Gun Violence: ‘I Gotta Do Something. Anything.’

by on November 1, 2018 · 8 comments

in San Diego

Photo By Annie Lane

By John White / San Diegans For Gun Violence Prevention

“I gotta do something. Anything.”

How many times have you told yourself that?

Did you tell yourself that after Sandy Hook, when gun violence took the lives of 20 children and six adults?

Or after Las Vegas, when a man with guns left 58 people dead and 851 injured?

Or after Parkland, when 14 high school students and three adults died because of guns in the hands of somebody who shouldn’t have had them?

Or after Tree of Life in Pittsburgh last week, when gun violence combined with anti-Semitism to kill 11 and injure six in a rampage described as one of the deadliest against the Jewish community in U.S. history?

When you’re finally able to put down the remote control and step away from social media for a minute, that sentence is still nagging you, isn’t it?

“Oh, man,” you tell yourself yet again. “I gotta do something. Anything.”

So, what can you do?

Almost 2,500 of us told ourselves we had to do something, so we did. We packed the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue to capacity last Monday evening for Standing Together Against Hate: A Community Vigil, put on by the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego. Maybe you were there with us.

In less than 24 hours, the ADL and the synagogue pulled together a huge vigil attended by the city’s political and religious leaders, with a strong showing by the San Diego Police Department. Hundreds and hundreds of citizens of multiple faiths came together as a social community to comfort one another, mourn the atrocity and feel safety in numbers.

Speaker after speaker invoked the memories and lives of the victims of last weekend’s massacre in Pittsburgh, hammering away at the message that hate has no place here. Some suggested ways of grieving without being totally consumed by such a heinously anti-Semitic act.

But a couple days later, many of us still woke up thinking, “I gotta do something.” Maybe you were one of us. Maybe you woke up wondering if that sentence will ever stop nagging you.

And maybe you finally figured out that nobody is going to do that something for you. You gotta do it yourself.
You can work to prevent gun violence in America.

The conversation around guns is so muddy that you probably don’t know where to start. Gun control? Firearm confiscation? Second Amendment? Assault weapons ban? Mental health? The NRA? Concealed carry?

How do you know what to work toward and what to align yourself with?

It’s simple: Work to prevent gun violence in America. Set your compass toward that single goal and most of the other issues will fall into place for you.

You’ll do it through education, by encouraging young mothers to politely ask whether there’s a gun in the neighbor’s house where their children play, and by urging adults to keep firearms locked up to end family fire.

You’ll do it through outreach, by staffing a booth or table so that the community knows that there really are people working to prevent gun violence, and that there really are ways to prevent it.

Local groups like San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention (SD4GVP) have a presence at several events every month. If you’re telling yourself, “I gotta do something,” then attend a few of their meetings, see how you feel and let them know you’re ready to work.

You can vote for people who will pass sensible gun laws.

The midterm election is upon us. That means it’s time for you to choose representatives who will pass laws that keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. And it’s time for you to choose judges who will uphold those laws.

What issues usually motivate you to vote? Poverty? Infrastructure? Immigration? Now you have a new one.

Vote to prevent gun violence in America.

You’ll do it through research, by finding out where candidates stand on sensible gun laws.

If you’re telling yourself, “I gotta do something,” then vote for candidates who understand that 89 deaths a day from gun violence is not your idea of progress.

The sooner you do something, the sooner that sentence will stop nagging you.

And the sooner we can end gun violence in America.

John White is a volunteer with San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention (SD4GVP), a non-partisan organization aimed at reducing the number of gun deaths and injuries in San Diego County.

This was also posted at San Diego Free Press

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rufus November 3, 2018 at 5:42 am

The term “gun violence” is a misnomer and detracts from the real issue.

Guns don’t create or cause violence. Guns are an inanimate object. They don’t jump up and shoot people.

Human beings cause violence against themselves and each other using knives, vehicles, hammers, and yes, guns. Until we hold violent people accountable, the carnage will continue.

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Geoff Page November 5, 2018 at 10:50 am

Spoken like a true NRA supporter. No, focus on guns. There are far too many and they are too easy to obtain. There will always be violent people in this world but what say we make it a little harder for them to do their violence by removing guns from their reach. That’s a start somewhere.

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Vern November 5, 2018 at 12:48 pm

An empty magazine is an inanimate object. For that matter a bullet, still in it’s retail box, is an inanimate object. A loaded magazine, may be an inanimate object. Perhaps a cleared (empty) firearm is an inanimate object.
Once a firearm is loaded, it’s is no longer an inanimate object. Guns don’t load themselves nor do they point themselves arbitrarily at targets.
Not all violent gun deaths are committed by violent people. Accidents happens. Mistakes happen.
Kids may get a hold of a loaded gun and make a terrible, and even, ultimately, innocent mistake. Drunks get a hold of guns and sometimes make drunken mistakes. Distressed people sometimes get a hold of guns and sometimes make horrible mistakes.
No guns, no gun deaths. Simple.

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triggerfinger November 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm

An empty car is an inanimate object.
Once a car is driven, it’s is no longer an inanimate object. Cars don’t drive themselves nor do they point themselves arbitrarily at targets.
Not all violent car deaths are committed by violent people. Accidents happens. Mistakes happen.
Kids may get a hold of a car and make a terrible, and even, ultimately, innocent mistake. Drunks get a hold of cars and sometimes make drunken mistakes. Distressed people sometimes get a hold of cars and sometimes make horrible mistakes.
No cars, no car deaths. Simple.

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Vern November 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm

A parked wrecking ball is an inanimate object.
Once a wrecking ball is swung, it’s is no longer an inanimate object. Wrecking balls don’t swing themselves nor do they swing themselves arbitrarily at targets.
Not all violent wrecking ball deaths are committed by violent people. Accidents happens. Mistakes happen.
Kids may get a hold of a wrecking and make a terrible, and even, ultimately, innocent mistake. Drunks get a hold of wrecking ball and sometimes make drunken mistakes. Distressed people sometimes get a hold of wrecking balls and sometimes make horrible mistakes.
No wrecking balls, no wrecking ball deaths. Simple.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie November 5, 2018 at 11:47 am

This just in, Rufus: An 11-year-old boy shot and killed his grandmother before turning the gun on himself Saturday, the boy’s grandfather told police in Arizona. https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/us/arizona-boy-11-grandmother-shot/index.html

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triggerfinger November 5, 2018 at 3:58 pm

We could start with the media not glorifying every mass murderer. The attention is a big motivator for these killers. They want to make waves and get the highest score. The media executives should all commit to stop plastering their faces everywhere and making them household names.

Reporting on mass shootings in general, what purpose does it really serve other than feeding our need for morbid entertainment? I swear it seems like this is is all there is to it, when in reality it’s a tiny fraction of shooting deaths.

If people are serious about gun and mental health legislation, it shouldn’t be based on emotions and knee jerk reactions and media taint.

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Geoff Page November 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

Oh, I gotta disagree, triggerfinger. Interesting pseudonym for this topic. The media does glorify these stories but in these cases I say got for it loudly and with full color pictures. How else to change the minds of gun nuts, reasoning clearly does not work. I want all of the coverage possible so even people set in their ways have their foundations shaken. To not even want controls on AR rifles after what happened at Sandy Hook? Say it loud and say it often.

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