Guest Op-Ed: A mom speaks out on gun control


A new school year has just begun.

For moms across the country, like me, that means shaking off the carefree, “that’s good enough” practices of summer and getting back to business.

Even as our kids still frolicked in the sprinkler, or raced around in that last firefly-lit game of tag, moms had begun the work that needed to be done before that first bell rings.  Get fresh pencils, blank notebooks, a special outfit and maybe even a brand new headband or baseball cap.  Stock the fridge with healthy breakfast, pack the lunch, and make sure the kids are signed up for the extracurriculars that will inspire, enrich and engage them. Decide if you’re prepping for that important test this year. Prepare your child for a new teacher, maybe a new school, maybe being the new kid in class.

But Congress, in contrast, has done nothing. Nothing to ensure that our children are safer in their schools and parks. Nothing to prevent another tragedy like Newtown from happening. Nothing to prevent another girl like Hadiya Pendleton from being taken from her loving family. Nothing to prevent the gun deaths of almost eight children every day in this nation.

As moms like me prepared to send their kids off in their crisp new outfits, we ask the members of Congress, are we also sending them out wearing targets on their backs?

Is it acceptable that an assault rifle and ungodly amounts of ammunition can STILL be purchased without a background check, brought into a school (as it was just a week ago in Georgia) or a park, and used to threaten–or even take–innocent lives?

Are the images of those 20 children killed in Sandy Hook Elementary not fresh in your minds? Do you not remember Hadiya’s radiant smile? Can you not visualize the innocent faces of those eight per day?

As moms, we can. We see them every time we look at our own children.

As a mom, and a member of Moms Demand Action, I do today what mothers have done every school day since time immemorial. I call on Congress and say, “Stop messing around and do your homework!” Swiftly vote on and pass HR 1565, the King-Thompson Bill.

This bill will close the background check loophole and help to ensure that what happened in grammar schools in Newtown and Decatur doesn’t happen to another school, another class, another child. Ever again.

This bill is just plain common sense.

So buckle down, Congress! Do your work! It is too important to ignore! Too many lives are at stake for you to fail.

Kristin Pettit is advocacy chair of the NYC area chapter of Moms Demand Action.


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