For the first time in my life, I wrote my Senators today, on David Gallaher’s excellent suggestion. It’s not a lot – I would like to do more, and will start researching how to do more in a few minutes – but it’s more than just being angry and feeling helpless, like I have for the past few hours.
It’s easy to find your Senators, it took three seconds. But in case you’re flummoxed, here’s the link to NY, and you can easily find your own by searching for your state.
All of them have web forms that usually have “gun violence” as an issue you can plug in. They may not read your individual e-mail, but if they get thousands of e-mails with the subject “gun violence” they’re going to pay attention. Anyway, here’s the letter I wrote, feel free to use any of this if you like (or not):
I’ve never in my life written to a government official of any kind before, though I happily voted for you. Tonight, I’m going to write to both you, and Mr. Schumer with the same message:
Please support the outlaw of publicly owned guns.
Not a half measure, not greater measures… There’s just no reason that anyone outside of police or armed forces need to be armed, period.
And I want to be clear: as a father, I am of course grief stricken and angry over the events today, but what’s making me write is not that children were killed, though that’s clearly an unimaginable tragedy. It’s that this is the second instance of mass gun violence this week. It’s that this is the thirteenth mass shooting this year. It’s that this doesn’t even account for the amount of people killed this year by gun violence NOT in mass shootings.
Look, this doesn’t even come down to me, personally, being scared for my life. Sure, I could get shot with a gun, but also a tree could fall on me, or I could suddenly, inexplicably die in my sleep for no reason. I can’t spend my whole life planning for my death.
But what I can do is make damn well sure that other people are as safe as they possibly can be. I can’t be there to resuscitate them in the middle of the night. I can’t be there to stop a tree from falling on people. Guns though? Guns are a choice. They are stoppable. They are something we, as a country, as people, do not need.
America is based on the idea that one person can make a difference… But that’s not exactly how it works, right? I can’t change gun control law, and I can’t take the law into my own hands, running around melting guns into slag. So I need you, Senator, to stand up for me, to do the right thing. Not the politic thing, but the right, human thing.
Get rid of guns. Forever.