It was a beautiful Saturday morning to be in Woodruff Park. About 70 degrees. Broken clouds to keep the sun from feeling too hot. It was so easy to be there.
Any excuse to get outside in mid-December was welcomed. Our excuse was the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. The idea was pretty simple: we would meet in the park to remember the 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
We weren’t going to take guns away or occupy the empty state house. We just needed to be with other souls in Atlanta and connect to others around the country for this day of remembrance. Together we would stop and listen to our broken hearts. A single balloon released as each child’s name was spoken. We all knew that we didn’t have enough balloons for the innocent lives taken by gun violence. Every single day, eight more American children are killed.
Moms Demand Action to End Gun Violence organized the Orange Walk in Atlanta and hundreds more across the country. Atlanta is a pretty big place – about five and half million. I almost cried when we got to the park. Where was everyone? I expected thousands. I saw a couple of hundred. I was told it was a good turnout.
What does it take to get us off our collective asses and get to the street? Seemed to me that I had enough reasons. Aurora. Brookfield. Ferguson. Charleston. Chattanooga. Colorado Springs. Ft. Hood. Minneapolis. Newton. Oak Creek. Oakland. Roseburg. San Bernadino. Santa Monica. Washington, DC. And on, and on, and on. What does it take?
Sure, we have a lot of problems in this country that also deserve us taking to the streets and demanding action by our leaders.
Racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia and other irrational hatreds make me sick, but it has proved difficult to legislate intelligent thinking.
Gun violence, however, is preventable. But sensible gun laws are not going to happen unless you show up. Learn more. Get involved. Send money. Talk it up in social media. Show up. And don’t stop until it is fixed.
More info (please use the comment section to list):
- Moms to End Gun Violence
- Gunsense Georgia
- Georgians for Gun Safety
- Brady Campaign
- Coalition to Stop Gun Violence