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we can't say these things anymore.

1) "Banning guns won't stop shootings." 

In actual reality, we can't possibly have a more ridiculous statement. 

Guns shoot. If we take away all the guns there will actually, guaranteed, be no more shootings. There's nothing more true or predictable.  Banning all guns would definitely stop all shootings. 

I get the sentiment. We can't remove all the guns or we shouldn't remove all the guns. That's fine. Just please say that instead. It's a much more productive conversation and might actually get us somewhere. 

2) "It's too soon to talk politics." 

In actual reality, politics are part of the reason there were police officers, first responders, hospitals, ambulances, roads for the ambulances to drive on, electricity in the hospitals, cars for the police officers to drive... we get it. 

Politics are also the reason a man could buy machine guns (plural) legally.  

I get the sentiment. People are hurting and we should not take advantage of a fragile emotional state to manipulate. Of course, there is never a right time to do that. So, let's just never take advantage of fragile emotional states to manipulate and never stop talking about practical ways that help us have less grief and more healing, even if they are political. 

Also it’s not too soon after Sandy Hook and Orlando to talk politics so let’s talk about those tragedies. 

3) "Thoughts and prayers to..." 

We can do all of those things, without announcing them. 

I get the sentiment. We are hurt. We don’t know what else to do. But action is always better than announcement and sometimes announcing distracts from action - as though it’s accomplished. On the flip side, action always leads to announcements that arrive naturally. Posting that you are starting your diet is way less effective than losing 50 pounds. 

So pray. Maybe meditate. Think. A lot. About guns and politics and humanity. Engage with people. Love. And call a Representative or two. Thank a police officer or fireman or woman or doctor or nurse that you know for doing a hard job. Research gun violence and restriction around the world. Don’t take someone’s word for it. 

This has to stop happening. And it can. It has stopped in countless countries around the world who stopped responding to preventable tragedies with thoughts and prayers and, instead, with purposeful and humble action. Because they cared enough.

 

 

what to do...

witness.