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Please Light a Candle Today

December 4, 2015

CandleWe’ve all heard the saying: “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

In my opinion, there is no better time to practice that philosophy than TODAY. People of good will around the world are tired of hearing about today’s mass shooting or today’s act of terrorism, whether foreign or domestic.

Granted, we cannot stop all this carnage directly…but WE CAN HELP INDIRECTLY by contacting our decision-makers in Washington, D.C. Pressure works. Movements work. But we must be willing to do more than pray and be sad for the state of our country and our world.

Here is my proposal: Every time there is a another mass shooting, let’s contact our United States Representative and Senators. Call the U.S. Capitol Building and ask to leave a voice message for each of them. The number is (202) 224-3121 or (866) 220-0044.

Or send an e-mail. Here’s a link to find the e-mail of your U.S. Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ You can quickly find the link to e-mail your U.S. Senator by following this formula: www.(Last name of Senator without parentheses).senate.gov. So in Michigan, you can go to http://www.stabenow.senate.gov or http://www.peters.senate.gov.

There are some who may try to convince us that all this will do no good. They may say it won’t work to change laws and create sensible rules for responsible gun ownership. But I disagree. The proof is in the numbers. After all, why do well-heeled lobbying groups spend millions of dollars each year to convince our legislators not to pass sensible measures? Because sensible measures do make a difference! No one law will be the answer…but when we see that a sensible step should be taken, let’s pressure our legislators to take that step. That is what this post is all about.

We may never know who was stopped from committing a mass shooting because of sensible measures. Usually, that doesn’t make the news. All we may see is that, the next time there’s a mass shooting, the weapons lobbyists will say: “See? Those gun measures didn’t work!” They will say that so that we feel any action we take would be useless. They want to paralyze us from acting as citizens and expressing our desire to slow down this carnage. But each day that a mass shooting doesn’t occur, we will know that sensible measures do make a difference. And if there is another mass shooting, let’s take more action.

So this is what I plan to do: Every time I start to see the sad posts on Facebook about the latest mass shooting, I will repost this link…with a reminder to get on our feet and take some action. Take two minutes to call your two Senators and your Representative. That’s six minutes of your time for useful action…six minutes to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

It is right to feel our grief and frustration and anger over this. It is NOT normal to have a mass shooting every day in this country. We should NOT grow inured to this violence. Instead, let us turn our outrage into constructive action.

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