Speak louder Than Gun FirePosted March 28th, 2013 by Gloria Pan
A couple of weeks ago, I met a woman named Louisa during a protest in front of the NRA’s national headquarters. As I walked beside her, waving my sign that said, “Smart Gun Laws, Safe Families,” I asked her, “Has anyone in your family ever been impacted by gun violence?” Literally stopping in her tracks, Louisa replied in astonishment, “Are you joking? Who on earth hasn’t been?”
Her voice shaking, Louisa proceeded to tell me about her 18-year-old nephew, Ian, who fell asleep in a neighbor’s game room and ended up being shot by intruders. His death devastated their family, leading his father, Louisa’s brother, to kill himself a few years later.
The fact is, twenty percent of Americans – that’s one in five Americans – know someone who has been a victim, or have themselves been victims of gun violence. It’s no exaggeration to call gun violence an epidemic. MomsRising needs to gather as many personal experiences as possible to help lawmakers fully realize the terrible toll gun violence is taking on families and communities across the country, sparking them to action to pass common-sense gun safety measures like universal background checks for all gun purchases, which more than 90% of the public and 74% of NRA members support. We need to convey to lawmakers how very, very much moms and family members want and need safe families and communities.
If you have a personal experience with gun violence… If you have strong feelings about why we need better gun laws… Would you share them with us to help move lawmakers to enact common-sense gun laws? Please share your thoughts here:
Sharing your experiences makes a difference. Just the other day, the legislative aide of a Senator (one who has been on the fence about backing new gun laws like universal background checks) told me how difficult it has been to hear about the suffering and pain of gun violence survivors. And when Louisa was courageous enough to share Ian’s story on the MomsRising blog, readers responded with such comments as: “Thank you for reminding us that violence has such a wide negative impact,” and, “I am very moved by reading the trajectory of your story, and my heart hurts just trying to imagine all the other such stories.”
The gun lobby may have financial clout, but we have power in numbers. Together, our collective voice, rising up through our individual thoughts and experiences, will make the difference. YOUR thoughts and experiences can make the difference in moving our lawmakers to do the right thing.
If you have a personal experience with gun violence, or have strong feelings about why we need better gun laws, would you share them with us to help move lawmakers to enact common-sense gun laws? Please share your thoughts here:
A recent survey found that of the 20 percent of Americans who know a person who was a victim of gun violence, 62 percent say the victims were good friends or family members, or even themselves. And within specific communities, the percentage is even higher. Forty-two percent of African-Americans surveyed said they know someone who has been shot, more than double the general population.
Gun violence is literally decimating entire communities. It won’t stop unless lawmakers enact real policies to reduce gun violence, including universal background checks, bans on assault rifles and high capacity magazines, and a strong federal anti-gun trafficking law.
Now is the time for moms and families to speak up. We need to release a flood of our experiences and and deeply felt concerns in order to break through the cocoon of silence the gun lobby has spent decades building around our lawmakers.
Please share your thoughts here:
The time to share our experiences, thoughts and stories is now.
Together, we can move lawmakers to put family and community safety first. Together, we are a powerful voice for safe families and safe communities.