faith in the voters of this country and think that the senators who voted against the people yesterday will have reason to regret it come election time.
Also, look around the world. Has Australia become a dictatorship? They responded to a horrific massacre in Tasmania by enacting sensible gun regulations, and last I checked, they are still a democracy. Has Britain become a dictatorship? They responded to a school massacre by enacting strict gun regulations, and last I checked, they are still a democracy, too.
I demand sensible gun regulations because all available evidence indicates that THEY WORK. There is no evidence that video games cause these massacres. Countries with far higher video game use but stricter gun laws have fewer massacres.
Also, it is common sense. We want sensible gun regulations because no other easily-obtained weapon does so much damage so quickly with so little chance for the victims to respond. There was a mass knife attack in Texas recently. No one died. Do you remember the guy who stood on the side of a road in Minnesota and shot randomly at cars, killing a child? No way that attack happens with knife (or a hammer, or a baseball bat, or whatever other weapon the NRA wants me to believe is just a dangerous as a gun). Do you remember the toddler shot dead in his stroller because his mother didn’t have money to give her robbers? Do you really think that happens if the muggers are armed with a knife?
Now ask yourself how these people got their guns. Every gun used in a crime was legally purchased at some point. Ask yourself how we can minimize the flow of these legal guns into illegal hands. We’ll never eliminate the access of criminals to guns. But shame on us if we won’t even do common sense things that will help limit their access. Shame on us if we let those senators who voted against our will and against common sense keep their seats in their next elections. Shame on us if we fall for scare tactics from fringe groups and industry lobbies. We are better than this. And I for one will keep fighting until we get gun laws worthy of our great nation. I stand with Gabby and all the other people working for sensible gun regulations.
Finally, I ask: If you won’t trust me when I say that I have no interest in taking away all the guns, why on earth should I trust you when you say you’ll only use your gun for “good” things?
Come to the table and work with us, not against us. We can have gun laws that protect reasonable gun owners while also protecting my children. Trust us, and maybe you’ll find we are willing to trust you, too.
“Grace, I’m saddened that you have so little faith in our democratic institutions that you think that the only thing standing between us and a dictatorship is a bunch of guns.”
Alexander Hamilton: “if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.” If he and the other founding fathers of this nation were concerned about this issue, I think it would behoove us to be as well. I’m not saying it’s imminent, but it is certainly something to be aware of and guard against.
“Though maybe you’re looking at the fact that one of our democratic institutions just ignored the will of 90% of the populace.”
“Now ask yourself how these people got their guns. Every gun used in a crime was legally purchased at some point.”
That’s another good point: even if we completely cut off future gun sales, the only thing that will prevent the guns that are already out there from getting into the hands of criminals is to confiscate every single gun in the country. How many think criminals would allow themselves to be disarmed?
“why on earth should I trust you when you say you’ll only use your gun for “good” things?”
Since I don’t own any guns, I can’t answer that question. Contrary to what you apparently think, I’m not a gun enthusiast. However, I recognize the unfortunate need for them.
There was recently a series of articles that depicted the number of women who have been murdered by their exes using a gun against them, even though these women had taken out orders of protection against the men. The men depicted in these cases had all obtained their guns through legal means because in the states in which they lived, there were no laws in place that would disallow it. Federal background check laws would have prevented, if not all or the majority, at least some of these murders. How do you explain to the children of these dead women that background checks do no do anything?
Gabs, your comment is indented under mine, which makes me think you were replying to my comment, but it must be a mistake because I said I don’t have a problem with universal background checks. In a later comment I clarified that I am in favor of them, but I am not an enthusiastic supporter because I don’t think they provide the safety we so desperately desire. Men who kill are criminals; criminals will not let failed background checks keep them from getting guns.
Thanks for posting this, Liz. There is a lot of miscommunication out there, and yes, there is much more to be done, but the bottom line is that the vote yesterday was a chance to do the right thing—something that the majority of Americans support, and the Senate blew it. Frankly, it’s embarrassing.
