Five years ago Trayvon Martin was shot. On Sunday, gunshots were fired in Burlington and a stray bullet entered an apartment with a sleeping child. Recently in Kansas, two Indian-American engineers, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, were enjoying a drink after work at a bar when someone at the bar started heckling them, yelling "Get out of my country." and then later shot them both, wounding Alok and killing Srinivas. The Washington Post recounts Srinivas's wife's statements two days after he was murdered...
“He wanted to succeed so much in this industry, and do so much for this country —” She had to pause. “I’m sorry,” she said. “He did not deserve a death like this.”
Before the shooting, the couple had planned out long lives in Kansas. They bought a house, and they were trying to have their first child. This, despite growing concerns about their chosen country.
“We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening,” she said. “I was always concerned: Are we doing the right thing, staying in the United States of America?”
In Vermont, our voices matter to our lawmakers. And if we can build a broad enough movement and be fearless enough to make our voices heard, we can be a state that stands up for what is right. In 2015, we proved that grassroots voices can change the conversation when we got gun violence prevention legislation passed without the gun lobby's stamp of approval. The climb is even steeper now and it will take time to make strides forward, but that means our voices are even more important -- and more powerful.
Let's remind others that individual voices -- when multiplied -- do have the power to resist the NRA and come out victorious.
1) Take a picture of yourself holding a sign with the mantra: "Together we speak for those we can't. Together we can be fearless." You can make your own sign or print one out here.
2) Post your picture to Facebook with the message below, and tag five of your fearless friends. You can even add additional lines if there are particular people who have prompted you to be fearless: a relative, a friend, your children, the children of Sandy Hook...
The more we receive, the stronger our case will be for lawmakers on the fence. Together we'll help them be fearless, too.
4) Support each other! Search Facebook using the hashtags #SpeakUP #BeFearless and #GunSenseVT to find others' posts and show your support in the comments. When we all stand together it is easier to be FEARLESS!
Want to do more? Join others making their voices heard in the Statehouse. Join the GunSenseVT Postcard Brigade!