Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate Mothers Against Drunk Driving and MomsRising. I have some great friends who work at MomsRising. I even signed their immigration reform petition tonight. But I have grown tired of feeling like I need to pull out my mom card in an effort to be taken seriously for voicing an opinion.
But a funny thing happened at the Congressional hearings on gun violence. A sweet looking woman in a navy suit sat down and told Senator Grassley that women need access to “scary-looking guns” in order to have the courage to defend herself from a home invasion involving 3-4 people. Oh and that AR-15’s are essential to women being able to defend themselves because they’re light and easy to hold.
OK, we’re going to play that game, are we? Hang on while I go grab my mom card…
But I also found these real life facts about women and gun violence from the Brady Campaign:
- Women are more likely to be shot by an intimate partner than killed by a stranger.
- Because of high household gun ownership, women in the United States are at higher risk of homicide victimization than are women in any other high-income country.
- 16 in every 1,000 U.S. women have been threatened with a gun
And according to the latest poll, more women want stricter gun laws than men – “Nationwide, 57 percent of women said gun laws should be stricter, while 44 percent of men expressed the same view…”
Christine Fenno did not wait until she saw the Senate hearings. She’s an organizer for the Chicago chapter of One Million Moms for Gun Control. When I asked her why she took this role on she said, “why not moms? All the moms I know play a crucial role in steering our households, getting things done. And we should have a say in issues that affect our children as much as the gun violence crisis does. Like most parents, I’m aware that my kids are learning, from watching us be adults, how the world works. I want them to see me being outspoken about what’s important, and engaging with my community. They don’t know the details of guns, and shooting tragedies, they’re too young. But they see me caring about making a difference. I joined One Million Moms For Gun Control because the goals are attainable milestones that will save lives, and because, frankly, it’s invigorating to do something that can positively affect a lot more kids than just my own.”
I was afraid that the issue of reducing gun violence would quietly fade from our collective memories just like the other mass shootings and end up being part of our every day life as shootings in Chicago have become. But I think, no I pray to all the gods, that we have turned a corner.
The murder of Hadiya Pendleton has shocked the nation and she was the lone victim on the Southside of Chicago. Is it because she peformed in the Inaugural parade? Perhaps. Because she died here in Chicago, hometown of President Obama? Eh, she’s certainly not the first gun murder of the year. I do not know, nor do I honestly care why this beautiful young woman who was stolen from the world (yes, we lost her, not just her family) has captivated our country. It is refreshing to see us outraged over a death that seems to happen on a daily basis in our city. Gun violence is currently the big issue in the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.
I’m not sure that advocating for reducing gun violence as a mom is the way to win this debate, but if the NRA is going to bring in women to paint a false picture that women and/or moms want guns to protect themselves, I sure as hell am going to become play any card I can in order to reduce gun violence.