When I can, and when it is warranted, I stand up.
When I can’t, and it’s still warranted, I prop myself up on crutches.
And then I speak.
People have told me for many years that I am courageous and brave. I am not. I fear snakes, flooding, and my food touching.
There have been times in my life when standing up has been as critical to me as breathing air. Back during Vietnam. And when the voting age needed to be lowered (“Old enough to die, old enough to vote against the war”.) In the 1970’s when ROAR (“Restore our Alienated Rights”) members threw rocks at elementary school kids bused into South Boston. (Yes – “Anti-ROAR” was there to take the hit so little kids would not.) Healthcare! Feeding the hungry! The whole social net…. you get the idea.
And now, there is the issue of guns. I don’t want to have to stand up. I don’t want to have convince people in Tredyffrin to stand up with me to pass Matt Holt’s resolution calling on State and Federal legislative bodies to enact sane gun reform: Something many other cities and towns across the US have done unanimously with little discussion.
But our children are literally begging us to keep them alive.
As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Thus, I have no option to stay silent.
“Standing up” does NOT mean posting articles on Facebook. It’s not retweeting. It is leaving home, and going to School Board meetings, and Supervisor and Council meetings. It is calling and writing LOCAL elected officials to ask them to pass resolutions and do everything they can to protect our children. OUR CHILDREN!
Remember, local officials are not like those in Harrisburg or Washington – these folks live in the same town as you. When they hold meetings, they are open to the public. They are accessible. They may even live on your block.
How to speak up:
- Tell them that you are a constituent, a tax-payer, and a voter.
- Tell them that it is morally bankrupt to ignore the public safety needs of our children.
- Tell them that you will vote for anyone who runs against them if they don’t take this seriously. (And then vote – there certainly are term limits, they’re just called “elections”.)
- Talk to your neighbors – bring them to the meetings. Ask them to call and write.
Remember: showing up is 99% of the battle.
Imagine if EVERY town and city in Pennsylvania passed resolutions calling on Harrisburg and Washington to enact sane gun reform. And made them understand that their jobs are at risk if they do not do so.
Imagine a country with no military grade assault rifles, and no bump stocks that can turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one. There have been four State Supreme Court cases on assault rifles. In each case, the courts ruled that the Second Amendment was never intended to allow civilians to have military grade weapons of war. That if “self-protection” was the goal, a hand gun could accomplish that. The Federal Supreme Court has never taken a case on this issue because there has been no difference of opinion between the courts.
Imagine background checks, waiting periods, mental health care…a denial of guns to people like domestic abusers and others who shouldn’t have guns.
Imagine being done with the gun issue.
I have been asked by many people how I am able to stand up at a microphone and speak clearly and confidently. I have been told that others cannot do it. It’s understood that public speaking is a fear of many people. But you know what you can do? When people like me do speak, come stand with us. Show your support by physically standing with those who speak. And when the speaker concludes, say “Me Too”. That way the powers that be will hear us speaking with one voice. Standing together in the face of the lunacy and cowardice that says guns are more important than the safety of our children.