The NRA spent tens of millions to help Donald Trump become president and as I am sure you saw when Trump spoke at the NRA Annual Meeting and were as outraged as the rest of us were when he said and I quote, “I will not let you down” as he lets down the rest of us who have been negatively impacted by senseless gun violence and many who will be in the future. He was the first sitting president to do so since Ronald Reagan. This was a slap in the face to gun violence victims and their families as to cater to an organization like that rather than stand up for gun violence victims is the definition of disgusting.
President Obama was always trying to help on this issue and create change and he also met with the families of gun violence victims, he did not meet with the NRA. The people like Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox at the NRA do not care about anything but profit and for sure do not care about those who lose their lives to guns and Trump just showed he also does not care. The difference between the two (Obama and Trump) is that Obama cared about people and Trump does not and I do not just mean with this issue but with every issue. Speaking about the issue of gun violence we can see that he does not care and he likes to blame other groups for our violence and ignore the gun crime committed by our own.
Trump likes to demonize Muslims and immigrants when we all know that the major problem is gun violence done by Americans not these others he blames. The NRA also uses immigration and Muslims to further their agenda and thus sell more guns and as Trump said in this speech, “You have a true friend in the White House”, this proves where his allegiance is and it is not with the American people and those impacted by gun violence. This speech he gave should anger all of us as should his plan to fight against any common sense gun reform as he for sure is about to do throughout his time in office. Gun violence is not going away and is only going to get worse under Trump.
Gun violence impacts the lives of so many in this country every single year and if we are silent then nothing will change and many more lives will be lost to this epidemic. I know, this is a very polarized topic in this country and one that has passionate people on both sides but it also is an issue we can work together and compromise on. I am very passionate about this issue and as many know I do not support gun ownership and believe in the most restrictive laws to restrict it, but I am always willing to compromise and meet the halfway with the other side.
I was pro-gun at one point but tragedy hit home and changed all of that and sadly my story is similar to say many all across the United States, it is tragic and painful but also has made me who I am today as a gun control and gun violence prevention activist doing my part to save lives. I was just 15 years old when my cousin Paul was gunned down in a senseless act of violence and I remember the pain we all felt when that happened, it was devastating. It was here that I changed my position on guns and began fighting for this issue and being against guns.
He was a great young man lost his life far too soon and his death could have been prevented and that is the case with the deaths of so many who die every day from gun violence could be prevented, but only if we are willing to look at this issue through the looking glass of humanity rather than playing political games. 32,000 Americans die every single year from this problem and so many more are injured as well as the countless families left behind to pick up the pieces. Far too many families put loved ones to rest because of this issue of gun violence and I shared my story so people know why I am so passionate about this issue.
The death and destruction that guns cause is tragic and an issue that we all should care about but there are so many who fight to prevent us from changing things and saving lives and that is what is most tragic. In this country it seems that guns are more important than human life and that is something that should concern and devastate us all, it does me. I tried to understand why my cousin had to lose his life to a bullet from a gun for many years and I have been unable to do so and it has caused many sleepless nights, this is sadly the case for so many families.
I wrestled with this pain for many years but then decided I needed to act and do something about it and that is why I became involved as an activist and also wrote two books about gun violence and gun control. This was my way of healing while also making a difference and I encourage others to do the same, it can be very therapeutic and healing not to mention helping to change things on the issue of gun violence. The healing process is long for those of us who lose a loved one to this tragedy but by getting involved the process can be eased and change can happen.
My story is one that is sadly all to familiar in America but if we do not act and do something then many more families will feel this same pain, we without a doubt have a responsibility to do what we can to change things and reverse this epidemic and save lives. Those who join the fight are channeling their pain and turning it into something good and after all, that is what we are put here on this planet for, to make a difference in other’s lives. I know, it can be very frustrating when the politicians in Washington do not listen to us but that does not mean that we give up, we cannot ever give up as there s far too much at stake.
Gun control is a very big issue in this country but one that often gets drowned out by the lies and propaganda of the pro-gun movement and a way that this happens is by these myths that get repeated and repeated to the point where even non gun people believe them and now is the time that stops as we must do what we can to tell the truth and debunk the nonsense, that is the goal here, and I believe we can have success in doing that if we one by one counter these talking points with facts. The goal is not to ruin anyone’s fun or make life difficult for these folks but rather to create a safe country where people are protected by senseless gun violence that takes lives and destroys families.
What can we do to change things and save lives?
There is a lot but it starts with a passion and a value for life, it starts with YOU and ME as fellow countrymen who want a bright future for our kids and who want a safe country for all of us. I believe we can find common ground and everyone can come together, perhaps that is the optimist in me but I have hope for our country that we can end this epidemic and save lives so that no mother has to bury her child or child has to bury their parents. I ask you on this June 2nd to wear orange and speak out for gun violence prevention and encourage you to talk to your neighbor, your co-worker, your family and friends every day about this issue, I believe that you like me care about human life and can for sure make a difference and save countless lives and I also believe that this is something we can no longer ignore.
Trump obviously is not on board with preventing gun violence and neither is the NRA and that much we know. If we want to prevent or reduce gun violence then we the people must stand up and have our voices heard, that is what must happen if change is to happen. We cannot count on Trump to do what Obama did and stand for the victims or fight to prevent future ones, Trump is in the pocket of the National Rifle Association not those who have their lives ruined and torn apart by a bullet from a gun. It is up to us to fight for this issue and to do what we can to prevent and reduce gun violence, I know that I will continue to work for gun reform and I hope that you will do the same, I know that the current White House does not care about this issue so someone has to and as they say in sports, why not us?
It is up to us indeed to change things and I hope you will fight to do so!