Yesterday, 17 people were slaughtered. I know you know this, because it’s impossible not to. But I want to write to you, to each of you–Senators and House Representatives, men and women, parents, friends. I want you to know how angry I am. How scared and sad and worried and confused. I want to write yo you as your employer. Remember me? The person who hired you?
You see, there are lots of statistics floating around right now. About how many school shootings that have already happened 45 days into the year. About which shooting was the deadliest, about how we’re averaging about one school shooting per week since Sandy Hook. Remember Sandy Hook? When 21 first graders were shot to death? Yeah, I thought so. I don’t know if it’s better or worse that you do remember, because how could you not have taken action then?
I’m going to say some things here that might make you get really defensive, but let’s drop all of those pretenses and just be honest, okay? We know you’re funded by the NRA. We know that, you know that, the NRA knows that…it’s fact, not opinion. So we know you have a *vested* interest in making them happy. That’s just how it is. They keep your pockets full, and you need your pockets full. We all do. It’s the beauty of capitalism.
But. BUT. Mommies need their babies to come home. Daddies need to hug their littles and tuck them in at night. Wives and husbands need their spouses, their best friends, to wake up tomorrow. High school students need to know they’re safe at school. FIRST GRADERS need to know they’re safe at school.
Can I pay you to change? I can’t pay you the millions (billions?) of dollars that the NRA can, but I can give you everything I have. Please. I’m begging you. I’m selling my soul to you so that you’ll do something.
If it’s not money you’re after, but pride and recognition, then imagine the publicity and support you’ll get by DOING SOMETHING. We will stand behind you!! We will say YES! Change! Reform! Protection! You won’t be alone, Congress. Sure, some of your colleagues will balk at the challenge, and continue to fund their campaigns and vacation homes and you might even wonder how you’ll survive (or how your campaign will survive, or how your vacation home will survive) if you’re not on the NRA’s good side. I get that. It doesn’t make it okay, but I get it.
Congress, you’re going down in history. Whether you know it or not, you’re on the cusp of a time that in a few generations, people will look back and say “what took them so long???!” They’ll wonder how we let so many kids die on our watch. On your watch. They’ll write books about this time, analyzing what could’ve been done differently. Don’t you want your name on the right side of that story? To be written about as the lone person who took a stand to protect our babies? Don’t you want to be a hero?
And, in case you think it won’t matter, let me present to you a case study. In 1996 Australia experienced their worst mass shooting. 35 people were killed. In the days after this shooting, the Prime Minister started putting together the strictest gun reform in the world. They banned automatic, semi-automatic, and pump-action shotguns. More than 640,000 weapons were turned in and destroyed. It took just 14 days–14 days!!!!!–for the gun reform to be written and passed. The best part? Since the 1996 reform was passed, guess how many mass shootings Australia has had? ZERO. Zero!
This doesn’t mean Australia doesn’t experience gun violence. Because we have guns, we will have gun violence. But we can stop the carnage where dozens of CHILDREN are being murdered. We can do it, Congress! I promise! And don’t you want to be involved in that?
I want to believe that you’ll do the right thing here. As your employer, I want to make sure you do. I think you sometimes forget you have a boss. And that boss is me. So fix this ridiculous situation, or I will do everything in my power to fire you. To make sure you’re never given the honor of “serving your people” again. To make sure you can never tweet things about “thoughts and prayers” and choke on your own hypocrisy.
Statistically, it’s unlikely it’ll be your kid who is shot by a murderer wielding an AR-15 and emptying 45 bullets a minute. There’s only 535 of you, and theres 323 million of the rest us. But can you imagine if it was your child? Can you picture getting the call? Can you feel the bile in your stomach rising, the scorching tears spilling? The nightmares you’ll have, picturing a bullet entering your child’s body? The pain of burying your baby’s body in the ground? Because there are 17 parents dealing with that today. And countless more from the crimes committed by these military grade weapons that have happened on your watch. THESE ARE NOT DRAMATICS, THAT IS THEIR REALITY.
An angry parent & YOUR BOSS
PS: I’m fuming mad. I know this won’t change anything and you WON’T LISTEN TO US and I don’t understand it and I don’t know how you can sleep at night and let this continue to happen. Jesus come.