Well said, Liz. I’ve been tweeting every single one of those senators. It’s going to fall on deaf ears, but it made me feel better.
Well said, well timed and thanks for sharing this. We can make change with our voices and our votes.
Liz, thank you for this well-researched and thoughtful post, along with your factually-supported response to Grace above.
I will simply reiterate the point others have made: It’s shameful that our government representatives have ignored the will of the people, regardless of the nature and specifics of the issue.
Background checks do work. They’re not perfect, but they’re a far cry better than what America is doing for its citizens now.
My heart splintered yesterday upon hearing what happened. And then it hardened and got mad. It got mad for every family who lost a loved one, for every victim who had to survive a wound, for every community that knows the immense toll and fear gun violence has wrought upon it.
The American citizens deserve better. And I hope they get it.
I would add Gabby Gifford’s own org Americans For Responsible Solutions to your excellent resource list. I really believe she is going to be able to raise a lot of money and be unstoppable on this issue.
I will never in a million years understand how a person’s “right” to own a firearm trumps a 6 year old’s right to a life.
I’m pissed. When I’m pissed I get noisy.
P.S. I wonder what would happen if you were required to carry a liability insurance policy for gun ownership?
I’m sorry. You’re entitled to disagree, or to be passionate about your convictions but I require that we speak to each other with respect. -Liz
Wow, Lori. Just Wow.
I will NOT sit my (actually rather large) butt down. I suppose by your definition I’m a hypocrite, although I prefer the term “person who sees the competing moral imperatives in the abortion issue and wishes we’d stop yelling at each other and work together to make abortion rare.”
But really, what does abortion have to do with guns? Abortions aren’t performed with guns. A fetus lacks the hand coordination to hold a gun, even if you could get one into the amniotic sac.
So really, I see your comment as saying “if you don’t agree with me on everything I won’t even listen to you about anything.” Which is sad. I mean, I can’t think of a politician I disagree with so much that I won’t consider his or her ideas on a new topic. I don’t buy my opinions in one neat package.
Or maybe you are saying that until we can solve every problem in the world, we can’t solve any of them? If that is the case, how do you even get out of bed in the morning? I mean, how can you get dressed unless you also simultaneously brush your teeth?
I’ve deleted that comment. It’s off topic. Let’s stay on point…
Thank you once again for bringing a brilliant voice to unbalanced, unfair and often shameful decisions. In all arenas of life.
Longtime reader, new commenter. Just wanted to thank you for helping me turn my anger/despair into action — just sent emails to the Senators through Moms Demanding Action… And then shared your website with a number of friends for ideas on how to do something….
Thank you for this. I will keep on keeping on. It’s all we can do. As Obama said, this is just round 1.
Where do you get the 90% statistic? Is there an actual polling company that did a poll?
Yes, people are overwhelmingly supporting background checks.
That was a poll on a website that you would have to visit to be part of. Hardly a good source for a reliable poll if you want to get the entire Population’s viewpoint on any topic. I wouldn’t trust a specific site’s poll as a good source for information.
Lori: This wasn’t a website poll; it was conducted by a polling firm, the same way election polls are conducted. The details are on the linked page: This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Apr. 11-14, 2013, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults, including landline and cell phone-only respondents. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York. Produced for the Washington Post by Capital Insight. – Liz
Very well said. I’m a longtime reader but this is my first comment, I’m from Australia and as a previous comment mentioned, after a massacre some years back we enacted strict gun control laws. I look back at that moment and am both amazed that our politicians managed to make such a brave choice and incredibly grateful they did. It hasn’t eliminated shootings entirely here but they are thankfully very rare. And we are certainly still a democracy 🙂
As usual, thank you Liz, for bringing a difficult topic to light with grace. I am fed up, completely DONE with making way for those who are unbalanced in their (mis)understanding of the 2nd Amendment. There’s a lot of momentum on this, though, and millions of moms are speaking up together. I’m grateful for that.
