June is National Gun Violence Prevention Month.
Shouldn’t June be, Hello, Summer, Month? Living here in these United Divided States, it’s something I take very seriously. Last year, I wore orange for Hadiya Pendleton. You can read about Hadiya and why #WearOrange became a movement here. I think about Hadiya daily, her stolen childhood and untapped, unfulfilled dreams. My heart breaks when I think about how her parents and friends must feel. And having never met her, I am deeply saddened that her bright light no longer shines in our world.
Hey, hey. Ho, ho. The NRA has got to go! HEY, HEY. HO, HO. THE NRA HAS GOT TO GO!
I look at my kinder (children) and I wonder if/when this epidemic of gun violence will stop. It is a health crisis, as virulent as Ebola. On June 2, I marched again, my Mrs., Little, and Big at my side. The crowd was little bigger, but not big enough. Hadiya deserved more people marching in her honor, a sea of orange for a necessary sea change… Gun violence must not be the new normal. We should feel safe going about our days. Our own president
ugh publicly addressed the NRA ugh ugh at their annual Convention and said, “I will not let you down. I will not let you down.”
We can END GUN VIOLENCE! We can END GUN VIOLENCE!
Movita Johnson-Harrell. I #WearOrange for her too. This inspiring woman has lost her father, brother, and teen-aged son to homicide by gun violence. Tsuris (devastating pain, grief) does not begin to cover what she has been through in her lifetime. Her speech at our March in Philadelphia left nary a dry eye. My Mrs., she was verklempt (all choked up). Yet Movita, she gets up every day, puts a smile on her face, and works very hard to make sure no other momma will ever feel the pain she feels or experiences what she has experienced. She was even selected by our new D.A. Larry Krasner, a good man, as Interim Supervisor of Victims Services. Who could understand victims and their families more than Movita? Through her broken heart, she helps others. A real mensch (good person, through and through).
Guns down! GUNS DOWN! Guns down! GUNS DOWN!
Tell me what democracy looks like. THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
Marching and gathering peacefully in protest is my right as a citizen, and I need to do more. Each week, volunteering with Moms Demand Action, I make telephone calls to constituents all over the country, urging them to contact their legislators about concealed carry reciprocity. I often get yelled at, hung-up on, told that the person on the other end of the line is carrying… and I also, often connect, listen, politely inquire, challenge, and charmingly change the thought process with real facts. It is one of the toughest, yet most rewarding 60 minutes during my week. Together with other volunteers, Moms has driven hundreds of thousands of phone calls to elected officials to battle the NRA and the ballot box.
I #WearOrange because I’m a mom who cannot comprehend losing a child, a family member, to gun violence. I #WearOrange to raise awareness. I #WearOrange because change will not happen unless we make it happen. I #WearOrange for all of the victims and their families. I #WearOrange because I know that #BlackLivesMatter. I #WearOrange for the #LGBTQ community. I #WearOrange for all the tragic, senseless massacres at schools, concerts, movie theatres… I #WearOrange for all of us who are oppressed, marginalized, hated and victimized. I #WearOrange because I believe we need to drastically reduce access to guns. I #WearOrange because we need to treat mental illness without shame or stigma. I #WearOrange for all the families left behind from suicide. I #WearOrange because I care about the future. I #WearOrange because our elected officials need to see us and we need to vote. I #WearOrange and I hope you will too.
Gay gezunteh hait. Go in good health.
L’chiam! To life!