Stop Waiting for the Next Vegas to Happen

I’m furious. Totally and completely furious.  And I hope you are too.  Consider yourself warned because the next person to tell me that gun control is a slippery slope and that will lead to only the “bad guy” owning guns I’m going to punch them in the throat.  Hard.  Can we all please remember that the Second Amendment was written when the most powerful thing you might be packing was a musket?  A musket.  And you know what doesn’t scare me?  This mythical slippery slope.  Doesn’t scare me one lick.  But you know what does scare me?  The real actual verifiable slippery slope that does exist.  The slope we are all—each and every one of us—sliding down at an alarming pace.  The one where we’ve learned to accept gun violence as just part of our daily lives.  Remember when Columbine was a big deal?  Seriously, thirteen victims—most of them high school student–shot dead April 20th 1999 and we couldn’t wrap our minds around it.  Now eighteen years later we have fifty-eight people dead and over 500 wounded and I can already tell you how this is going to play out.  You know too.  We will all pray and ask why and then forget about it–not the families though.  The families will mourn forever.  Until the next one happens.  And it will happen.  You know that too.

I’m over this Jedi mind trick that has somehow become accepted by the masses that gun control won’t work.  Because you know what doesn’t work.  Not having gun control.  You know why I know?  Because it hasn’t worked.  Praying hasn’t worked.  Hoping it will go away hasn’t worked.  Wishing that it happens to someone else in some other school in some other movie theater at some other concert hasn’t worked.

I love guns.  I really do.  I’ve shot them and had a lot of fun doing it.  But high powered semi-automatic and automatic weapons are owned by madmen, militias, or as a hobby.  If it is your hobby it’s time to get a new hobby.  I totally get that you need some thrills so I suggest taking up sky diving, surfing or dirt biking.  That leaves madmen and militias.  Let’s make an utterly sane decision to not put weapons of mass destruction into their hands.  Just saying.

America is only 5% of the world’s population yet we have 31% of the world’s mass shootings.  From 2009-2016 there have been 156 mass shootings resulting in 1,187 victims, 25% of them were children.  We.  Can.  Do.  Better.

I’m so sorry to bore you with all the same statistics you’ve heard again and again and again but I’m praying that this time it sinks in.  Gun control works:

1.        After a 1996 mass shooting in Australia the citizens of the former penal colony enacted tougher firearm laws and nearly cut in half the gun homicide rate.  Real actual 50% reduction.  It happened. 

2.       In states that require background checks 47% less women are shot to death by their partners.  Again nearly 50% reduction in gun violence.  This isn’t a fantasy fairytale.  This really happens.

3.       In states that require background checks there are 53% less law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.  I’d really, really, really love to give the men and women who protect us and put their lives on the line for us a 53% better chance of coming home to their families after their shifts.  And I can do it!  I can support background checks.

Gun control works.  It isn’t perfect but it is better than tolerating fifty-eight dead people. Vote your conscience.  Be informed.  Donate to candidates who support commonsense gun laws.  Join the fight.  And if you want to do something right now text ACT to 644-33 to join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and Everytown for Gun Safety.  Mama bear, over and out.

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