With a Heavy Heart |

We've been quiet at Beyond Bullets as of late, but we can't remain quiet after Friday's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. We are stunned. We are horrified. We are saddened. We are ready for something to change.

Our thoughts are with every loved one who has been affected by this mass shooting. Our thoughts are with every beautiful child who left their families on Friday, leaving their parents and siblings and friends to mourn them forever. Our thoughts are, also, with everyone who is affected by gun violence in their neighborhoods every day.

Gun violence is a daily reality in our country. It's a reality that the majority of our citizens find unacceptable, and yet somehow we're forced to accept it. Somehow, we're asked to live with it, as a product of human nature or a consequence of doing business. We're asked to navigate a wasteland of excuses, of calculated dodges and regrets, by politicians and news anchors. We're expected to act against our better judgement, believing that "guns don't kill people, people kill people."

In China, the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting, a man stabbed 22 children. A horrible act of mass violence. All those children survived. If that man had had a semi-automatic weapon, as Adam Lanza did, those children would never have survived. So, yes, people will commit acts of violence, but easy access to guns make those acts of violence instantly more lethal.

The excuses made by the gun industry, the distractions created by the media, the polarizing dialogue that ensues whenever a shooting of this magnitude occurs - none of these things are acceptable anymore. It may take time and courage to change the way we access and use guns in our country, but there's simply no other option. The way we deal with guns in the United States has got to change.

Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed that packs in a lot of information about how we can change our gun culture. He cites great sources, and lists a few of the ways in which we could make real change on this issue.

Also, please visit our friends who work year-round on this issue. If you want to help their cause, sign their petitions. A gift of a holiday donation would also be a very useful way to help.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
The Brady Campaign
Crown Heights Community Mediation Center

There are many other ways to help, and we encourage to find your own way of helping this cause. Change will come.