Barely more than an hour after our nation took a moment of silence this morning to reflect on the tragic events that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last week, the National Rifle Association ended their organization’s own silence by telling us that the mindless violence we saw is simply now a part of life. They said that it was Hollywood's fault that incidents like these happen and that the only way we can hope to keep our children safe as a result is to keep them surrounded by more and more guns.
As a Mom who holds the safety and happiness of my two girls above all else, I have only one response to NRA President Wayne LaPierre: How dare you?
How dare you tell me, and millions of other Moms, that the only way we can keep our kids safe is to surround them with more instruments of violence?
How dare you tell our nation that Congress is to blame for not keeping a database of the mentally-ill when your organization's lobbying efforts have been responsible for blocking all meaningful gun control measures in recent years?
And how dare you tell our kids that the only way we know how to keep them safe is to hope someone shoots first before someone else shoots them?
We, as a people, are better than that.
We are a nation that has persevered through tragedies and triumphs alike by being brave, not by being afraid as Mr. LaPierre wants us to be. His solution to violence is to ensure more violence, his own perceived right kind of violence, but all Mr. LaPierre's solution would accomplish in ensuring our children grow up believing there is no hope to stop the violence.
As a Mom, the NRA’s comments offend me. As a leader in Michigan’s Capitol, they anger me.
What Mr. LaPierre doesn’t want to acknowledge is that there are no quick or easy solutions to the violence we see in our schools and on our streets, but it is our job as leaders to challenge ourselves to find them and he simply does not want to be a part of that effort. Instead, he wants to pretend that his organization has nothing to do with the problem at hand, but would be happy to sell us the miracle cure for the right price.