Our hearts are heavy with the memories of the lives lost to gun violence. From Virginia Tech to Tucson, Newtown to Aurora, Santa Barbara to Navy Yard, San Bernardino to Charleston, Orlando to Las Vegas to Sutherland Springs, to every shooting before and in between. Our hearts are heavy with the pain from the hatred that led to those murders. From Elliot Rodger’s sexism, to Dylan Roofe’s racism to Omar Mateen’s homophobia. Our hearts our heavy, and the weight of it could render us numb, it could leave us desensitized, it could convince us we are helpless.
But we won’t allow that. We can’t allow that. We need to remember that we are not alone in this. We are not alone in our fear, our anger, our sense of helplessness. If we can do that, we can remember that we are also not alone in our desire to do a little good for this world: to love, to listen, to fight back. And then we can also remember that we are not helpless. We each have the incredible capacity do that little bit of good; and together, we have the incredible capacity to make a lot of change.
Armed with that knowledge and wrapped in that solidarity, we are equipped to make our voices heard. We have waited and waited as witnesses to suffering and constituents of inaction. That waiting has only brought us here, to a renewed fight for our lives– for the lives of a people and the life of a democracy. Because what sort of democracy chooses inaction in the wake of all this tragedy and against the threat of another mass shooting?
After every mass shooting, we circle back to the line, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” Since Orlando, but before Sutherland Springs, at least 585 people died from mass shootings, to say nothing of the thousands injured. Since Orlando, Congress is doing what it did before: putting party politics and money over people. As a result, we get what we got before: people suffering again, and again, and again. Change won’t come just by willing it away, so let’s work for it.
We are so grateful to be in this fight with you all and to participate in dialogue and action with our Platform community. This work is emotional and can feel daunting, so we encourage you to practice self-care as you carry the movement forward.