It’s been a week since we woke up to the news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. A week since there was a reported shooter at USC’s business school in the building Jim was taking an exam. Thankfully that report was false. Even though I knew he was safe at the same time I found out about it, I still couldn’t stop thinking about the worst that could happen. I can imagine a small part of what families in Vegas, Sandy Hook, Orlando and countless other mass shootings felt while waiting for news of their loved ones.
Over the past 8 months it seems every day there’s an event or news from our government that is counter to my beliefs. I go back and forth between being passionate about taking action to make my voice heard to overwhelmed and depressed with the state of the country. Hurricanes, wildfires, immigration, reproductive rights, equality, healthcare, foreign policy. It goes on and on.
Last Monday I was struggling. What could I do? I barely have time to shower, much less advocate on behalf of all the issues I feel strongly about. But I also don’t want to live in my bubble. To help me from feeling overwhelmed, I thought about my top areas of importance. What matters most to me? If I had to prioritize, what are the top 3-5?
My top 4 issues of importance are 1) the environment, 2) gun control, 3) healthcare and 4) education.
What can I do? It’s actually pretty simple. 1) Financially support organizations that lobby on behalf of these areas. 2) Make your voice heard. Text RESIST to 504-09. They’ll guide you through the rest. Download the 5 Calls app. It’s free and makes it easy to call your representatives about issues that are important to you. And if you think your voice doesn’t matter, it does. We’ve seen it matter with healthcare and can do the same in other areas too.
Specific to gun control, I’ve read several articles the past week that have been enlightening, educational and heartbreaking. If you’re interested in learning more, here they are:
- Esquire – Share These Gun Violence Numbers With Anyone Who Will Listen
* If you read only one of these articles, make it this one. It opened my eyes tenfold.
- Bustle – How to Donate to Gun Control Organization Working to Put an End to the Violence
- Jimmy Kimmel on Las Vegas
- Vox – Gun Violence in America, explained in 17 graphs and charts
* If you’re more of a visual person or don’t think gun control works, this one’s for you.
- NY Times – Thoughts and Prayers and N.R.A. Funding
I am sad, scared and angry. Sad for the families that lost loved ones. Their lives will never be the same. Scared to raise my babies in a country where preschoolers need to practice hiding from a shooter. And angry because we can do something to prevent it. Maybe not every event, but we owe it to our babies to try. I will do everything in my power to make sure Lawson and Sybil live in a country that’s as safe and healthy as possible.