OP-ED

12.15.12

Rise Up, Mothers. It’s Time to End Gun Violence

Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee says it’s time to stand up and demand that we protect the children of the world from a culture of violence.

I read with dismay and immense pain in my heart and the pit of my stomach the horrific shooting and killing of 20 kids and 6 adults in Newtown, Conn.

As a mother I can't begin to imagine the pain the parents of those children are going through. Young people who should have been future doctors, lawyers, peace builders, and even teachers are all gone too soon. Many questions will be asked, many fingers will be pointed at different sources.

Many questions come to my mind as I sit in my bedroom watching CNN and reading through every article on the subject at almost 3 a.m. in Africa. It's a place also where many mothers have lost their kids to larger scale gun violence, most recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where rebels took over Goma and Juba, and South Sudan, where protesters, predominantly students, protested land ownership.

Do we need all these guns to keep us safe?
Do we need to constantly stockpile weapons to show strength?
Haven't we learned that "no instrument of death can keep us safe?”
When will we learn that the proliferation of guns in any community is setting that community up for future disaster?

As America and the world mourn the death of these children and children in parts of the world that have died in gun-related violence I believe that now more than ever is the time for mothers to resist the culture of violence.

I believe it is upon the mothers of America now to raise their voices and oppose the gun culture. It is time for them to call on their leaders to pass stronger laws limiting access to guns. It is time for mothers of America to ensure that these kids death will began a new revolution opposing the "Crazy Gun” culture.

My sincere and heartfelt sympathy goes out to you all and my prayers are with you.