Unrelated to yesterday’s school shooting in Texas yesterday, I was talking to a friend the other day about how parenting has added this really critical layer of motivation to my life. Things like being vulnerable even (especially) when it’s scary, standing up for things I believe in, and taking action to enact change are now things I feel compelled to do not just because I believe they’re the right things – but because I want my children to see me do these things. I believe these are things that help us become most connected – more seen and known by ourselves and by others – and they also allow us to help each other.
And human connection – both through relationships and through work to make this world a better, healthier, safer place for each other – is at the heart of what we’re meant to do here on earth, as far as I know.
That conversation was interestingly timed, since not long afterward I learned of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas – the 27th school shooting in our nation in 2022 alone – and my heart sank. I felt so much sadness for the families who experienced an unthinkable loss yesterday. I also felt so much disbelief that this is STILL happening at such a consistent rate in our country.
I was in 8th grade when the Columbine shooting happened, and I remember how much it shook us all. Unsafe from gun violence IN OUR SCHOOLS? In 1999, that was unthinkable. Now we routinely lock school doors, often have security measures in place, and make sure our children know to hide and be silent to try to stay safe if a shooter were to enter the building.
It’s been incredibly hard to hear about shooting after shooting after shooting – in our schools and our movie theaters and our grocery stores and other places where we should all feel safe and protected – but I have to admit I haven’t taken action.
I’m taking action now because things need to change. Enough is enough. I’m taking action now because I need this country to be a safer place for my children and for yours. (I take to heart the expression “no such thing as other people’s children.”) I’m taking action now because I want my children to see me doing so – and to know they can be a voice for change when it comes to things they believe in as well.
I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., with about 200 other Beautycounter consultants, and we met with members of Congress to encourage them to increase regulation in the personal care industry, to make the products we use on our bodies (and our kids’ bodies) daily much safer than they currently are. A huge takeaway from me as a result of those meetings was how much our emails, calls, and texts MATTER to our leaders. They told us how much they use constituent input (that’s us!!) to guide how they prioritize different issues and support of pieces of legislation. I know it can feel so simple and often so small to send a text or an email from the comfort of your home, but let me assure you: those “votes” are being captured on the other side, and they matter.
And the most critical thing? When LOTS of us take these SMALL actions, the end result can be HUGE.
Ready to do something, too? Here are some easy ways to make your voice heard. The more of us who do these kinds of things, the stronger the impact will be. (Oh, and a reminder: Your kiddos are watching. And listening. So share what you’re doing with them, too, in a way that’s age appropriate. There are some tips on what age appropriate conversations around gun violence look like here in case that’s helpful.)
Make a Donation:
Everytown for Gun Safety is a wonderful organization to choose for this (they’re the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country). DONATE HERE
Moms Demand Action is where I chose to send my donation. They’re part of Everytown and, as the name suggests, were founded by a mom (in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy) as a way to rally families and community members to help reduce gun-related violence. DONATE HERE
Sandy Hook Promise is an organization working to protect children by educating on gun safety reforms and educating schools and communities about the signs of gun violence. DONATE HERE
Send a Text:
Text ACT to 644-33 to join Everytown and Moms Demand Action as they demand lawmakers stand up to the gun lobby.
Call a Senator:
You can find the phone numbers for yours here! If you’re in North Carolina like I am, here are our Senators’ numbers. (They’re both Republican, making it extra important for those of us in our state to speak out!):
Richard Burr: (202) 224-3154
Thom Tillis: (202) 224-6342
And if you’re like me and aren’t sure what to say, here’s an amazing script Jamie Golden shared on her Instagram stories earlier:
“Hello, my name is _______. I’m a constituent in [STATE NAME], and my ZIP code is _____. I don’t need a response to this call. I’m concerned about the lack of a senate vote on The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 8 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 1446. I strongly encourage Senator [SENATOR NAME] to please support a vote and passage of these two acts. Thank you!”
If you know your Senator(s) support these acts already, you can modify your script to let them know you also agree with these acts and are grateful for their support.
(Want to learn more about those two acts, and about what’s holding up gun legislation in Congress right now? This is a helpful overview!)
Email a Senator:
You can do this really easily through the Everytown website, actually! They have an updated message in response to yesterday’s shooting in Uvalde and you just input your name and address information and your email will go to your Senators. Fill out the form HERE!
If you’d prefer to draft your own email and add some personal elements to it, you can use this site to contact your Senators directly.
Here’s my ask:
Will you commit to completing at least ONE of these tasks tonight before you go to bed? Maybe you’ll opt to complete two, three, or even all four. They’re all SO doable, and the more of us who take the time to do them, the bigger the outcome can be. Let’s work together to create change — right now — in the wake of this tragedy, in hopes that we can start to make our nation and our children safer. They deserve it, and together we can make it happen.