Sandy Hook, Orlando, Charleston, Las Vegas, Wakefield, Sutherland Springs, Pittsburgh, Parkland, Aurora, Virginia Tech, San Bernadino, Columbine. There were already too many mass shootings to name. Now we add Gilroy, Dayton, and El Paso to the list. In the wake three more mass shootings in the last week, people across the United States are once again having the same debate we’ve now been having for decades. Is this about guns or mental health? Political extremism or white supremacy? Terrorism or crime? We feel the same emotions: sorrow, fear, outrage, guilty fascination, and worst of all a feeling of powerlessness.
As peace activists we are committed to challenge and confront acts of violence all over the world. It is critical for us to connect these horrific incidents of violence in the United States, especially those perpetrated with military weapons, to the violence we’ve exported around the world for so long. A mainstream belief among opponents to gun control is that more weapons actually make us safer. Its corollary is the belief that thousands of heavily armed American soldiers occupying countries all over the world makes us safe. It just isn’t true.
There is a common root of these tragedies, the endless wars abroad and the mass killings at home. It is the glorification of violence that pervades our culture. We see it at our sports games, parades, and even in our schools. We heap our greatest honors on men with guns, police and soldiers. We have become accustomed and addicted to violence.
It’s not a coincidence that this nation, the greatest purveyor of military violence in the world, suffers from so much senseless violence at home. If you see the link between militarism and gun violence, help us make the connection.
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Call your representative or senator’s district office. Here are the phone numbers:
2) When connected say: My name is ___________ and I am a constituent living at (your address). I’m calling today because I’m concerned with the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We’ve been a nation at war for almost 20 years. It’s not coincidence that we’re seeing these massacres at home, often committed with the very same weapons of war.
3) Report back to us by calling (617) 354-2169 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need to coordinate our efforts and know what members or their staff had to say.