Guns. What Are You Going To Do?
We are at war against ourselves in America.
We will kill twice as many Americans here at home this year as the Vietnam War took at its tragic peak. Hundreds of times more than were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan will die in America, shot by Americans.
We are doing the killing using guns we don’t need and never should have in our homes.
We are at war against ourselves
During the 1960s and ’70s millions of Americans took to the street to protest the death and destruction caused by the Vietnam War. Twenty years of violence in Southeast Asia claimed the lives of 58,220 Americans. Families were torn apart. We lost so many friends and neighbors who had long and loving lives in front of them. The pain of burying young people was just too much for America’s collective consciousness.
Today, we are at war against ourselves. We will kill twice as many Americans here at home this year as the Vietnam War took at its tragic peak. Yes, we kill. We are doing the killing using guns we don’t need and never should have in our homes.
The questions are: How did we get here? And what do we do about it?
We pray to the God of Gunfire and Regret;
We pray to the God of Collateral Children;
We pray to them all.
—”8 Gods of Harlem” By Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, and Kris Kristofferson
With the Vietnam War, it took years but eventually, we saw through the relentless lying a deception coming from the political-military-industrial complex controlling and profiting from the killing.
It is time to save ourselves
Many of us thought the tipping point came in 1971. On April 24, Vietnam War Out Now protests erupted across the US. 200,000 on the Mall in D.C. Over 150,000 in San Francisco. Vietnam Veterans Against The War (including John Kerry) testified before Congress that week to share their first-hand accounts of the atrocities.
Change was slow.
In 1972 America re-elected President Nixon and his pro-war policies. Within weeks of his reelection, the majority of Americans finally demanded that the immoral racketeers running our country had to go. We saw the mistake. Time had finally come to save ourselves and thanks to our democracy we took to the street and to the voting booth. We dumped a lying corrupt president and his gang of criminal profiteers.
In 1973, Vice President Agnew fled office to avoid going to jail. In 1974, President Nixon resigned, and in 1975 US troops were withdrawn from Vietnam.
Background checks have stopped over 3.5 million illegal gun sales.
Gun violence in America is rapidly approaching a similar tipping point. Right now, the majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws and support is growing.
Unfortunately, having a belief is not enough. Changes to our gun laws are being blocked by weapons manufacturers, the NRA, and profiteers very similar to those who perpetuated the Vietnam War. Change won't actually occur until those of us who want to save lives with stricter laws become the majority of the people who vote. Change in our democracy requires us to take action. Action in the form of calling our Senators and Representative in Congress demanding they pass stricter gun laws, signing petitions by groups like Everytown For Gun Safety, protesting in the streets like millions of students did after the Parkland school shooting.
This week, as much or perhaps more than ever, Everytown For Gun Safety is the Coolest Charity In The World.
Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. They are a sophisticated group of experts advocating in all levels of our government, organizing in our communities, and comforting the victims and survivors of gun violence.
Everytown was formed on the conviction that gun violence touches every town in America. They understand that for too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.
How do you get involved?
It is as easy as using the Everytown website to send your gun safety message demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and your U.S. Senators. Press them to pass background checks and a strong Red Flag law that will help prevent gun violence tragedies. Red Flag laws would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals when there's clear evidence they pose a threat to themselves or others. The measure would reduce gun violence, stop gun suicides, and diminish the risk of mass shootings.
Your support of Everytown will help pass smarter gun laws now.
Improved background checks of people buying guns is also a critical part of new legislation. According to Everytown, “The background check has stopped over 3.5 million illegal gun sales in the last 20 years. But under the current law, half of Americans live in states where a convicted felon, domestic abuser, or fugitive can purchase a gun from an unlicensed seller they meet at a gun show or online and avoid a background check.”
Eight kids and teens die every day from gun violence in America.
Everytown is having major impact on organizing the gun safety movement. Among their core initiatives are programs for Mothers, Mayors, Students, and Survivors -- each giving voice to particularly vulnerable groups.
Everytwon includes the largest grassroots organization of moms working together to reduce gun violence, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts decided to do something after the Newtown, CT shooting and channel what moms were feeling into a movement to stop everyday violence. Her single Facebook page has grown into a nationwide movement. In the past year, moms have taken on Starbucks for allowing customers to carry concealed, loaded guns in its stores—and won. They called on Facebook to crack down on illegal gun sales on its platform—and won. And they’re calling on state and national lawmakers to enact common-sense gun laws that will protect our kids. This is just one example of how Everytown is making change.
Everytown wants to amplify your voice supporting gun safety. Donations to Everytown are tax-deductible and can be made at https://everytown.org/. To contact your Senator through the Everytown site visit https://everytown.org/act/ For more information please visit their website or contact the author at CoolestCharity.org