Guns in America

Congress, Shove Your “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Do I sound angry? It’s only because I am. You should be too, because our Congress has no shame.

This is for the mom’s who have lost their children to gunfire meant for war. My heart is with them this Mother’s Day.

Just as our little ones screamed for us to save them, gun control screams for its enactment. 

When the innocent children of Sandy Hook endured a lesson of how bullets burst their tiny bodies I thought, like most of you, this is the turning point—but of course it was not.

I live in a fun little city by the sea, Long Beach, NY. But just like you guys in big cities and their suburbs, and the tiny towns across America, we know we are not safe—and we are sick of it.

Do you feel that sickness every time you see or read the news about our children being gunned down? I do. 

Photo Kyu Cho/Facebook

Every piece of good news on TV can’t salve my mind to that bludgeoning of my brain. Not news of the Webb telescope finding new galaxies, not fun fairs on our Long Beach boardwalk, nor puppies and kittens rescued nearby can put an ease to those mental images.

Most of you out there feel the same way. But we all put up with hearing it, seeing it, again and again, with more parsing of reasons: Was it racial? political? mental? personal? too many guns?

Americans are 4 percent of the world’s population but own 40 percent of the world’s guns. The rate of gun ownership in Ireland is 7 per 100 residents, the US, 121 per 100:

We protest, we write, (I’ve written essays before) we investigate—we pray. Yet the guns boom and the blood flows, along with screams and tears. 

And Congress—you do nothing.

I’m a silver lining guy says my family who call me Mr. Sunshine. I try to find something in a bad event that elicits resilience, something that can be a base of renewal, a cause for change. I did so when our ten-year-old Long Beach Little Leaguer, Lazar LaPenna recently died at first base: I said, he’ll save others through bringing a focus to AEDs at ball fields.

Yes, I thought Sandy Hook might serve such a purpose. But it has not.

We still endure that heinous story of assault rifle fire into the Sandy Hook school, of riddled classrooms and tiny bodies with their back packs nearby.

We can only imagine the bloodied barrettes, the dresses, the shoes never to be untied by the tiny fingers that fastened them. The twenty lunch boxes of uneaten lunches and unread notes. Crime scene investigators could not bear to read them. And we who read about it dare not imagine the actual blasted bodies at Sandy Hook:

Women on phone at Sandy Hook awaits news. (Photo, Jessica Hill AP)

This recent slaughter at Allen TX included more of our most innocent. A civilian first responder, never having been in such a role described it: “The first girl I walked up to was crouched down covering her head in the bushes so I felt for a pulse, pulled her head to the side and she had no face.” (CBS News TX)

Congress, you have our children hiding in closets, mothers pulling kids into mall bathrooms, or afraid to even hear the local news on TV, “Yet another mass shooting…”

Hiding in a bathroom at Allen TX, ( CBS news, Photo by shopper Raquel Lee)

Just as our little ones screamed for us to save them, gun control screams for its enactment. 

But powerful lobbies, lobbyists who have children of their own thwart this, time after time. They do so by targeting our representatives with career-ending action if they do not hold the line against meaningful gun control.

A 2023 report in “The Hill,” states that 63 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s laws and policies on firearms, 34 percent of those polled said the opposite:

If that’s the case we can stop this killing of our kids!

Of course we need to address America’s mental health problem, a huge task. But until we do that, do we need to have 466 million guns in that mix of mentally healthy and unhealthy Americans—without meaningful gun control? Doing so evinces a collective mental illness.

Yet another memorial, this time Allen TX

May I suggest a similar NRA strategy: 

I know we all have our priorities, birth control, jobs, social safety nets, racial and income equality, unions, pork-barrel funding from Washington. You can make your own lists.

We need to make gun control our top priority and let all else be for another day.

We need to send a message to our representatives: I might like much of what you do but, If you don’t vote for meaningful gun control, to me, your fingers are on the triggers that slay our children—and your career is over.

Maybe if we learn from these lobbyists and hold our Representatives and our Senators responsible, we might see fewer children die—and their mothers not cry.

Grieving parents, Sandy Hook. (Photo Andres Latif, Reuters)

Sandy Hook Promise:

See also, American Pie:

America, It’s Intervention Time:

Be well,


8 replies »

  1. Florence, thank you fir your comprehensive comment. You hit it right on the head. “Thoughts and prayers don’t stop a bullet.”

    No more BS from DC!


  2. The NRA donates huge amounts of money to politicians. Most are Republicans who insist it’s a mental health problem. Mental health issues exist universally, but they don’t have the carnage the United States has because they don’t allow everyone to purchase guns without exceptions. The AR15 should only be in the hands of the military. We as a population are becoming numb to all the shootings because of the frequency happening. We must vote all politicians out of office who don’t support restrictions to gun purchases. Prayers will not stop a bullet.


  3. Lee I totally agree with you! We must write/ contact our Congress and Senate demanding meaningful gun control. We must let them know that they must act swiftly by putting meaningful gun control laws in to effect at the top of their list. This is an especially needed log Lee! Thank you!


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