Sunday, December 23, 2012

One Million Moms, or How the Moo Cow Got Her Groove Back

Pardon my radio silence this past week; it's been a tough one. The Sandy Hook shootings seem to have temporarily beaten the funny out of me.

I've spent the better part of the last ten days crying my eyes out. A social worker friend implored me to stop retraumatizing myself by watching and reading. But I couldn't avert my eyes. Not this time.

In college, I did some organizing for women's issues, including Take Back the Night marches and a protest against Playboy Magazine when they came to campus for the "Women of the Ivy League" edition.

Since then, life has intervened, as it often insidiously does. Activism took a back seat to my busy, busy world, and Rayne and I have been content to donate generously to causes we care about. It's always seemed an easy way out; then again, money often makes the world go 'round.

Sandy Hook, however, was different. I truly lost whatever claim to cool I'd developed in the 15 intervening years since college. I went on a Facebook and Twitter rampage. I signed every petition I could get my hands on. I "liked" every page having anything to do with gun control. I donated money. I blogged about it here and here. I read, I cried, I read some more. Still, it wasn't enough.

When I got the email from the Brooklyn chapter of One Million Moms for Gun Control about volunteering at the "Hands Across the Brooklyn Bridge" march being planned by New York State Senator Eric Adams, I knew it was time to get my activist back on.

Tonight, we handed out One Million Mom flyers and joined the dozens who marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and back.
Photo credit: Jaime Pessin
The evening was cold but clear; the winter sun setting over the Statue of Liberty painted the sky orange and pink.

It felt good -- no, amazing -- to do something. And I plan to do more.

Fury arises from the ashes of tragic events, but most often, the momentum quickly dies. That's what the NRA is counting on. This time, challenge yourself to take your outrage one step further than you normally do, whatever that means for you. 
  • Participate in the #OneName campaign, prompted by Julya Billhymer's beautiful post, "Remembering Sandy Hook: His Name Is Noah Pozner." Does anyone remember any of the Columbine victims' names? Me neither. But the names of the shooters live in infamy. Ms. Billhymer challenges us to remember, instead, one victim's name.
  • Volunteer your time or your expertise to grassroots organizations like One Million Moms.

Do something. I promise: it feels better than sitting helplessly in front of your computer screen crying.

I had to ditch my terrible commenting system, but I didn't want to lose the comments, so here they are: