Today I saw this text in an article. It was sent by a student in the library at FSU when the gunman burst in.
The first thing that happened when I saw it is that my eyes filled up with tears. I know that font. It’s so familiar to me as the font in which my own children text me. It’s the font of “Come pick me up” and “I’m staying late for practice.” It’s the font in which they text me funny cat pictures and links to silly videos. But here it was being used by someone else’s child as a vehicle for a terrified – possibly permanent – goodbye. It tapped that pain so deep I didn’t know how to contain it, the pain one parent feels for another when they have to face the worst fear a mother or father can.
After the tears came the anger. We grieve for the victims of these senseless shootings, as we should. But then there are those who survive, who send texts like this and spend an entire lifetime waking up in cold sweats with the dream about the gunman. Guns hurt everyone around them. The divisive laws and policies now in place are as a product of lobbying by the very industry that stands to profit from the fear that these incidents cause. It’s grotesque.
That’s why I urge you to join Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, like I did this morning. It’s part of the broader movement, Every Town Against Gun Violence. We have seen enough of this madness. It’s time to stop it. Join now. Click here.
It always seems that an entrenched attitude will never change… until it does. I know that people say we’re the “gun country” and nothing will ever change that. They’re wrong. No one thought you’d ever be able to stop an adult from having some cocktails and then getting into their car to drive home. But then, in part thanks to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, legislation was passed and drunk driving was significantly reduced. No one thought that tobacco could be outlawed in public spaces, but it has been, with great public health benefits. If you’re old enough to remember smoking in bars and the jokes about “it was a miracle I made it home in one piece,” you know how impossible those changes seemed before they happened. But they happened.
It may take moms to fix this mess too. And dads. And people who love and respect life everywhere, regardless of parental status. Please join this group and make your voice heard: please, click here. And pass the link on to everyone you know.