I can remember the shock and disbelief I felt when I first learned about the shooting in Newtown on December 14, 2012. My daughter celebrated her 20th birthday on the same day and as I celebrated 20 years of her life- 20+ other parents in Connecticut learned the lives of their children ended much too soon.
That day and the days that followed, my heart broke over and over again as I witnessed the pain on the faces of those parents as they learned their precious babies were never coming back home again. I think the most riveting thing for me was watching the still images of their grief forever frozen in time that was sometimes too painful to watch.
I love my daughter, Jasmin and my son, Zion and the day their hearts stop beating; so will mine. To this day, I can’t even imagine the pain and grief these families are going through. I’m jaded enough to realize that gun violence is a way of life in America but sometimes a Newtown happens- to remind me of my humanity. Then I’m shocked all over again that we have so little value for life here in America.
I grew up in the inner city in West Baltimore in the 80s and 90s and gun violence was a way of life. I’ve know too many friends that fell victim to gun violence and resigned myself to believe that this was just an ugly part of the American culture. But my soul can’t survive with another mass murder of innocent Americans- especially innocent children- at the hands of a madman that should have never had access to weapons of mass destruction in the first place.
What does it say about me as a parent, if I don’t stand in solidarity with the parents of Newtown, and in inner cities across this nation- to say ‘ENOUGH’!
I don’t want to watch another parent, sister, brother, husband, wife or any loved one bury someone they love from senseless gun violence and ask ‘why’?
What is an acceptable velocity of a bullet needed, to defend one’s home without accidentally murdering innocent people in the process?
How many rounds in a clip is needed to hunt or to defend one’s self?
I’m not saying we can legislate ourselves out of this wave of gun violence but we can definitely enact legislation that will reduce the instances when the wrong people get their hands on military style guns to brutally murder innocent Americans. Here are three areas of gun safety that immediately come to mind:
1. Universal background checks for gun shops, gun shows and private purchases.
2. An immediate ban on high capacity clips.
3. An immediate ban on military style assault rifles.
We can put these laws in place federally while still allowing Americans to exercise their 2nd Amendment Rights. But putting these comprehensive laws in place keeps the rest of America safe to exercise their 1st Amendment Rights. Where does the rights of one person ends and the rights of the other person begins?
There are those that say you can’t regulate a Constitutional right therefore we can’t impose any regulations on the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms however Republicans repeatedly enact legislation to regulate my Constitutional right to vote.
It makes me nauseous to think over 3,300 Americans have been murdered by guns since the shooting in Newtown while DC has been paralyzed by political ideology. This isn’t ‘politics’ because real Americans are dying every day our leader do NOTHING in an effort to support the NRA and gun-makers.
It doesn’t matter if those Americans are little children in Newtown, an average person in the inner cities of America, people shopping in a mall or simply going to the movies. No American should be brutally murdered by military style weapons with high capacity clips because we are too afraid to do what’s right.
So let’s force the 14 cowards below to stop blocking our democratic process and vote on their beliefs.