Skip to main content

Barely more than an hour after our nation took a moment of silence this morning to reflect on the tragic events that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last week, the National Rifle Association ended their organization’s own silence by telling us that the mindless violence we saw is simply now a part of life.  They said that it was Hollywood's fault that incidents like these happen and that the only way we can hope to keep our children safe as a result is to keep them surrounded by more and more guns.

As a Mom who holds the safety and happiness of my two girls above all else, I have only one response to NRA President Wayne LaPierre: How dare you?

How dare you tell me, and millions of other Moms, that the only way we can keep our kids safe is to surround them with more instruments of violence?

How dare you tell our nation that Congress is to blame for not keeping a database of the mentally-ill when your organization's lobbying efforts have been responsible for blocking all meaningful gun control measures in recent years?

And how dare you tell our kids that the only way we know how to keep them safe is to hope someone shoots first before someone else shoots them?

We, as a people, are better than that.

We are a nation that has persevered through tragedies and triumphs alike by being brave, not by being afraid as Mr. LaPierre wants us to be.  His solution to violence is to ensure more violence, his own perceived right kind of violence, but all Mr. LaPierre's solution would accomplish in ensuring our children grow up believing there is no hope to stop the violence.

As a Mom, the NRA’s comments offend me.  As a leader in Michigan’s Capitol, they anger me.  

What Mr. LaPierre doesn’t want to acknowledge is that there are no quick or easy solutions to the violence we see in our schools and on our streets, but it is our job as leaders to challenge ourselves to find them and he simply does not want to be a part of that effort.  Instead, he wants to pretend that his organization has nothing to do with the problem at hand, but would be happy to sell us the miracle cure for the right price.

It’s time we put the politics aside in this discussion and agree that while guns themselves may not be the cause of what took place last week in Connecticut, we cannot pretend they had nothing to do with it either.  

We must begin by enacting the common sense reforms that keep assault rifles, weapons designed for the sole purpose of mass killings, off the market and ensure that those with a history of mental illness do not have access to guns.  

But we must challenge ourselves to go further and rebuild our mental health system that we’ve allowed to crumble over the years so that those who need our help can receive it once again.  We can give those who are prone to violence care instead of indifference and hope instead of despair.  And we can show the world that we, as a people, are finding the solutions necessary to make our society a less violent one for all of us to live in.

Most importantly, we must show our kids that we can be better and stronger than Mr. LaPierre wants us to be.  We can show them that we can create an environment in which our schools are safe places once again not because we’ve locked them down, but because we’ve fostered a change in ourselves and our society that ensures what took place in Newtown, Connecticut never happens again.  

We can be an example to our kids that even in the face of unspeakable violence, we can overcome it with the same bravery that our nation has shown throughout history.  

We can succeed in this effort, but only if we have the courage and strength of character to do it.  I choose to believe that we do.

Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Senate Democratic Leader
Gretchen Whitmer

