Saturday, April 6, 2013

Do It Anyway


A little over a week ago, my friend Jenny and I formed the first Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  Before I go any further with this post, I was to make something very clear since I know a lot of my friends and family disagree with me on the whole gun control issue.  I’m not here to convert you.  I’m not going to preach so please don’t blow up my comment section with remarks about how stupid I am or how my logic is faulty.   I won’t lecture you if you won’t lecture me.

Even prior to the Newtown shooting, I thought our country’s obsession with guns was odd.  Prior to Newtown, I believed in stricter gun control laws.  But it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.  You could have asked me if I thought we needed better background checks and I would have said yes and got right back to thinking about what I would have for lunch or why my child’s dirty underwear are lying beside my bed.

Then 20 children got murdered at Sandy Hook and it changed everything.  I cried daily.  I kept having the horrible mental image of someone walking into my son’s preschool class and gunning him down.  I screamed in silence every time I saw calls for more guns or more God.  But I didn’t say anything.  I read about bills to bring guns into the classroom and I thought to myself “This is insane!”, but I said nothing.

Then I got a little braver.  I corrected false information when I saw it and provided a source.  I sometimes voiced my opinion when I thought the other person was reasonable and wouldn’t call me names.  But I didn’t really do anything worthwhile.
My friend Jenny and I laughed because we were the only people that ever “liked” each others gun-related posts on Facebook.  I hoped someone in Oklahoma would speak up for sensible gun laws.  I hoped that people would rally and I could jump on board.  But that never happened.

Then it happened that we both looked around and said to ourselves, okay…I guess it’s me then.  Jenny saw a post on Moms Demand Action asking for someone to start an Oklahoma chapter, and here we are.

If it seems at this point that I’m patting myself on the back a little, damn straight I am!  This was hard for me.  I’m anxious and timid and my voice shakes when I talk in front of people.  So yeah, this was a big deal for me.

But I’m not writing today to give myself a pat on the back.  I’m writing to say that if I can do it so can you.  Growing up, I always waited for the day that the fear would go away.  I hoped for the day that I would wake up and no longer be self-conscience or worry about what people think of me.  Now I’m 34.  In that time I’ve gotten married and had two kids.  I’ve lost baby weight, my boobs, a lot of sleep and some credit card debt from college, but not the fear.  That day never came.  I’ve learned to accept that.  I’ve realized that I can’t keep waiting for the fear to go away, but I must start acting in spite of it.

My message today, is for the people that do agree with me on the issue of gun control.  I know you’re out there.  This is a hard state to speak up on this topic.  The opposition can be loud.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it anyway.

So if you’re reading this and you feel passionately about this but you’re scared to stand up.  That’s ok.  But do it anyway.


9 comments:

  1. I'm with you. Let's do this thing.

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  2. I'm not a mom but I'm here as well. :)

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  3. You are awesome! Thank you for giving your fear the finger and standing up for what you know in your heart to be true.
    The other day someone posted a local letter to the editor on FB about how guns don't kill people. It was tongue in cheek about how the gun owner set the shot gun and shells on the front porch and waited to see if it would grow legs and arms and a brain and do something. Low and behold at the end of the day no one had been shot. I wanted to respond so badly that this silly letter proved perfectly why we need really strict background checks and actually enforce them. But I was too scared to say anything.
    This issue is on my mind all the time but I'm too scared to voice my opinion. Maybe joining you in facing my fears is what I need. Baby steps

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    1. You can do it! You are more than welcome to join us any time.

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  4. I'm so glad we "did it anyway." Thanks for writing this. It makes me proud!

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  5. While I do not necessarily agree with your views on the issue based on the limited information that I have about you and the issue, I applaud you. Too often we lose that good old "gumption" (for lack of a better word) to stand up for something we believe in, not just privately, but publicly. I just wanted to let you know that I am proud of you for taking a stand on something that you believe in and making your voice heard! BRAVO!

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  6. I applaud you for standing up for your belief in the face of so much animosity.

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