Moms Demand Action

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

As I’m writing this, Melissa Falkowski, a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is telling Anderson Cooper how many students she can fit in a closet.

Yesterday, 17 students and faculty members were gunned down as a false fire alarm went off a few minutes before the end of the school day. A ploy, experts say, orchestrated by the gunman to guarantee a high body count. Since the beginning of 2018, there have been 18 school shootings with upwards of 20 casualties, countless injuries and thousands of traumatized students and families. With every shooting, people post their thoughts and prayers then move on with their day. Somehow, talking about common sense gun laws is controversial and political.  I will, for sure, loose readers and get emails in response to this post telling me to “stay in my lane.”

Well, this is my lane.

Every day I kiss my kids on their heads, tell them how much I love them and watch them board their bus. Like every parent in America, our mornings are hectic; we’re lucky if we make it to the bus without forgetting something. We almost always forget something. And like every parent in America, I watch as the bus drives down our street, and I say a little prayer that they are safe. The highlight of my day, no matter how tired or overwhelmed I might be, is when I hear them slide open the kitchen door. But there are too many moms and dads in our country who kissed their kids goodbye and sent them off to school where they should have been safe and they never came home.

Sandy Hook should have been what changed us. Certainly, the slaughter of 20 first-graders and six teachers, ten days before Christmas, would be enough for us to find some common ground. Since Sandy Hook there have been 290 school shootings, not including yesterday. 

Last month, at Marshall County High School in Kentucky, Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both 15-year-olds, were murdered in the halls that minutes earlier they were wandering with their friends. One second they were doing what regular 15-year-olds do, then the next their lives were over. There was something about Bailey’s photo that threw a dagger in my heart. She reminded me so much of my Maddie, with her dark hair, and glasses, and the way she smiled. I couldn’t get her, her mom, or dad out of my mind. I was devastated for them, sickened at the thought of the horror those kids faced, and furious. Furious that their deaths were barely mentioned in the news and that all of it was preventable.

Over the last few months I started looking for ways I could make a difference. I’ve already written my Senators. I don’t have much faith in that changing anything, but, I’ll keep writing out of principle. What I want to do is make noise. We can’t let these incidents fall off the radar and let these kids die in vain. Are we just going to let this become the norm because it’s a difficult conversation?

If you are feeling helpless, like I was, and wondering what you can do instead of sending thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families, you can check your Senators voting record and then pester them like crazy. You can also get involved with organizations lobbying for common sense gun laws. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a national, nonpartisan organization with local chapters all working to raise awareness through education, fundraising, and demonstrations. They support the 2nd Amendment and are simply looking to reform gun laws to match the times. Because an 18-year-old shouldn’t have access to an AR-15 so he can kill his former classmates.

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

  1. Meg, I’m so glad of your expanded focus. “Lane”? Whose lane doesn’t include this chaos? You go ahead and own the road you’re on. You know I’m a psychologist: this world is agonizing for many of my patients. Action is the only thing that can possibly help!

  2. Yes, this is your “lane”. Thank you for this. We all need to tackle the uncomfortable and make change happen because our children’s lives are at stake. You didn’t lose my readership, you cemented it.

  3. THIS: Sandy Hook should have been what changed us.

    THANK YOU! Action, action, action – this is all of our lanes, thank you for this post.

  4. I grew up not far from Sandy Hook. It enraged people locally, but, like you said, nothing changed. We are humiliating ourselves as a “great nation” by letting this happen. You are right… this is already too late to take a stand but here is where we decide this is far too overdue. Thank you for standing up.

  5. Thank you! You are right, we all need to come together and create change. I will be looking for the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

  6. Brava, Megan! I’m not a mom and yet I agree with every word of your post. I’ve shared to FB and Twitter. Only a loud, vocal, dedicated public has any chance to create sensible change. It’s so tragic and insane that the US, with 4% of the world’s population, owns 42% of all guns in existence – and we wonder why we have these problems…

  7. I would love to see the group include Parents/Guardians as opposed to just Moms since more people = greater voice. I do think the issue extends well beyond gun control and is quite complex but to sit back and do nothing but God for bid wait for the next episode is, well, doing nothing. It is completely unacceptable and tragic to see these occurrences in the news and, while each story remains horrific, somehow the shock factor subsides with the increased frequency of each report in the media. I believe there will be a wide range of ideas on how to end gun violence but we all should agree on one common principle – that our kids deserve to go to school in a safe environment and return home safely each day.

  8. Thank you for this!!! It angers me so much when people use that excuse of “stay in your lane” when they don’t want to engage in a real conversation about guns. It is everyone’s business, parent or otherwise, celebrity or otherwise. As others shared above, you have only solidified my support for your blog!!

  9. I always find your observations and insights to be authentic and thoughtful. Thank you for today’s post, it will help inspire your readers to channel sadness into change.

  10. Thanks for sharing. Note that Everytown for Gun Safety is the larger organization of which Moms part of. Everytown feels more inclusive, particularly to those of us who are not moms.

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I agree we need action, action, action. I’d like to ask you – if you, like me, asked yourself after Sandy Hook. “What needs to happen for things to change?”

    Did you stop there? I did. I stopped there after every school/mass shooting. I stopped what I was doing and I sent up a prayer. I talked to my friends and family about what a tragedy it all was. How awful for the families, how thankful I was that it wasn’t my family, my children’s school, my workplace.

    I didn’t take any action until I asked myself “What needs to happen for ME to do something about it?” That was my lightbulb moment, I was waiting for Congress, the President, society to do something about it. Its when I realized I needed to do something about it. I needed to take a stand in order for Congress, the President and society to sit up and take notice. It was the first time I wrote/called my congressman to demand we do better.

    I beg you to ask yourself “What needs to happen before I do something about it?” How many more school/workplace/places of worship/etc. shootings have to happen before YOU do something about it? Because it will happen again until each one of us takes a stand and says no more. Enough.

    I would like to add that unfortunately, we shouldn’t be surprised at all of this violence. Violence is in our music, toys, video games, cartoons, TV shows, movies, etc. It’s everywhere.

    We parents need to stand up for our children and make a stand on what video games we allow our children to play (especially boys) and at what age they start playing violent video games. We need to demand better programming on TV and not just from the major networks. We need to question what our kids are listening to, what movies they are watching, etc. We have to start demanding more from the entertainment industry and let them know that we are sick and tired of the shoot’em up violence they are peddling. And for that matter, we want a stop to the violence against women, the demeaning of women, the sexualization of women. Our daughters deserve better.

  12. Thank you for posting this! Unfortunately we have so little recourse with our politician’s. Senator Toomey is a lost cause and it’s a shame he wasn’t voted out of office in 2016.

  13. Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful comments. I’m really proud of this community of women. This has to be the moment that we make things right. I’m commitment from this moment to not only donate, but o fight, campaign, help educate and raise as much awareness as possible so our elected officials are held accountable for the actions – or lack of action in this case. xx

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  • Just speaking in front of 450 people this morning. 32 weeks pregnant.  Chances of me losing my train of thought half way through is 100%.

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