We have a gun violence epidemic on our hands. As Americans, we need to vote out corrupted politicians and encourage others to do so. As children’s book authors and illustrators, we need to stand up for the next generation.
I know a lot of people feel hopeless and sad right now, and that is to be expected when these senseless mass murders continue. Take care of your head and your heart, but also look around. Like Mister Rogers said, “look for the helpers, you will always find people helping”. When I look around, I see more people than ever becoming gun sense voters. I see more people than ever before outraged and emboldened to take on this huge issue. Putting an end to gun violence is possible. If you are committed to it, join Everytown, Mom’s Demand, and March For Our Lives and vow to become a gun sense voter. I am a proud gun sense voter.
Why is becoming a gun sense voter so important? There are a lot of reasons. One reason is that the NRA is funding our politicians, like Colorado’s Cory Gardner who was gifted $3.8 million from the NRA and is up for reelection in 2020. Another reason is that the senate is halted. Leader Mitch McConnell has had over 200 days to bring the senate a gun reform bill that was passed in the house, but he is holding it hostage. He is also up for reelection in Kentucky in 2020.
We have the power to make the change with our voices and our votes and I am posting this on my blog because lives very literally depend on our action.
Author and illustrator (and fellow Coloradan) Anden Wilder has started an online movement of children’s book authors, illustrators, and enthusiasts to join in and stand up for humanity with #Kidlit4GunSense. To clarify, I did not start this movement. I am simply emailing you now to spread the word and encourage you to join, because this is important.
Learn more about how you can join Kidlit 4 Gun Sense HERE.
IS MENTAL HEALTH A FACTOR IN GUN VIOLENCE?
This week, President Trump blamed mental illness as the reason these senseless shootings have taken place. As someone with a mental illness who has shared personal stories about their mental illness, I find it important to speak up when people blame mental illness on mass shootings.
When we use mental illness as a scapegoat for misogyny and white supremacy, we stigmatize mental illness further. Call our gun violence epidemic what it is: domestic terrorism. Hatred with easy access to firearms.
“Most people with mental illness are not violent. In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence.” – NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
The truth is, if we were so worried about mental illness, we would have a better healthcare system in place to protect those who have mental illness… but instead the last few years have been spent cutting funding and resources for those with mental illnesses.
It is so easy to get lost in hopelessness and despair at times like these. I want to encourage you to go forward. Feel your anger and harness it for the power of change. If you need a boost, read my recent blog post about how I harness my anger into activism art.