February 13, 2017

I now understand...


So much has changed since Holland has come into our lives. 

We now wake up by 6:00 am on Saturday mornings. Adam and I now have executed wills and  hefty life insurance policies. We do 3 loads of cloth diapers a week. And now my heart experiences a whole new type of sorrow when I read sad stories about children on the internet. 

That heavy, heavy heart is a big reason why I joined #MomsDemandAction
My recent lobbying efforts at the Arkansas Capitol with the Arkansas Chapter of Moms Demand Action. We got an opportunity to speak with the Speaker of the House as well as the Governor of Arkansas. It was a productive day!
 
Did you know (according to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)?

Every day, 48 children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention.

Every day, 7 children and teens die from gun violence. 

Every year, 2,624 kids die from gun violence.

Before Holland, statistics like that were just numbers to me. They made me sad but they did not impact me. Now, when I see those numbers, I understand. I understand that each of those numbers is a child who parents watched take their first steps. Each of those numbers is a tiny hand grasping its mom's finger for the first time. Each of those numbers is an infectious giggle at a funny face or better yet, a loud sneeze that causes so much laughter that hiccups ensue. Each of those numbers is someone's child... a child like my Holland.

This post is not necessarily about any specific gun reform though there are several terrible gun bills making the rounds in my own state (such as guns in bars... yes, BARS!). To be honest, don't know the right answer. I have a feeling it probably includes universal background checks, a renewed assault rifle ban, and a limit on magazine capacity. I think it probably also includes better health care in our country -- more specifically, a system that takes mental illness more seriously and affords it more resources. I have a feeling it probably means a harsh look at previous domestic abusers who purchase weapons and maybe even a ban on some specific types of citizens (i.e., domestic abusers) owning guns altogether. 

But for me -- HOW we get there -- is not as important as getting there. 

Each day without gun reform in America is a day where 48 more children and teens are shot. A day where 7 more die. Seven more precious babies... much like my Holland.

I have had the immense privilege and holding my daughter tight and watching her grow for the past 16 months. I want to hold and cherish her for the rest of my life and I want every other parent in our country to get that immense joy as well. 

Common sense gun reform in America will not save each and every child from a terrible fate. But every measure that gets pushed through will save lives. It will save the life of a baby somewhere out there who a mom just tucked into bed and said a prayer for their safety. It will save the life of a toddler out there that a dad just slipped a cookie to when no one was looking. It will save the life of a teenager who sang out loud in the car with its mom on the way to school this morning. 

It might even save my child. Or yours. 

And each life saved is worth it... period. I haven't always understood that but now that I have Holland -- I do. I get it. 

I urge you to look into #MomsDemandAction and to get involved in the movement. I joined on recently as the Legislative Lead for Arkansas. But it doesn't take a lawyer, or even a mom, to get involved and to speak out. I believe in the 2nd Amendment.I do. I grew up around guns... Hell, I still own them. But I also believe that no mother or father should so senselessly lose their child to something that we could have, as a society, prevented. So let's step up to the plate and start preventing shall we?

3 comments :

  1. I'm so proud of you for getting out there to make a difference. You don't just speak the words, you show action.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've always really loved this organization. Way to get involved!

    ReplyDelete

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