“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” - Albert Einstein.
While we know that it can feel impossible to imagine a time when stories of gun violence won’t inundate our news feed, every little step builds the bridge to peace waiting on the other side.
The more tragedies we hear, the more our hearts physically ache, and the more we ask ourselves, “How do we stop this?” If we allow ourselves to become numb every time another story of gun related bloodshed appears, we’re doing a great disservice to our children, our loved ones, and ourselves. Hope alone won’t get us there, but hope through action will.
It seems common sense gun laws are just that - common sense. It would also seem that as a result of it being common sense, the loss of
these innocent children
would have caused an immediate unification of all on the gun debate subject - handshakes, agreement, and moving on as a united front to better America. As shocking and disheartening as it was, following the Sandy Hook shooting, gun reform was shot down. As seen in this
from 2013, the NRA still managed to have a choke-hold on politicians and what seemed like a no-brainer managed to be deterred. It seemed an uphill battle just one year after Sandy Hook; nothing seemed to make sense, let alone common sense. But where there’s hope, there’s momentum.
As Dan Gross, President Emeritus of the
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
, said just one year after that horrific day in December, "A year ago, not only were we swimming against the tide, there wasn’t much hope at all that people felt in terms of passing laws that would actually save lives." Now, he said, “We’re on the right trajectory. Every day that we wake up, we’re focused on continuing that momentum that we’ve established, with grassroots organizing across the country, new levels of membership, and funding that this issue hasn’t seen in years. It all is headed in the right direction.”
We were optimistic, we were hopeful. But mass shootings continued, and while some laws seemed to change from state to state for the positive, things in our government took a drastic turn a few years later - one that none of us hopeful common sense gun law folks ever saw this coming: a new president who had a relationship and
loyal supporter ($30M in support to be exact) in Wayne LaPierre of the NRA
For many of us it felt like all hope was lost. All the work that had been done since that awful day in December 2012 was going to be undone. But let this not allow us to falter.
Now is the time more than ever to commit to resolving this issue, no matter how big the mountain may seem. All hope is definitely not lost. Look at the momentum gained when people come together with understanding and support as we’ve seen in recent months with the upheaval of men in power with predatory intent.
So much can still be resolved when there is hope with action.
Here are some
simple things you can do today, Christmas Day, to better our future and make America’s children and people safe again. Perhaps we can all take action as a gift to ourselves, since there is no better gift than the act itself of giving.
And on this day of joy and hope, I leave you with this: May you make a positive difference in someone’s life that could cause a ripple effect of good across a nation.
Good change always starts with one person, let it start with you. Let the voices of Sandy Hook’s children be heard and honored through you.