Thanks for putting this out there with resources and everything. I’ve already taken action thanks to this list. Well done.
This certainly is not an easy topic, but I do believe we as a nation need to at least try to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. Of course I also believe we should do something about the whole mental health concerns and lack of insurance coverage for that too, but we have to start somewhere, right?
Lisa, your comment was thoughtful and gracious, and I appreciate that. I was trying to say the same thing, only I did it much more clumsily. This is indeed not an easy topic, and much needs to be done.
I agree entirely! It’s all important. So why does the mental health bill pass the senate but not…the other aspects of prevention?
Why did the mental health stuff pass and not the other? We know the answer to that I think – you’ve stated it above NRA & special interests. I still worry about the mental health portion of it (and I’m going to go off topic a bit) only because I have seen how bills that have anything to do with the brain or neurology get ultimately manipulated into virtually nothing when it comes to implementation. Sorry, that’s my bias coming from the mom of 2 autistic daughters trying desperately to get services for them while early intervention is still in fact “early.” (As I said, I’m off-topic, but I remain skeptical of the mental health stuff on this too, only because I feel burned in similar areas). I hope that makes sense.
It’s so unbelievable, I almost can’t absorb it. Complete cowards who have no interest in protecting our children, only their jobs. Excellent post. xo
Thank you for writing this. I was so confounded at the vote that I couldn’t even write about it. I’ve had so many Facebook fights over gun control that yes, I’m tired and disillusioned. Opting out is tempting.
Thanks for the great resources. I will certainly share them.
Hi there, I’m not American so I really don’t understand the whole gun issue there, it just seems like common sense… To people like Grace who are concerned about ‘concealed carry’ etc, look at Australia. Our whole country doesn’t allow concealed carry. The town that I live in has a population of about 400,000. We have about a dozen homicides… A year! Our suicide rate dropped hugely when they did a gun buy back & reduced the number of guns out there. That buy back was in response to the Port Arthur massacre, nearly 20 years ago- there hasn’t been another mass shooting since! (& my Dad’s a farmer, he owns a rifle . I’m not totally anti-gun for those few people who need them). I do hope your country can save itself!
Thank you Anna, I always look to Australia and England as a great example of how common sense firearms laws work. Thank you for your good wishes.
I saw this clip on Lawrence O’Donnell tonight and just thought it was a good one to share considering the topic
Oh I am so distraught about the vote too! I am so glad to see you post this matter on your blog. I really appreciate your honesty so thank you.
First, I echo Liz’s recommendation to look at Moms Demand Action for seriously organized response and strategy given where we are now. Living in DC, I’ve been frustrated with the somewhat fledgling attempts to have a march; my signs are at the ready, my relatives waiting to board planes and buses. But the bottom line is that the congressional fight is so different and warped that a one day event, while important and cathartic, isn’t going to get it done.
I don’t even know how to respond to those who think that more guns will make us safer. On the constitutional front I still marvel at the notion that the second amendment is framed in terms of the prospect of citizens needing to form militias. Guess how quickly the federal government could justifiably break up your militia, some 200 plus years later, but evidently the other phrases mean, yep, go ahead and arm yourselves to the gills. I’m struck with the fact that the Dzokhar Tsarnaev killed 4 and was charged with using a weapon offs destruction, while Adam Lanza’s bushmaster or whatever you call it mowed down dozens in an instant and our congress will fight for his and others’ right to have unfettered access to the same. Time to double down on some common sense proposals.
I saw today on Moms Demand Action’s Facebook page that they are running a Mother’s Day campaign – which I think is perfect. So many moms, including me, would like to walk for gun violence prevention and make Mother’s day matter.
Thank you Anna!
Thank you for the links. I used them and then shared them.
You do good things, and I am happy to be a part of them when I can.
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