end gun violence

 

The 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School
The 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012
at Sandy Hook Elementary School

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.

Photo of the Moms Demand Action to End Gun Violence Orange Walk from Atlanta's Woodruff Park December 12, 2015Moms 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):

 

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Lee Leslie

Lee Leslie

I’m just a plateaued-out plain person with too much time on his hands fighting the never ending lingual battle with windmills for truth, justice and the American way or something like that. Here are some reader comments on my writing: “Enough with the cynicism. One doesn’t have to be Pollyanna to reject the sky is falling fatalism of Lee Leslie’s posts.” “You moron.” “Again, another example of your simple-minded, scare-mongering, label-baiting method of argumentation that supports the angry left’s position.” “Ah, Lee, you traffic in the most predictable, hackneyed leftist rhetoric that brought us to the current state of political leadership.” “You negative SOB! You destroyed all my hope, aspiration, desperation, even.” “Don’t you LIBERALS realize what this COMMIE is talking about is SOCIALISM?!?!?!” “Thank you for wonderful nasty artful toxic antidote to this stupidity in the name of individual rights.” “I trust you meant “bastard” in the truest father-less sense of the word.” “That’s the first time I ran out of breath just from reading!” “You helped me hold my head a little higher today.” “Makes me cry every time I read it.” “Thanks for the article. I needed something to make me laugh this mourning.” “If it weren’t so sad I would laugh.” "... the man who for fun and personal growth (not to mention rage assuagion) can skin a whale of bullshit and rack all the meat (and rot) in the larder replete with charts and graphs and a kindness..."“Amen, brother.”

12 Comments
  1. Trevor Stone Irvin

    It’s a problem that few really care about … until it’s their kid, their brother, their daughter, wife or husband. Then it’s too late.
    Regards,
    T

      1. Trevor Stone Irvin

        There will be more shootings. We are doing absolutely nothing to stop it.
        Regards,
        T

  2. Guns and other weapons of mass destruction are made and traded for just one purpose — to destroy. Calling for control is like suggesting that a controlled demolition is better than a random one. While some people do use “control” as a euphemism for “kill” or “terminate,” fair-minded people push control as a compromise position. But, when it comes to tools designed to kill and to do so remotely to enable the cowards, compromise is out of order. For that matter, “protection” is out of order, a euphemism for imposing restraints. “Control” and “protection” both aim to serve a human ambition that ought not to be served — the impulse to exercise dominion over our own kind.

    1. Lee Leslie

      I don’t know anything about the policy, but I do know that we can end of much of the gun violence in the US by sensible gun laws. I have heard arguments that we need to arm the good guys, but we all saw that it took hundreds of police in armor to stop two people in San Bernadino. Thanks for stopping by. I know you show up.

    2. Melinda Ennis

      Hannah…mankind has enacted laws since the beginning of civilization to protect us from our baser instincts and from each other. These laws against things like murder don’t always work. But they do more often than not. With your logic, we would have no laws at all, and thus, no civilization. Most nations in the world do not allow regular citizens to own military style weapons that can shoot more than 15 rounds in a second. And as a consequence, most countries in the civilized world do not have the rampant and continuous gun violence that plagues our nation. A society without law is no society at all.

  3. Melinda Ennis

    Lee. This is so beautifully written…and so very important. Thanks so much for speaking out and letting people know how they can help. I must also speak to Hannah. Hannah…mankind has enacted laws since the beginning of civilization to protect us from our baser instincts and from each other. These laws against things like murder don’t always work. But they do more often than not. With your logic, we would have no laws at all, and thus, no civilization. Most nations in the world do not allow regular citizens to own military style weapons that can shoot more than 15 rounds in a second. And as a consequence, most countries in the civilized world
    do not have the rampant and continuous gun violence that plagues our nation. A society without law is no society at all.

  4. Jeffry Scott

    Good, poignant, piece Lee. I guess as long as too many people think the way to protect themselves from too many guns is to own too many guns, we’re at an impasse. We’re in a country that seems to think it can shoot its way out of anything. To me, that’s a terrible realization.

    1. Lee Leslie

      I couldn’t disagree more. Most people don’t own guns. Most gun deaths are family members. No one needs an AK-47 to defend their home. And it is not unreasonable to require training, licensing and gun safety. Surely we can agree that gun violence is a bad thing and show up in solidarity with people who have lost a loved one to gun violence.

  5. Eileen Dight

    Thank you Lee for writing this piece. I have signed every petition going to curb gun violence which has served no purpose at all. I’m horrified that my grandchildren have lock down lessons in their primary school in case of intrusion by a shooter. The ten year old described the routine, how they should lock the classroom door, hide in closets or under desks etc. while keeping quiet. “How does that make you feel?” I asked, appalled and sad. ” Oh, OK, ” he said, “At least we know what to do.” The eight year old said nothing, just caught my eye and looked at me with eyes like saucers. How is this routine in a so called civilized society? My heart breaks for the bereaved and for a society this sick.

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