This Mom Demands Action
by Shannon Aronin on April 16th, 2018

​After marching for our lives, I like many was left wondering what do we do next? Last week I attended a meeting for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and while I brought my whole identity, in groups of moms in general I always have my special needs parenting hat on. Moms Demand Action is part of the gun violence prevention movement. The organization, which is part of the larger Everytown for Gun Safety, supports both the second amendment AND common sense gun laws. Everytown for Gun Safety is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly 4 million supporters. Everytown and Moms Demand Action work to keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories, including felons, domestic abusers, and people with dangerous mental illnesses. 

It was a first ever brand new chapter meeting and a bunch of my friends were going. That’s not why I went. Reducing gun violence today has become my issue, one I'm actually willing to devote some volunteer hours towards. I never thought it would be, but as @rheabutcher said on Twitter after Emma Gonzalez' We Call BS speech, I’m joining whatever political party those kids down in Florida just started. I am so inspired by today’s youth. But inspiration, like friendship, isn’t what made me go to the meeting.

I am a victim of gun violence, a fact I didn’t really consider until the Moms Demand Action sign in sheet asked if I was. It was 15 years ago, I’ve worked through it in therapy. I also have a uniquely empowering story whereby I got to help catch and sentence (I argued for a reduced sentence!) my mugger and even got an apology. No one gets that. My story is dripping with so much privilege I honestly hadn’t thought about it counting. So that’s still not why I went to the meeting last night.

I went to the Moms Demand Action meeting last night because of lock down drills, something so common most of our kids are used to them by now. I’m not, not at all. I get that this is important to practice but we are traumatizing an entire generation en masse.

And I have a problem. My little boy is deeply non-compliant. I remember before I had a child I would have said I want an independent thinker, not a compliant child. But you don’t realize the dozens of times a day we actually have to comply with things as an adult. Figuring out how not to squash his curiosity and individuality while teaching him to follow basic instructions is no small feat.

Unfortunately, he recently messed up during a fire drill by playing air guitar instead of listening. Now we run through safety protocols for fire, earthquake, and lockdown drills at home too. We have explicitly explained that a lockdown is an active shooter drill. We’ve begged him to be quiet. But what if, as is somewhat likely, he Just. Can’t. Shut. Up.? Will he be the kid who gets his whole class slaughtered? 

So that’s why I've joined Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I hope you’ll join me at the next meeting in the San Gabriel Valley if you are local, or that you get involved in your local communities. Enough is enough; this is too important to sit on the sidelines.

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with gun sense, Special Needs


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