I’m sure it sounds pretty lame to say compared to some shit like “Ban all AR-15’s!”

I’m sure a call to action like “Write your Congressman! Write to your House Representative! Write to your Senators!” is something that falls pretty flat and doesn’t move people to action like some provocative signage at protests. But the loudest person in the room isn’t necessarily the smartest person in the room.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s not enough to just go out and protest and rant on social media. You have to actually get out and vote and get other people to vote too. On top of that, write to your Congress people. Tell them how you think policies should change to make our country a better place.

This is me doing my part, using what platform I have to ask you to vote. Register to vote, request an absentee ballot in the mail, whatever you have to do, please do it. I’m going to be realistic and say I’m only talking to those who are roughly in my area of the political spectrum, I’m sorry that I don’t think it’s worth my time to convince anyone on the other side of the spectrum but you’re welcome to read what I have to say. It’s a sad fact that Republican politicians know they always have to cheat in order to win any election. They can only win by perpetuating a system that supports minority rule through bullshit like gerrymandering and voter suppression.

There are many issues I can talk about, like Ukraine, inflation, our public health and so on. But at the moment, perhaps thanks to the media, I’m truly sick and tired of the gun violence in America. I’ve always been, and I’m outraged that it’s been nearly 10 years since the Sandy Hook shooting, and things haven’t gotten better with our gun violence problem. This is intolerable. This is preventable. The sole purpose of guns is to kill people as quickly as possible, and our laws are respecting gun lobbyists and companies way more than basic human life, even those of children. Children in their schools. How can we allow this to continue? Well, it looks like the majority of Americans agree we should have universal background checks and other common sense gun laws in place. Then why aren’t these laws in place?

Members of Congress have been bought off by gun lobbyists like the NRA. Senators like Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell. Ugh, and Mitt Romney too… I can’t fucking believe I went from disliking him in 2008, to thinking “hmm he’s not so bad” when he denounced Trump during his presidency, then finding out he’s getting paid probably the most out of all the Senators by the NRA.

If you’re watching the news, getting shocked and horrified by all the shootings America goes through on a daily basis, reading about it on social media or even complaining about it, but you’re not voting, then you’re not doing all you can to actually solve the problem. The problem is our government brings new bills to vote in the House or Senate floor and then fucking Republicans keep voting against laws that would benefit the majority of people who are asking for the passage of these bills, like Covid relief funds or even on the fucking baby formula shortage. Pro-life my ass, seriously.

If a majority of Americans want certain policies to be passed, like universal healthcare or universal background checks in gun purchases, then this should be reflected in our laws. It’s not a democracy if just a few people can just cancel out the power of the majority. Part of a functional democracy is your participation. If you don’t participate, then others who don’t represent your interests will gladly support policies that will inconvenience you and/or the more vulnerable. I’m sure this happens all the time through our apathy.

David Hogg articulated something pretty well. This whole self-defeatism with voting or enacting gun laws is such counter-productive thinking. He mentions how we put laws and rules in place to limit cigarette smoking, for example. There are more no-smoking areas, there are warnings on labels, we get properly educated about the risks of smoking. We don’t completely get rid of our smoking problem immediately, but over time it’s been greatly reduced.

With our gun violence problem, of course we’re not going to solve it overnight. These kinds of things take time after policies get put in place and then they need to get enforced. In my opinion, guns should just not be a thing for civilians at all. But realistically, I can see how trying to get rid of 400,000,000+ guns in our country is pretty unrealistic. Fine. Then at least have laws in place that come from our respect for basic human life. No kid in school should have to live in fear of getting shot by some fucking unstable maniac who’s having a bad day. If there’s something I could do about that, well here I am doing it. I’m telling you to vote in the primaries and vote in our midterms this year, but also keep voting whenever there’s an election, because even if we get certain laws passed, it takes effort for them to stay in place. Progress is not linear. With the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, it was in place for a decade but expired during the Bush administration. It may not have reduced the overall gun violence in the US, but it did reduce the number of deaths in mass shootings.

Why can’t we at least have that? Are we really gonna sit here and say “well, if it won’t solve the whole problem immediately and completely then I’m not gonna bother to vote,” well then how common is it for shit like this to change overnight? Were all black slaves suddenly free and able to live as well as white people in America after Abe Lincoln finished his Emancipation Proclamation? Did suffragettes wait for men to all agree on women’s rights before fighting for and demanding their right to vote? If you don’t have a better idea on how to make effective change for the better in our world, then this is what we’ve got. I’m pretty sure it’s always been tough to make changes through our government, I’m sure it’s hard to wrap your mind around this idea that your own actions would matter in a system that is this corrupt. But when has our government ever been not corrupt? During the founding of the US, was it truly a representative government then? Did our founding fathers ever think that women should vote? Only white men who owned land had the right to vote in the earliest days of our country. Definitely not slaves, definitely not women. Our laws only progressed by the people demanding change over time, despite the challenges. It’s not easy, but we should all think about what we gain for putting up a fight to make our country a better place to be.

I would hope that children getting pulverized by bullets in their schools would move you to get out and vote. We need to remove politicians who are so corrupt that they would gaslight us by saying we need more guns, (or in the case of Ted Cruz, that open back doors are the problem), that more armed security is what we need at schools. But at Uvalde, cops were right outside the school and waited for an hour while the shooter was inside the school with a classroom of kids. They cuffed and pepper-sprayed parents who were in distress about their kids in the school. I really can’t fucking believe this bullshit. I really can’t. The cops didn’t want to get shot either. Well fuck, if the “good guys with the guns” won’t run in to save our kids, what good are they? More guns obviously won’t solve the problem. Look, America. If you insist on keeping your guns, fine. This is something I begrudgingly concede, but at least be fucking responsible about it. If Switzerland can do it, so can we. Have some fucking respect for basic human life. People attending church, shopping for groceries, attending a concert, children learning in their schools… none of them fucking deserve to get slaughtered by someone who was so easily permitted by our laws to acquire the means to do so.

I’ll briefly mention that the other issue I’ve been recently thinking about is our members of the LGBTQ community. I keep going through this mental loop: “How can people be so hateful?” I just can’t believe the transphobia in our country. I can’t believe people give in so hard to their own ignorance and just eat up all the hateful rhetoric.

I feel horrible about anyone who’s in the closet and feels so totally trapped, anyone who feels or truly isn’t free to be themselves, especially children.

You know that children can’t vote, right? They don’t really have a voice like we adults do, and their lives are put more at risk by the NRA and the politicians they’ve paid off. Children are among our most vulnerable members of society. I’m certain children would like to not get murdered in their own schools, and I’m sure they’d like our laws to protect them from being discriminated against because of their gender expression or sexual orientation. Laws affect children too, but they can’t legally decide who gets put into office. I’m truly heartbroken that I cannot look a child in the eyes and say “You’re absolutely safe in school,” because they have to go through fucking shooter drills here in America, “the greatest country in the world.” I want to be able to look at any kid and honestly say that I’ve done all I could to keep them safe in their communities. I’m sorry I can’t jump in front of every bullet that’s flying towards an innocent person.

What I can do is vote for politicians who actually give a shit, and I’ll keep demanding that they pass laws to protect the most vulnerable. I’m imploring you to do the same.