“Don’t listen to anyone who says “Nothing happened after #SandyHook”– WE happened! #GunSense”
Moms Demand Action started with a few likes on Facebook. Now, they’re a movement of millions, working every day to honor victims and survivors of gun violence by demanding a safer future. Congress might be doing nothing, but MOMS are doing plenty: last October more than ten thousand people attended over 100 Orange Walks in 43 states. Together, they delivered a rallying cry that stretched across the country: “We can end gun violence.” These moms have caught the attention of most Americans and like them, I too believe their efforts will succeed.
I am heartened by President Obama’s resolve to support this initiative. Not only did Obama participate in the Guns in America town hall forum two weeks ago to facilitate this much needed public conversation to reduce gun violence, but the empty seat next to our First Lady during his State of the Union Address was a deliberate reminder of the countless victims. His commitment is tangible, and have lit a fire under the Presidential hopefuls jetting around before the upcoming primaries. Hillary Clinton has vowed to “enact universal background checks and close the gun show and internet sales loophole that currently allow criminals to purchase firearms“(Lerner).
Americans must all ask ourselves, how many guns are enough? “If that 310 million number is correct, it means that the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency was an inflection point: It marked the first time that the number of firearms in circulation surpassed the total U.S. population” (Ingraham). With this, and other increasingly alarming statistics, no American can be a bystanders to this debate. We must have the hard conversations and not only ask our neighbors if they have firearms but do they store them with safety in mind? Can they support aggressive background checks? How might we, together, stand against the lobby which is doing all it can to shroud the truths, and find enough common ground to make progress?
People in orange shirts marching, our President voicing this issue on every platform, from one shore to another Americans grappling with the rippling effects of gun violence and braving steps toward solution: this is what a tipping point looks like. The victims of #SandyHook, and the daily “297 people in America who are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention” (Brady Campaign) will not be forgotten when we stand united to end this epidemic.