Today at work, I got into a conversation with a customer about my activism blog. “What’s your current hotbutton?” she asked. I didn’t hesitate: “Guns.” I didn’t totally understand why this came through so loud and clear, but there it was.
And yet, in the three weeks since the Parkland School shootings, I have until tonight only written one blog post about this – why?
I’ve thought about this a lot through the day. Here are my top three reasons for focusing on this issue – and the top three reasons we might avoid it.
Why focus on school shootings and guns:
- The student uprising stirred by the Parkland shootings has created a very ripe moment in our society – it has captured our imagination. The nationwide marches on March 24 will build this moment. And there is a very real possibility that this uprising is not going away.
March for Our Lives 3/24 – national site
March for Our Lives 3/24 – Asheville site
- The focus on guns exposes the macho life-threatening underbelly of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. They are bought and sold by the NRA. They really believe that arming teachers is the answer. They are so out of touch with the hearts and minds of most Americans. This issue will help turn them out of power.
- The prevalence of and love for guns epitomize what is out of whack in America. The battle over guns is a battle for the soul of the country.
Why we would avoid the whole issue:
- It’s horrifying on the face of it. It’s about mass shootings, the slaughter of the innocents – about what could happen to us. Who wants to look at it?
- It is in many ways true that right now the pistol-packers have most of the power (and most of the money). Focusing on this could be very demoralizing – and scary.
- We have been disappointed so many times in the past. If Sandy Hook didn’t change things, what’s so different now?
How do we manage our hopelessness, our discouragement? How do we make this time be different? We do something – take action, take a stand. Nothing will change your energy better than doing something.
- Make a donation/join a group. Just reading one or more of these sites may be inspiring.
- Get the word out. Email your friends – even just a few of them, even one. “Share” this post to Facebook. Put some of your own words at the top. Or just make your own Facebook post about your reaction to all this. Include the link to the national “March for Our Lives” site and/or your favorite anti-gun organization. Include this one luminary photo.
- Go to a rally on March 24! Even if you have to make a trip to be there. Being with a group on this special day can help you to know that change is possible.
“Where can I find a march?” 583 marches worldwide and counting