I just wrote about this issue a few days ago but on this day I felt I needed to do so again as today is not just any day, it is National Gun Violence Awareness day. It is a day that we speak out and remember the victims while also calling for change on this issue that is long overdue, we cannot be silent any longer, especially when precious lives are being taken from us.
Today is the day we Wear Orange for the victims of gun violence, we do this because if we do not then who will?
It does not matter if you are a gun owner, a gun violence victim, a family member of someone killed by a bullet from a gun, or just someone with a caring and compassionate heart, it just matters that you care about these people who are impacted by this issue. It simply amazes me how I get attacked when I post about someone losing their life to gun violence, they can be pro-gun and still care about reducing these tragedies, but they do not.
They think more guns are the answer but it is beyond obvious that more guns equal more death, it is simple math. The solution is less guns and laws that make it more difficult to commit these acts of violence. The 2nd amendment doesn’t say you can have any gun and bring it every place you wish, it does not say that gun control is illegal either. Rights have limits and as a nation who just wants to save people from being shot we should not be vilified for wanting common sense gun reform, yet we are.
I lost my cousin to gun violence more than 25 years ago and it immediately caused me to lose the fascination I had with firearms as a young teen, it was that day that my life was perhaps saved. I say this because I believe that the obsession with guns this country has endangers those who have guns as much as it endangers our society and on that day that obsession I had vanished and I chose a different path.
I had all the usual pro-gun publications like Guns and Ammo, Guns, and so forth and thought firearms were cool. I even went shooting with my gun loving uncle in Bangor, Maine and at one time accessed my Boston Police officer cousin’s unsecured weapon, I am lucky to be alive for that one. I did these things at the age of 14-15 because I thought guns were cool and something that was great and American but as I learned shortly after, they are not and serve no good purpose whatsoever.
Why am I telling you this?
I am telling my story because I want people to know that guns take life and are not a fun thing or something we should adore like so many do, I for sure am not the thing pro-gun folks say I am, they think that I am against guns because I am weak or afraid and that is not the case at all. It should be noted that I had a shift in my thinking on this issue the day I went to my cousin’s funeral and saw his 23-year old self there in his casket, a life of promise and hope gone too soon.
I saw his life taken and that angered me enough to not go shooting with my cousins and uncle again and at the same time throw away those gun publications and change who I was. It was on that day that my journey began but my work as a gunsense activist would be begin years later when 26 precious souls including 20 children were taken from us in Newtown at the Sandy Hook School and with every shooting after that my resolve to fight for gun reform and against the NRA was strengthened.
I #WearOrange for Newtown, Blacksburg, Aurora, Orlando, and the countless other mass shootings, suicides, accidents, and random acts of gun violence that we see happen in this country day after day. I fight so that my cousin’s death was not in vain, I fight for you and for me and will continue to do so as long as I walk this earth and I believe all of us should do the same because too much is at stake.
In an average year over 200 people are injured from guns daily and 93 of them die equating to 33,000 gun deaths per year, 11K+ gun murders, thousands more via suicide and accidents. Many of the victims are children and as a nation that supposed to care about each other that is just unacceptable and something we must change and change now. It is astounding that these tragic numbers do not infuriate more in this country and that our government just sits by and does nothing.
These numbers and so many more like them are why we advocate for stricter laws to keep guns out of the wrong hands and why we are so passionate. I cannot and will not sit by as my fellow citizens are gunned down in senseless acts of gun violence and I hope you will not either. June 2nd is an important day as it is always inspiring for us to come together and work towards a common goal that is selfless and in the spirit of service of helping others but we should really make every single day Gun Violence Awareness Day and demand an end to the carnage and until we do it will continue.
Wear Orange for peace, Wear Orange for an end to the NRA making our gun laws, and Wear Orange for HUMANITY!