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Lori Haas's picture

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This last week has been one of the most meaningful and powerful weeks of my life since I began advocating for gun violence prevention. It started as I spent the one-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown. I came with survivors and family members of victims of the Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson and Aurora mass shootings to offer our sympathy and compassion to those whose loved ones were killed that horrible day – twenty children and six educators. It was a powerful and moving experience I’ll never forget.

After my daughter Emily was shot and luckily survived the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, I realized I was part of an ever-growing list of people impacted by gun violence. While mass shootings like Newtown or Virginia Tech garner attention and outpourings of support, most victims of gun violence aren’t victims of mass shootings and their stories too rarely garner public outcry.

Indeed before Newtown, even mass shootings had started to become so common that our attention was getter shorter and shorter. Since the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary, attention on the problem of gun violence and mass shootings is truly historic. We’ve seen President Obama talk about and take direct action to reduce gun violence. Members of Congress are putting together bills and new voices are speaking out for common sense solutions. The media is digging deeper into our dysfunctional gun laws and the NRA’s role in making America’s communities less safe.

But most of all citizens are standing up to demand solutions to end gun violence. Last Tuesday I was present as MomsRising and other citizen groups delivered nearly 300,000 petitions to Walmart asking them to honor their previous pledge to stop selling assault weapons. MomsRising’s leadership on these issues has been amazing, but it’s individual actions like the 100,000 signers of MomsRising’s open letter to the NRA asking for common sense gun regulation that make powerful events like Tuesday’s petition delivery happen.

After the Newtown tragedy President Obama said of ending gun violence, “We’re not going to get this done unless the American people decide it’s important. ” The outpouring of support from members of MomsRising and citizens across the country has been amazing so far and it will be the linchpin for all progress moving forward. We’ve seen for years now the lack of leadership from politicians and the tragic consequences. It’s time to show them that America’s moms aren’t going to forget about Newtown and won’t stop fighting to prevent the next tragedy.

P.S. Please call your senator and congressman today and demand they take immediate action to approve the President's gun policy reform package. And, keep calling each and every day until they take action. Our children are depending upon us!

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