What is freedom?



For a long time, I have been trying to find words to express my frustration, fear, anger, and sadness about the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Each terror attack and act of violence shatters us — but all too soon we go back to our “normal” lives. Enough.

Every time the news recounts the latest horrors — in a school, in a movie theater, at a holiday party, at an office, at a concert, at a health clinic, in a place of worship — I wonder, what can we do now? It’s time to act.

As a child, things were different. We met relatives at the airport gate when they came to visit. We felt safe at school. Going to the movies, the mall, a sporting event were things that we could enjoy without fear. I didn’t have to wonder if somebody could carry a concealed weapon into my local grocery store.

My children are used to security checks at the airport, they know where to hide during a lock down at school, and surely notice the way I tense up when we’re in crowds. My sister said she’s no longer comfortable seeing a blockbuster movie on opening night in our home state of Colorado. I am sad that my children will never feel as safe as I once did.

But when I hear the response from the Far Right — I’m absolutely disgusted. Freedom is not, as they claim, about carrying a gun and having the right to shoot anyone.

  • Freedom is living in a country where elected public officials make reasonable, common sense laws regarding guns
  • Freedom is knowing that your elected officials are not beholden to a gun lobby that blatantly urges us to become gun-toting vigilantes
  • Freedom is knowing that loopholes have been closed to ensure background checks are standard on all gun purchases
  • Freedom is knowing that we have taken every step possible to ban military style, high capacity weapons from a civilian setting

The worst thing we can do is throw up our hands in exasperation and stop trying to do something. We must keep pushing for common sense gun laws. We must call our elected officials, write letters, show our outrage. We must not stop until these freedoms are our reality. It will take a village. These organizations can help:

Everytown for Gun Safety

An organization dedicated to building awareness about gun violence and providing evidence-based research to help inform public policy decisions.

Say it to our faces

A grassroots movement that will deliver thousands of photos of kids across America to our elected leaders to show them exactly who their inaction on gun legislation is harming.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Formed after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, it fights for common sense gun laws to “decrease the escalating epidemic of gun violence that kills too many of our children and loved ones every day.”

I urge you to do something today — call a legislator, talk to your neighbor, write a letter to the editor. More guns are not the solution. More people working together to prevent gun violence is a move in the right direction.

What other groups or actions do you know of that are working to enact common sense gun laws? Please share them in your comments.