When I can’t stop thinking about something it’s usually a sign that I want to speak up about it. I’ve learned that suppressing my feelings causes me serious anxiety, and in light of all the tragic events happening in our country I think it’s time I shared my views.
I’ll admit that since having Capri I feel 10000 times more triggered by mass shootings. Obviously it’s always been devastating and scary to me, but now that I have a baby and can understand what it would mean to lose your child in an act of pure senseless hate, I am sickened by what is going on in our country. The thought of losing anyone in a shooting is something I cannot even wrap my mind around, but losing a child would be unfathomable. My life would be over.
A few months back there was a mass shooting at a bar (Borderline) that my sisters frequented. I’ll never forget the fear in me that night, waiting for them to both respond that they weren’t there. It was a place that my family and I have gone to on numerous occasions to celebrate birthdays and just have fun. Despite not being there that night and not knowing any of the victims, it was too close to home and resulted in a shift in the way I feel towards public places after that shooting occurred.
I was never one to live in fear (even when knowing the risks involved) because you get one life and I want to make the most of mine. I always felt sorry for people who let fear stop them from doing something they actually wanted to do. I prided myself on not being that way. But now, not so much. I weigh the risks – Is it worth seeing this artist live at a massive venue? Is it worth going to a movie opening night with tons of people in the dark? Is it worth being somewhere with absolutely no security or way to ensure a weapon isn’t being snuck in? I find myself avoiding crowded places for this reason.
The thought of being scared to send Capri to school is the worse of all the things I fear today. School, a place that was safe to me growing up, is now a place where parents have to fear for their children’s lives???
To be honest, I feel helpless. I want to make a difference, I want to use my voice and platform to bring awareness, but at the same time I don’t really know how. I cannot change the law, I cannot change the black market, I don’t have all the answers, and I certainly can’t bring back lost ones. However, it can’t hurt to share my views in the hope of bringing further awareness to this crisis and start a conversation in hopes of inspiring anyone to stand up for this very necessary cause.
Following any shooting I find myself having the same conversations about what should be done to prevent this from happening. It’s a complicated matter but doing NOTHING is definitely not the answer. We need to take steps in the right direction to at least make the process of acquiring a gun A LOT more difficult.
If I were president, here’s what I would do:
+ Mental health test. Required for anyone legally applying to get a gun. A thorough and proper mental health check by a licensed psychologist. It would be a pass or fail.
+ Co-signer. Anyone applying to get a gun should be required to have a qualified co-signer. I would enact a punishment to the co-signer if the gun owner committed a crime of senseless violence using the gun in an effort to keep people from actually being a co-signer, therefore making it harder for people to obtain a gun. I would make co-signers have to take a mental health exam as well.
+ Guns should not be readily available. You should not be able to pick up Cheetos, laundry soap, and a fucking gun in the same shopping trip.
+ Contact EVERYONE with registered guns. And make them take the mental health test and find a co-signer. If they don’t oblige, their weapon will be forfeited.
+ Shooter’s name not publicized. I truly believe a lot of shooters do this for attention and notoriety. The media glorifies them by sharing their picture and name all over the television and Internet over and over. We obviously need to be notified of these shootings, but we don’t need to see their face or name.
+ Cruel punishment. I actually heard this suggestion somewhere and feel it is 100% justified. In the event a shooter isn’t killed during the shooting, I would make their punishment torturous and humiliating.
Would it help? I have no idea. All I know is this has become a crisis that requires some serious changes to be made.
I wish I didn’t have to address this, but there is no way I can ignore this dire problem that has left 1000’s of people without their loved ones. At this point I am willing to give up my right to own a gun if it meant no one else would ever be able to have one either. But I know even that wouldn’t put an end to this and would only create a larger black market. It’s hard to stay positive when there is nothing happening in the right direction, but I know every mother out there has felt these same feelings and I want you to know you’re not alone.
If you are interested in getting involved to help end gun violence in our country, you can find out more information on the Everytown website. You can donate, volunteer, and educate yourself on the gun laws in your state.
I hope you guys will share this post – I know it’s not a fun baby update, outfit, makeup tutorial, or relationship advice, but I think we can all agree this is a much more important matter right now and with the amazing community that I have built I would love nothing more than to show everyone out there how supportive and passionate we are about ending gun violence.
If you had the power to snap your fingers, what would YOU do to curtail gun violence? Please share down below.