5.22.2014

They Came, They Listened, They'll Vote

The first mom arrived promptly, walked to the front door, looking confused.
“Do I have the right night?” she asked politely.
I invited her in. “You never know how these things go. Might just be you, me, and a couple bottles of wine.” “Works for me!” she said. But I was nervous, and she knew it. “It’ll be okay. Everything will work out. Even if it is just you and me, it’ll be fine.”
In a moment of weakness … or maybe strength … I volunteered for a Moms Demand Action House Party, or meeting really, to rally friends and see what could be done at the grass roots level to help reduce gun violence. Simple steps. Big job, but teeny, tiny baby steps.

There are many, many formidable, effective groups committed to reducing gun violence, and I support every one, yet married to none. For everyday, regular ol' people like myself, I sometimes feel they lose the trees through the forest. 

I’m more of a tree girl. 

So I invited people of like-mind to listen and learn. No commitment, no solicitation, no pressure. Just talk. Do what you want. If you want. When you want. Become a gun sense voter. It's easy, and here’s how.

Spring is a crazy time for moms: games, concerts, plays, dinners, ceremonies. In fact, as 7:00 pm hit, my phone was buzzing with texts and emails of regrets: people who emphatically RSVP'd yes, but were sympathetically backing out. Too tired, too late. So sorry! Wish I could make it; had planned on being there; kid's sick; I’m behind you, Kate 100%. You go girl!

Go where, I thought? Where will I possibly get if I go it alone?

And then this happened: five, ten women showed up. Fifteen. Late because they had to park so far away. 20, 30, 40. Cars uniformly stamped with Sandy Hook green magnets lined my street. 50 – they just kept arriving. The house was rocking, rooms jam packed.

The vast majority were new to me. Virtual Facebook friends in person. Friends of friends, neighbors of neighbors, colleagues, clients. An email invite forwarded, forwarded and forwarded. 

For the 17 months since the Newtown shooting, violent opposition has been coming at gun violence prevention groups guns blazing. Pun fully intended. And the gun safety groups have consistently insisted: we are the silent majority. No one is coming for the guns, yet we want to live – actually live – amongst all gun owners, and limit the availability for those not responsible, safe, and accountable for their ownership and actions.

There were over 60 people at my house – primarily moms and grandmas – and I estimate over two-thirds were friends I hadn’t met yet. All committed to doing. All pledging their voice to the cause. All ready to talk, share, listen, and learn. Quiet maybe, but silent no more.

In my living room, the silent majority became invigorated, inspired, and energized. While most are not willing to scream from the rooftops, we did all pledge to use our actions and let our voice be heard loud and clear at the voting booth.

PS: Moms Demand Action-NYC is hosting a 2nd Annual Brooklyn Bridge March June 14th for Gun Violence Prevention. I'll be there and would love to meet you!


*Please commit to doing any action possible to make a positive change where you live, so our story doesn't become your story. Join a group in your community. Send an email. Be a friend. Find a cause. Share on Facebook. Hold a sign. Make a difference.

4 comments:

  1. Look at you! Look at those pictures! So impressed by your doing...all that you are doing and whatever you are doing to raise awareness, make a difference and be heard.

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    1. thx you kindly! Doing what I can, and not nearly enough. but if i reach one more person, who connects to our story, we can create change. Thank you Andrea for your support!

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  2. Just spent the past hour reading your blogs. "WOW" doesn't even begin to cover it--just consider me your newest and biggest groupie. I'll be with you in spirit on that bus to Brooklyn; my body will be firmly planted in Monroe that day, part of a thank-you initiative from SHS to that amazingly generous town. Can't wait to join your force of AWESOME sometime soon.

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    1. Doncha see? you are a force: being consciously grateful with action of kindness: that's advocacy at its very, very best. Each of us is doing all we possibly can, and yet it's not nearly enough. But together, it is. It really, truly is. We are making progress. Together.

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