Originally posted to GretchenWhitmer on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Thumb, Kestrel, JekyllnHyde, Ed in Montana, Sylv, Alma, Mogolori, filkertom, MarkC, Gooserock, mjr, NYmom, melvynny, Shockwave, Caniac41, Pescadero Bill, donna in evanston, Jay C, belle1, Mlle L, eeff, StevenJoseph, Bryce in Seattle, Bob Friend, Caneel, bookbear, Christian Dem in NC, cinnamon68, concernedamerican, Silverleaf, djMikulec, ask, mole333, khloemi, Arun, jennifree2bme, MazeDancer, sngmama, PeteZerria, oceanview, Bill Roberts, CocoaLove, csuchas, revsue, lulusbackintown, Lilyvt, Texknight, SneakySnu, kharma, Teduardo, lungfish, ranger995, roseeriter, jaywillie, chantedor, hazzcon, lcrp, 313to212, exlrrp, Sembtex, Hillbilly Dem, schuylkill, tomjones, Black Max, Jen Hayden, Armand451, TexMex, Dirk McQuigley, historys mysteries, Bluesee, 3goldens, Jeffersonian Democrat, greycat, blueyedace2, Lying eyes, JohnB47, ChemBob, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, cfk, SaraBeth, Phil S 33, markdd, Ozymandius, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, dbadw, FindingMyVoice, Rogneid, Rich S, Alan Arizona, Mother Mags, third Party please, kovie, hlee1169, BachFan, Ranchita, Captain Sham, myboo, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, 417els, BlueInARedState, tonyahky, Gorette, Yellow Canary, cookseytalbott, mooshter, jpw, jenthor, Son of a Cat, luckydog, megisi, global citizen, twigg, The Hindsight Times, Terminus, happy camper, plf515, Preston S, tommyfocus2003, middleagedhousewife, MBNYC, onionjim, Unknown Quantity, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, Stripe, Mr Horrible, One Pissed Off Liberal, Noor B, pgm 01, BeninSC, Cronesense, Mr K, mamabigdog, Dartagnan, gloriana, FishOutofWater, la urracca, Nespolo, noofsh, Matt Z, newpioneer, HCKAD, second gen, letsgetreal, cyncynical, Fireshadow, jhop7, pioneer111, Wreck Smurfy, uciguy30, Timmethy, sable, aseth, TomP, gizmo59, rogerdaddy, bkamr, gundyj, mconvente, AnnieJo, JeffW, ScottyUrb, OleHippieChick, Foundmyvoice, Mr Stagger Lee, Involuntary Exile, dadadata, NewDealer, Its any one guess, jamess, tofumagoo, triplepoint, brione, mofembot, glendaw271, petulans, venger, doppler effect, statsone, Purple Priestess, oldliberal, Celtic Merlin, maggiejean, Bule Betawi, MufsMom, Kansas Born, Old Iowa Liberal, Scott Wooledge, Nebraskablue, Sarge in Seattle, janmtairy, Ohiodem1, shopkeeper, DefendOurConstitution, GreenMtnState, kravitz, MichiganChet, stevenwag, lu3, sfarkash, Tortmaster, astral66, Wendy Slammo, citisven, Dema Broad, vtgal, Clyde the Cat, jsfox, political junquie, gramofsam1, klompendanser, mookins, Lost and Found, alguien, AZphilosopher, Simple, gulfgal98, Sylar, samanthab, elginblt, ItsSimpleSimon, Mariken, Kristina40, DiegoUK, DrTerwilliker, ericlewis0, Loose Fur, Glass Navel, Actbriniel, JanG, theKgirls, Onomastic, Colorado is the Shiznit, surfermom, MidwestTreeHugger, speak2me, donaurora, La Gitane, AtomikNY, OhioNatureMom, bookgirl, nezzclay, mrsgoo, zukesgirl64, Cinnamon, thomask, muddy boots, MRA NY, Dreidlgirl, peregrine kate, chira2, bluedust, MinistryOfTruth, randomfacts, Miggles, SoCalSal, stlsophos, Sunnybrook, jadt65, googie, Rashaverak, allergywoman, PrometheusUnbound, Only Needs a Beat, jacey, i saw an old tree today, stormicats, Pixietrixter, DeadHead, StonyB, cwsmoke, molecularlevel, ahumbleopinion, SilverWillow, Eric Nelson, The Lone Apple, surelyujest, a2nite, AreDeutz, ProvokingMeaning, 2thanks, FloridaSNMOM, caliblue, meatballs, ivy redneck, sankaty, pittie70, doroma, ricklewsive, lunachickie, wxorknot, Vote4Obamain2012, jeannew, Glen The Plumber, dotdash2u, Kayjay, ShoshannaD, Hammerhand, kiga, nuclear winter solstice, SwedishJewfish, Chaddiwicker, onceasgt, Dancun74, nolagrl, kideni, remembrance, broths, gypsytoo, aresea, GwenM, parsonsbeach, mindara, Constantly Amazed, bob152, Smoh, Jacoby Jonze, ApatheticNoMore1966, Hey338Too, Demeter Rising, Rachel Colyer, Gary of Austin, Jim Domenico, ShockandAwed, MichiJayJay, northcountry21st, johnxbrown, Gardener in PA, blugrlnrdst, longtimelurker, Chris Tomas, Kaos

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site