There's a lot of really shiny, sparkly stuff on this website, and I'm so happy to share it all with you. But while rainbows and unicorns are all we really want to think about these days, the world is in crisis and the worst thing we can do is bury our collective heads in the sand and pretend what's happening just isn't. So for this week's Select Set we turned to TS7 alum, Sarah Wynter, who, after the horrific tragedy of Sandy Hook, was made aware of a fledgling organization called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and the more she learned, the more she realized she had a passion for, and commitment to, its mission. That mission is not, in fact, oriented toward gun control but rather gun safety. Stated simply, they seek to promote keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them and to support legislation that makes guns safer. Needless to say it's a very topical subject at the moment, so we asked her to give us some facts and some directives on how we can all help end senseless gun violence permanently.
• NOTE: Please note the use of the words Gun Safety rather than Gun Control. Language is important and people (especially the NRA!) don't want to be controlled or have their rights controlled, so it's critical that we change the vernacular and use words like gun safety and gun sense which are concepts that are impossible to disagree with.
7 FACTS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE
1. 93 Americans are killed by guns every day. Every. Day. 33,000 Americans are killed by guns a year. America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25x the average of other developed countries.
2. The presence of a gun makes it 5 times more likely Domestic Violence will turn into murder.
3. There are more than 350 million guns in circulation in the United States — approximately 113 guns for every 100 people.
4. Only 9 states have universal background check standards. California, New York, Delaware, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C.
5. A measure is up for Congress called the Hearing Protection Act (AKA the Gun Silencer Bill). During a mass shooting the sound of gunshots is the only warning people have to duck, hide or run for cover. This is dangerous and makes no sense. The argument is that guns are loud. OK, so wear earplugs!
6. In 2013, following the Sandy Hook shooting, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order calling for the CDC to “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it. ”Despite this and without specific appropriations from U.S. Congress, new research proposals remain unfunded. And yet the total annual cost of gun violence in the United States is $229 BILLION.
7. In a review of mass shootings in the U.S., 85 mass shootings occurred since 1982, from which 71 semi-automatic handguns 20 assault weapons, and 42 weapons with high magazine capacity were recovered. In other words, these are not guns purchased for self-defense or for hunting. They are, in fact, purchased by an assailant whose intent is chaos and casualties.
7 THINGS WE CAN DO TO HELP END IT
1. Join Moms Demand Action at www.everytown.org, a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.
2. Join the mobile list to receive text messages with actions you can take to help make your community safer. Take them when you can, anything helps. You can also simply text “TOGETHER” to 644-33 to join the list.
3. Call Congress to say NO to the Gun Silencer Bill.
4. Shop Sarah's selects at www.everytown.org
5. Make a contribution. Do it - especially now as Michael Bloomberg is matching every single donation made to Everytown. In fact, Bloomberg, along with former Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino, founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns as a coalition of 15 mayors. Since then, they have built a bipartisan group of more than 1,000 current and former mayors from nearly every state to fight for common-sense gun laws. (Please, please. please run in 2020, Mike.)
6. Call your Senator to let them know you oppose Concealed Carry Reciprocity, an extremely dangerous bill that would force all 50 states to allow anyone with a legal gun, including stalkers, domestic abusers, and people with no safety training at all to carry hidden, loaded guns in public. In other words, it allows people from states with weak gun laws to carry their concealed weapons in states that have STRONG gun laws. For example, someone could come to New York and carry their gun into Madison Square Garden or Times Square, even though it's illegal in NY state. They would be protected because carrying a concealed weapon is legal in their home state.
7. Follow @everytown, @momsdemand, @shannonrwatts (founder of Moms Demand Action) and @MikeBloomberg on Twitter and retweet like your life depends on it.