I'm taking a break from lady-gasms for a minute because I am pissed and sad and tired about all the gun violence, and I want to write about it for just a hot second. In the week after the Pulse nightclub shooting where one man murdered 49 people and injured at least that many more, I've been feeling pretty emotional about it. There's a lot of elements to this really fucked up thing that happened, but I'm going to skip past all the other sad and complicated aspects of this situation and focus on how America's gun laws show how very little importance our government places on keeping people safe from guns.
You see I'm no expert on guns, but I'm pretty certain we can do better. We can't stop every crazy who wants to hurt people with guns, but we as a society can choose to put time and energy (and make it legal to) investigate how we can lower death and injury from guns, and we can commit to making short-term and long-term changes that will help us get there. We've done this kind of thing before. Our society has worked hard to limit traffic accidents and reduce the carnage from any one traffic accident. Seat belt laws were forced upon car makers. Airbags and safety glass are mandatory. Car bodies are designed safer. We have speed limits and government funded research and campaigns related to dangers of drunk driving, and distracted driving - we've reduced the % of people killed, and our families are safer. Back when America got serious about reducing loss of life from cars, we didn't blame the car (so - no I'm not blaming guns here - for those who might make an analogy about not blaming the car when a drunk driver hits people anymore than we should blame the gun when someone shoots people), but we acknowledged that the car could either increase or reduce the accidental and intentional bad things humans do with cars. I think we could look at guns the same way. We can absolutely have sensible gun laws and still allow people to have guns for sport, hunting, and personal protection. The majority of Americans support sensible gun laws, and I think it's about damn time we get serious about forcing our government to FINALLY do something about this.
So, I know all you readers out there are not U.S. citizens, but for those who are here's some things you can do.
- Contact both your U.S. senators and your US congressperson. You can put you address in and find all their websites HERE. Write it as quick or long-form as you want, but let them know that we need sensible gun laws.
- Watch this Video of Obama talking about Sensible gun laws (then go up and do step 1)
- Find your state legislators and write them. Go HERE to find them and get their email.
- Talk to friends and family about it (calmly, of course). It's such a divisive issue that we often just avoid it, but let's stop doing it...but again, be super nice and thoughtful.
- Go to Everytown For Gun Safety. They are working hard for sensible gun laws and improved safety. Donate. Volunteer, Learn. Whatever floats your boat.
- And One final time...Contact both your U.S. senators and your US congressperson. You can put you address in and find all their websites HERE. Write it as quick or long-form as you want, but let them know that we need sensible gun laws.
- Oh, and VOTE.