As with past terrorist attacks, I’ve needed time to process what took place in Las Vegas this past Sunday night. Today, I find myself in a place of confusion and anger. I’m angry that yet another mass shooting has happened and innocent people have been murdered. I’m incensed that many of the people I’ve talked with, as well as the media continue to refer to the terrorist who committed this horrific act as a shooter or gunman and not what he actually is, an American-born TERRORIST. I can’t understand how the same people who were up in arms and vocal about football players kneeling for the national anthem, are now completely silent about the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
How is it possible that so many Americans continue to argue against any kind of gun control legislation, on the premise that it will in some way dissolve their 2nd amendment rights? How is it possible that educated Americans truly believe that the NRA actually gives a shit about them or their rights? Just, how?! The NRA is a business and here’s what they care about - MONEY. Period. Do you think they’re concerned that people in every part of our country can purchase Semiautomatic rifles and use legal modifications to simulate automatic fire? You know, the type of weaponry that was found on the scene following the mass killings at San Bernardino CA, Aurora CO and Newton CT. Do you think they are up at night worrying about the families who have to bury their loved ones shot by these types of guns that are, in no way being modified for things like hunting? Fuck no, they aren’t. Here’s what they care about – deregulation so that they can sell more guns and ammunition and accessories. They care about collecting membership fees, selling t-shirts and bumper stickers and paying lobbyist to protect their financial interests. Did you know that the gun lobby is now working to deregulate gun silencers through the SHARE Act and that many Republicans are in support of this? This bill, which is referred to as the “gun silencer bill”, would make it easier to buy gun silencers. The current waiting time to purchase silencers is similar to explosives, at least 9 months or more. As it stands today, buyers must submit fingerprints, their photograph, pay a $200.00 transfer tax and law enforcement agencies must keep a record of who buys these devices. The provisions to the SHARE Act would eliminate these restrictions and offer a $200.00 refund to those who’ve purchased a silencer since October 2015.
Can you even imagine how many more innocent people will die if they can’t hear the popping sound bullets make alerting them to active gun fire? Think about that for a moment. Imagine you’re at a concert with your family and people start falling to the ground, dead. There’s blood everywhere as you grab onto your children and run for cover, having no idea what’s going on, where the danger is coming from or when the shooting even started. You can’t hear the popping. You don’t know who is shooting and you have no idea whether you are running in terror to the shooter(s), or away from them. Imagine that, because that could become our new reality if bills like this get passed. These are the kinds of things that us “Liberal Snowflakes” are talking about when we argue for weapon safety and gun control. We don’t want to take away your guns, but we demand that there be a responsible level of regulation that will keep our families safe from gun violence.
At the end of the day, like many of my liberal friends, I don’t want Americans to lose their right to bear arms. I truly do not. I just don’t want anyone to be able to so easily purchase a weapon that can shoot hundreds of people in mere minutes as they enjoy a concert, because the people killed and injured on Sunday had families and next time, that could be my family.
As citizens of this country, we have a responsibility to bear arms safely and I can promise you that the parents of those killed and injured in Sundays mass shooting don’t care if they’re “in your thoughts” right now. That’s not going to bring back their loved ones.
They deserve more than our prayers.
Here are some things you can do today to demand action and enact change:
- Call your representative in Congress at: 202.224.3121. The directory is very easy to use and it took me less than 10 minutes to make this call and make my voice heard. Here are links to contacting both NM reps via email: https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/contact | https://www.tomudall.senate.gov/contact
- Donate and/or join groups like Moms Demand Action, which is an organization formed by a mom the day after the Sandy Hook shooting and now has chapters in all 50 states fighting for important gun safety measures. It took me 2 minutes to join and if you would like to as well, click here: https://momsdemandaction.org/
- Join the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence at: https://www.csgv.org/about-us/ This 40-year-old non-profit is comprised of religious groups, child welfare advocates, public health professionals and social justice organizations. One of their goals is to reframe the gun safety debate and take on the “Second Amendment above all” message of the NRA.
- Communicate. Reach out to friends, family and co-workers who express feelings of being alienated, isolated or disenfranchised. Be a mentor, offer support and listen to them. If you hear something that concerns you, say something. If you feel someone is a danger to themselves or others, tell someone. Tell anyone.
- Support your local first responders and police officers who stand in harm’s way on a daily basis. We often only hear the bad but I’m here to tell you that we have some amazing people who serve our community and now more than ever they need our care and encouragement to meet the modern-day challenges they face protecting and serving our communities. If more attention were paid to meeting societal needs through education and mental healthcare, we would not have to solely depend on our safety personnel. First Responder Support Network: http://www.frsn.org/