Things to Do - WHATEVER IT TAKES (and the fight for common sense gun laws)
One morning, during our vacation at Smith Mountain Lake, my sister in law went to the grocery store. Or at least tried to go to the grocery store. She came home letting us know that "town" (if a small shopping center even constitutes a town) was shut down due to a shooting. Um, what? Let's remember, Smith Mountain Lake is in the middle of farm country and we were there off season, we aren't talking about a "busy" place. Within the next hour, the internet was abuzz with reports that two local newscasters had been shot and killed during a live broadcast. And the killer was still at large. The kids were scared and wanted to lock all the doors. And despite being uneasy ourselves, we told them not to panic. And we meant it.
Because the thing I've realized is that dangerous people with guns are a big problem. And, lately, they seem to be everywhere. Panic isn't the answer. Do you know what is the answer? LAWS THAT ATTEMPT TO KEEP GUNS AWAY FROM DANGEROUS PEOPLE! Granted, you can't always stop pointless acts of violence, but better gun laws could stop SOME pointless acts of violence.
Look, WE ARE GUN OWNERS (along with crossbow and muzzleloader owners). Dan hunts. Venison is yummy. I have no problem with guns. They help feed my family. I also think laws involving waiting periods and licensing laws are important, as are mandatory background checks for all gun sales (VA does not require background checks on private gun sales).
This isn't a slippery slope. And it isn't a 2nd amendment problem. We all agree that free speech has limits - you can't defame people, you can't yell fire in a crowded movie theater, etc. Every "right" has limits. Otherwise there would be anarchy. Or we'd live in a country where classrooms full of children routinely prepare for "bad guys" by locking themselves in closets. Oh wait, we live in that country. LET'S MAKE IT BETTER, PEOPLE!! Seriously, MAKE IT BETTER!!!
I've been a big fan of Moms Demand Action for awhile now and I post regularly about their campaign on my blog. But Smith Mountain Lake made me realize that I need to do more. So a friend and I attended their rally on the mall (while babysitting the cutest toddler ever). And I will remember in November which which state and federal candidates support common sense gun laws.
And guess what? At the rally I received a free t-shirt (that I now wear everywhere). And stickers. And saw people of all ages/ethnicities/backgrounds trying to make a difference. So please, check out Moms Demand Actions' website and when an event comes to your community, make the time to go.
Because things need to get better. They just do.