Almost four months later.
I can’t believe that there’s still any debate about what needs to be done.
I can’t believe that these children’s deaths haven’t been enough to change the conversation.
If we can’t enact sensible gun controls in this country now, then when? They deserve a vote. That’s so incredibly reasonable, so nothing to ask- and even now, we’re supposed to accept that Congress will pander and dither and give us half-measures that will change nothing?
I have the privilege of knowing Francine and David Wheeler, the parents of Ben Wheeler, who died on December 14th. After having this unthinkable tragedy thrust upon them, they have been speaking for all of us- for all of our children- with incredible clarity and grace. They are in Washington, DC this week. They were on 60 Minutes last week. Here’s what David said then.
“I would like every parent in this country—that’s 150 million people. I would like them to look in the mirror and that’s not a figure of speech. I mean find a mirror in your house and look in it and look in your eyes and say ‘this will never happen to me, this will never happen in my school, this will never happen in my community,’ and see if you actually believe that. And if there’s a shadow, the slightest shadow of doubt in what you’ve said? Think about what you can do to change that. It is going to happen again. It’s going to happen again. Every time, it’s somebody else’s school, it’s somebody else’s community, it’s somebody else’s town. Until one day, you wake up and it’s not.”
I don’t need that mirror: it’s the certainty that this could have happened to any of us that made THIS tragedy so different for anyone who is a parent. When any one of us brought our children to school that next Monday, we were terrified. (At the time, I thought I was alone in feeling that way. So I wrote about it. No: not alone at all.)
As time has gone by, I have felt increasing frustration that there’s nothing I can *do* to make things different this time, that the donating and the marching- and the tears- are not making a difference at all.
But the only change that can’t occur is the change that is never sought.
This week, Francine has asked everyone she knows to share this message. Here’s a way to change things. Today. It will take you less than half an hour. I’m going to do it as soon as I publish this post.
The time has come. Please pass this on to your friends and family, and ask them to either write and/or call their Senator over the next 7-10 days. We expect the discussion on the bill to start Monday, April 8th and go for 2 weeks.
You can call or write or email multiple times — as many requests as you are comfortable making.
Use this template for a phone call to Congress (all you do is call one central number and ask to be connected to your rep’s office.)
Below are key States we would love to get engaged into the Senate voting process:
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
Please take a moment to consider and understand how important you are to this process. We are the foundation of the government we’ve elected and we can make our voices heard.
Please join me in doing this: for Francine, for David, for Nate, for Ben.