I decided instead of sitting around and doing nothing, to take action and write a letter about how I feel. I started at the top with our President but I have also written letters to SC senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, and also to Mark Sanford, our state representative. And I wrote all of these before lunch, while I was breast feeding…I ‘m kinda feeling like super mom today. Here is what I had to say. I’ll keep you posted on if I get a response. And if you think I am totally wrong and you feel differently, then by all means get our own blog and write about it. But to quote James Baldwin “Not everything faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to you today to urge you to help change our laws that make it too easy for dangerous people to get guns. I am not only urging you, I am down on my hands and needs begging.
As you may know, the rate of people killed by guns in the US is 19.5 times higher than similar high-income countries in the world. And when I think of what has happened in Orlando, Sandy Hook, Aurora Colorado, and so many other cities, including my hometown of Charleston, I have to think, what do all these mass murders have in common? Was it terrorists from other countries? No! In fact, majority of these were American citizens. Did the mass shootings take place in “dangerous” areas? No! These were schoolhouses, movies theaters, places of worship, and now even nightclubs! The only thing that we can say for sure that every single one of these mass shootings had in common: they used a gun. Or more specifically, they used automatic assault rifles.
And then in February 14, 2016 something else happened. My first son Liam was born. Now as a mother I want to do everything in my power to keep him safe. Since he was born, my husband and I now eat healthier, we are more cautious with our driving, we lather him up in sunscreen, and we have taken him to each and every doctors appointment. He is our entire world. And I want his world to be a safe one. But I have no idea what to do to keep him safe from shooters. To feel safe to go to school, movie theaters, and churches. America is supposed to be the land of the free! But I don’t feel so free. I don’t feel safe. Not when someone in my own town can drive around with an assault rifle in their back seat and there is nothing the government can do about it. And now I can’t sit around anymore and wait for something to happen to my family. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of debating this with my friends on Facebook. Instead it’s time I demand we make a change, starting with this letter. Enough is enough.
I am by no means saying we must take guns away from those responsible citizens who use it for hunting and sports. But as of now, anyone in our county can walk into a store and buy an assault rifle. I’m begging you to close this deadly loophole in our gun laws. My suggestions are simple: 1) if you are a suspected terrorist or have a history of mental illness, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. Period. 2) Background checks for each and every American who wants to purchase a gun with yearly re-checks. It makes perfect sense. We renew our driver’s license, our fishing licenses, my yearly license as a practicing speech pathologist. So gun owner should have to have a “gun license” with annual recertification; and 3) take assault rifles off the market. Which is not a hunting gun. It shoots over 40 bullets in under a minute. It is clearly a murder weapon. And it’s out there on the streets. There is no reason. NO reason at all, anyone should be purchasing assault rifles. It’s time to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Thank you for doing what is right not just for me and Liam, but for all the people of the United States.
Thank you so much,
And for those of you who wish to contact your state officials, here is a great article about how to do so: An Easy Guide to Contacting Your Elected Representatives About Gun Control
Also here is a petition you can sign: Ban the AR-15 from Civilian Ownership