Like me, you may feel like there's nothing that can be done to stop the carnage of gun violence -- particularly with the body count of our children rising each day.
This past weekend in St. Louis two little boys, ages 2 and 4, were hit by gunfire in two separate drive by shootings. No protests or vigils were held in their honor even though these little kids will face a lifetime of trauma after being shot and injured. On the other side of my state, a 10-year-old girl was shot and killed in a drive by shooting this past Sunday night in Kansas City, almost nine days after 6-year-old little Angel, was shot there in a similar manner.
Four little kids innocently murdered in St. Louis and Kansas City. Then we learned that 14-year-old Gia Soriano died from her injuries in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting last Friday near Seattle, bringing the fatality rate to two.
If you're like me, you are emotionally sickened and just numb.
However, there ARE things each of us can and must do.
The most important and the most immediate -- show up and vote on Tuesday, November 4th. Vote for candidates who are NOT endorsed by the NRA and who will NOT be working solely for the gun industry.
You must vote in every single election, including local races for school board or city council when there is low voter turnout. Vote for candidates who will work to stop gun violence. Vote not just in presidential elections or those sexy races at the top of the ballot and all over your television but every single election. Once a candidate is in the electoral pipeline, it is easy for them to continue to be elected until they are unstoppable.
Work to Elect Those Who Care About Gun Violence
Volunteer for candidates who will work to stop gun violence and use your online social network and in person to promote them -- even those who are outside your district. Donate to their campaigns. Become a cheerleader and help them win voters so they can advocate good gun policy when elected.
Pressure Those in Office
Make their lives uncomfortable if they refuse to support universal background checks that 85 percent of us support or vote to secretly arm teachers. Start with your state representative, state senator, congressman/woman and include your U.S. Senator. Show up at their town halls, testify at hearings, tweet at them and comment on their Facebook pages. Hold vigils outside their offices. Ask publicly & peacefully why they refuse to support sane gun laws that will save lives. Be a nuisance.
Use Your Voice -- Everywhere
Talk to your friends at book clubs, PTA & church meetings, in line at the grocery story and on Facebook. Be vocal. Ask if they have a gun & if it's locked away from where your children/grandchildren play. Write letters to the editor, even to local papers. And especially talk to your family and neighbors at every social gathering and family dinner. We can no longer be afraid to speak up.
Change the Culture
Don't wait for a tragedy in your community. Join groups that push to get guns out of our stores -- and don't shop at ones that won't. Remove your investments from funds that include gun stocks. Demand your school board NOT arm teachers. Leave immediately if open carry enthusiasts show up at restaurants or shops. Follow gun legislation and make your opinion loud.
This requires a village of us in every single state demanding "enough is enough."
Vote. Do something.
Our kids are running out of time.