Moms, Don’t Be Political Couch Potatoes About Gun Safety


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Floored.  Pissed.  Dumbfounded.

That’s how I felt this afternoon when I learned that the senate failed to pass legislation that would expand background checks on all gun purchases.  I have to say that I’m a moderate that leans conservative on most issues, however, when it comes to the well-being of civilization as a whole, common sense knows no political boundaries.  I was actually very excited to “get my liberal on” in the name of child safety and have been a little disappointed.  Harry Reid a No?  Really?

“Gun violence is one of the single greatest public health threats to children in this country.”

– American Academy of Pediatrics

Apparently grieving families, public opinion polls, scientific evidence and a plea by the nation’s pediatricians aren’t even enough to convince the majority of United States Senators that stricter gun control laws need to be passed in this country.

And, while I’m disappointed, there was a minor victory in this whole political debacle.

A grassroots organization by the name of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, motivated me to not be a political couch potato.  The group was formed by a local mom, Shannon Watts, the day after the Sandyhook Elementary shooting occurred.  This group has grown from a simple Facebook page to over 100,000 members and over 40 chapters.

These parents are working tirelessly alongside many relatives of gun violence victims to send a very loud and clear message that they demand common sense gun control solutions.

I began following the group on Facebook and Twitter with some solace and relief that stricter gun control laws would likely be passed.  Afterall, it’s just plain common sense that our country would want to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.  It was a slam dunk.  So as a member with lurker tendancies, I’d retweet a few facts and figures thinking I was doing my part.

Think again.

A day prior to a vote on the expanded backgound checks issue, I received an urgent email from Moms Demand Action listing specific names of Senators that were undecided or voting “No,” and I noticed Indiana Senators Joe Donnelly and Dan Coates on the list.  Being a former Arizona resident, I also noticed John McCain’s name on the list.  So, I decided to write them each a letter which you can do with ease on the Moms Demand Action Web site.

Here’s the letter I wrote:

Dear Senator Coats,

I am writing to urge you to reconsider your decision to join a Group of lawmakers who vow to “oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms.”

I, like thousands of other parents across the country, demand action for gun sense in America.  And by the term “gun sense,” I mean common sense.

There is absolutely NO reason any civilian needs an automatic assault weapon to protect themselves and their property or for recreational use.

There is absolutely NO reason any civilian needs ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

There is absolutely NO reason background checks should not be required for all gun and ammunition purchases.

There is absolutely NO reason the sale of large quantities of ammunition should not be reported to the ATF, and No reason online sales of ammunition should not be banned.

These are common sense solutions to a gun violence epidemic in this country.  These suggested common sense legislative changes are in NO way preventing any U.S. citizen from arming themselves.  There are plenty of “gun” choices on the market that don’t involve shooting off 500 rounds of ammunition per minute.  So many lives could have been saved had these laws been in place.

Unfortunately, it is not fear that is driving these gun owners to use the Second Amendment as their security blanket, they are merely throwing temper-tantrums because their toys are at risk of being taken away.  It’s a semantics issue, and a safety issue, not a right to bear arms issue.

I never thought I would advocate government legislation of common sense, however, the lack of action on gun safety in America has driven me to write this letter.

Thank you for your service, and again, I implore you to change your position on this issue.

I’d like to think that exercising my First Amendment rights was responsible for a small victory that Senators McCain and Donnelly voted “Yes” in favor of the expanded background checks.  Unfortunately, Senator Coats did not.  Here’s a link to the full vote if you’d like to see how your Senator voted.

Some of the best arguments I’ve read for common sense gun control solutions are not found in The New York Times or The Washington Post, rather in the blogs below written by “your average WordPress citizen at large.”

http://funnysister.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/rights-and-wrongs/

http://ipledgeafallegiance.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/lets-get-real/

http://ipledgeafallegiance.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/please-dont-point-your-statistics-at-me-you-might-hurt-someone/

http://ipledgeafallegiance.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/common-sense-and-sensibility/

http://hugmamma.com/2013/03/21/rare-breed-of-men/

http://heathersjourneytohealthy.com/2013/04/16/6-years-later/

I have to say that the chatter among mommy bloggers has been relatively silent on this issue.  Maybe it’s burnout from the Presidential election, fear of speaking up or not completely understanding the issue.

I’d like to challenge all those moms who pontificated endlessly about women in binders and reproductive rights to do some blogging in favor of common sense gun control.

The American Academy of Pediatrics ended their statement on the failure to pass gun violence legislation with the following,

“Pediatricians urge our elected leaders in Congress to find the courage to start again, to allow science to prevail over politics, and to do right by our children.”

I encourage moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents to do the same.

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19 thoughts on “Moms, Don’t Be Political Couch Potatoes About Gun Safety

  1. Good post, Terri! Our representation at every level of government lacks common sense as well as the ability to listen to those they represent. It is commendable that you and other parents are staying the course with continuing to stay in front of those with the power to enforce and improve existing laws.

  2. I disagree, Gun Control Laws will do nothing to stop criminals and people who are just plain out to hurt children. Gun Control Laws punish the law abiding citizens that register their guns and get the correct permits to carry them. It is also against our Rights in the Constitution to bear arms. Check your facts, most shootings occur with guns that are not legal, but are black market, stolen (even from police). How do you propose to stop the illegal use of anything? more laws that can’t be enforced on criminals? marijuana? guns? Remember the Prohibition? Learn a lesson Moms, come up with something more intelligent than more laws on the good citizens of the country . . . quit being sheep and use those brains of yours collectively to come up with a better solution to CRIME, Mental Health Issues, and just all around Bad Parenting!

  3. Harry Reid only voted no as a procedural move so he can bring the bill up again. He supported background checks, assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazines ban.

  4. terri, so with you on this one. I too am a moderate conservative but when it comes to something this “simple” I DON’T GET IT! No one is taking guns away people. pull your heads out and wise up. Even if your argument is that guns don’t kill people, people do, this law could prevent 100’s of innocent deaths. Isn’t saving 100 lives, as little as this might seem to our representatives in government, worth a little extra paperwork?? God, it pisses me off the power people give the NRA. Our congressmen are so afraid of this NRA. Stop trying to save your sorry political ASSES and do the right thing already. Sorry for the rant but this is a fricken no brainer.

  5. This is not a second amendment issue; fact is that most ‘rights’ are regulated in some way. The fact that the US has more guns than any other country (except Yemen?) and more gun deaths than any industrialized country is an indicator that we are in deep, deep trouble. Background checks? A NO BRAINER. I am floored that the Senate voted against it but it proves, beyond a doubt, that our politics are corrupt and owned by somebody else, and not ‘the people’.

  6. The NRA and its lobby is very, very powerful, feeding on ignorant people’s fears that they need as many guns as they can to defend themselves for anything and everything. Americans are so paranoid about guns and so mesmerized by the second amendment, other countries can only laugh or shake their heads. I love the argument that the 2nd amendment cannot be changed. Yep, as if no other amendment was ever changed. Some people need a lesson in history. We need to keep fighting. Eventually all those gun lovers will be dead and our children will have more common sense. Hopefully.

  7. I have been trying to write a blog on this since December 18. But I break down into tears every single time. Doesnt help that Im expecting my second child now. But I accept your challenge!

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