If guns don’t kill people, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people? ~Ozzy Osbourne
When I started doing this work back in 2012, about a quarter of all Democrats in Congress had an A-rating from the NRA. Today, none do. Getting an entire political party to realize they can vote their conscience because a grassroots army will have their backs is pretty seismic. ~Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action
The coverage of the mass shooting in Buffalo was interrupted by the coverage of the mass school shooting in Uvalde.
The coverage of the mass school shooting in Uvalde was interrupted by coverage of the mass shooting in Tennessee … and then the one in Fresno … and then another in Chicago … and then one more in Oklahoma.
There have been 12 mass shootings since Uvalde.
And by the time I hit “publish” on this post, the chances are good that there will be another.
We cannot continue like this.
In 2022, 20 police officers lost their lives due to gun violence in the line of duty. (Source: https://www.odmp.org/search/year/2022)
In 2022, 149 children between the ages of 0-11 were killed by gun-related injuries. (Source: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/)
In 2022, 1,364 kids between 12-17 were killed by gun-related injuries. (Source: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/)
That’s 1,513 children between 0-17 years old.
That’s 20 school buses of kids.
Just like that.
I do not mean to diminish the loss of a police officer to gun violence. Each death is a tragedy, and a person taken too soon. But when a police officer is killed in the line of duty, their death is front page news.
Yet gun violence has taken 75 times more children than police officers in the first five months of this year … and I’ll bet you didn’t know. Because that daily tragedy has become background noise.
We cannot continue like this.
Under the heavy weight of these gun-related deaths, some people lose hope that things will ever get better. They break down and stop trying.
Others cope by ignoring the issue altogether, needing to turn away from the anguish to preserve what is left of their mental health.
But some, a growing number, use their anger as motivation …
And their children’s fear as fuel.
Throughout history, stories abound of people who – like the growing number of people who are joining the gun reform movement – resisted the temptation to give in, even when the odds were stacked against them and everything seemed hopeless.
And now, changing America’s gun laws is not hopeless.
In fact, the vast, vast majority of Americans agree that we cannot continue like this. Heck – the overwhelming majority of gun owners, and an overwhelming majority of Republicans agree with background checks and other common sense gun reforms.
The NRA is the weakest it’s ever been. We’re stronger than we’ve ever been.
We’re just being held hostage by 50 Republican Senators.
That’s no small obstacle to overcome, I recognize.
But this is the issue that puts the extremism of the Republican Party in stark relief. This is the issue that lays bare the hypocrisy of their platform. Republicans fight harder for a bundle of cells than for living, breathing fourth graders – and people deserve to see that.
This is a dark time. But it’s also an opportunity for us to move the needle.
So let’s not let the heaviness of the moment suffocate progress.
We can do better for ourselves, our kids, our communities.
We cannot continue like this.
Let’s get to work.
Actions for the Week of May 31, 2022
Wear Orange June 3-5
The national common sense gun reform advocacy group Moms Demand Action has their annual Wear Orange Weekend every June. As it happens, this year’s Wear Orange occurs this weekend: June 3-5. Let’s make it epic.
Second, set your calendar and wear orange on Friday, June 3. Take a selfie, post it on social media, and make sure everyone sees that you support gun reform.
There are plenty of other ways to participate, and Everytown has ideas for you here: https://everytownsupportfund.org/how-to-participate-in-wear-orange/?_gl=11mt3k1c_gaNzI1MDIzNDkyLjE2NTM5MTg5NzA._ga_LT0FWV3EK3*MTY1Mzk0MjIwMi4yLjAuMTY1Mzk0MjIwNy4w#how-can-i-participate
Call Senators – Republicans, Too!
If ever there was a time to push Senators to pass common sense gun reform, it’s now. Senator Chris Murphy has reported on Twitter that he is having positive conversations with Republicans – the most since Sandy Hook.
That’s good momentum – or at least the appearance of momentum – and we should keep up the pressure.
Even so, the Senators are currently on recess. That doesn’t mean their offices aren’t taking calls, but calling your local office may be more fruitful.
Script: My name is ___ and I’m a constituent at ___. I’m calling because I’m one of the majority of Americans who believe in common sense gun reforms, like universal background checks. The House passed a bill earlier this year addressing gun reforms. What is the Senator’s position on that bill? (If Republican: There’s a lot of common ground between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of gun reform – a majority of gun owners support some of the common sense measures that have been proposed. This is about the lives of our kids, for goodness sake. Let’s find a way to come together on this.)
Set Your Calendar: March for Our Lives
On June 11, people all over the country will join March for Our Lives for another march against gun violence. Go here to find a local march near you: https://marchforourlives.com/
March for our lives was begun by the high schoolers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Their own experiences living through a mass shooting at their high school led them to create a movement out of that moment. Let’s join them again.
In the days leading up to the march they will be lobbying Congress, so if you are in the D.C. area (or planning to be) go to https://marchforourlives.com/ to get more information. Know that we will all be calling that week to ensure that legislators know the march is just the beginning.
Postcards to Voters
This week Postcards to Voters has three different campaigns that are looking to boost turnout for June 7 elections:
Each of these Democratic candidates are running against Republican incumbents. And they are the only two candidates in their respective contests. Since California runs their June Primaries a little differently than many other states, it’s worth pointing out that both Republicans and Democrats are on the same Primary ballots. For the non-partisan offices, though, there is no indicator of Party affiliation next to the candidates’ names. This means that our postcards may be the best way to help Democratic voters recognize the Democratic candidates on the ballot.
If they are able to win 50% +1 vote on June 7, they win outright and do not need to run in November. These are a trio of wonderful opportunities to flip red seats that are on the cusp. One of these matchups four years ago came close by only 60 votes.
► Learn About Each Candidate
Voters need to postmark their ballots no later than June 7. Can you please write 10 postcards?
We make it easy to request addresses:
- Text HELLO to (484) 275-2229
- CLICK HERE for SLACK to message Abby on Slack Messenger
- CLICK HERE for LOUIS GILL addresses via E-Mail
- CLICK HERE for AMANDA COFRAN addresses via E-Mail
- CLICK HERE for JIMMY PAULDING addresses via E-Mail
- E-Mail: Request@AbbyAddresses.org
WHEW! GO TEAM!
P.S.: Why don’t you make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two? I bet they need it.
If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!
Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every email! We’re in this together. Don’t you forget it.