Waking up on a Monday to yet another massacre is crazy making. I don't even let news like this reach my inner thoughts anymore. I feel utterly hopeless and knowing that nothing was done about gun violence after Sandy Hook, why shouldn't there be more and more gun deaths?
I want to shrug, hide, and pretend this will go away, we'll be distracted by something else until the next time.
But there are things we can do, today, that will make a difference. As one Tweeter said this morning, Self-care is important -- if you're feeling utter despair, that means you're human, and you are allowed to take a break from social media.
Do this instead:
1. Donate to an anti-gun violence organization. This list was published after the shooting in Miami, to which I would add Moms Demand Action and Everytown:
2. Act locally, and elevate gun violence to a major campaign issue in your state.
I am a strong believer in letters to the editor, because politicians actually read those. And writing that your vote will depend on a candidate's stand on gun violence will inspire others to prioritize that issue.
Check Facebook (I know, I know, but it's the source) for local meet-ups of Moms Demand Action and other like-minded groups. The more people who attend vigils and make noise, the more media attention you get, and the more important the issue of gun violence becomes in local campaigns. Don't forget that most gun legislation happens at the state and local level.
And check Open Secrets to see if your representative took bribes from the NRA, and, um, mention that in your letter. Name check them and the amount of the donations they accepted at every opportunity.
3. Give blood. No, really. Do it.
The most important political activity I do on a regular basis is donating blood every 56 days. There is no need to fear -- you are surrounded by experienced trained nurses, the needle feels like a hair being plucked, and you don't have to look at your arm while they're doing it. You get free cookies and juice afterwards. Most communities have a center where you can schedule an appointment.
Unless you are on blood thinning medication, have cancer, or are on an antibiotic treatment, chances are you are eligible. Donating blood literally saves lives.