Keeping guns out of the hands of those who might harm others is a goal of those on either side of the national discussion on guns. There are those who oppose any further restrictions on gun ownership on one hand and on the other, those who want more control. The arguments of both sides are well-known. But our aim in this column is praise the use of the process — no matter what your position — of going about implementing your beliefs using our democratic process. The Island-based Moms Demand Action did what our democracy gives us the right to do — to gather, speak up and ask others to join with them to implement change. They saw a need to help set in motion changes to laws that they feel do not adequately protect their families and others who might find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. They got organized, did their homework, and found a place where they could talk to many people at once. They got the permit they needed to gather in the park from the city. There they set about talking to other voters and gathering signatures in order to place the initiative, I-594, that would require background checks for (nearly) all gun sales, on the November general election ballot.
Sure, there were a few hiccups along the way. There was a fuss about names of city council people mentioned erroneously as being supportive or involved in the process that had to be dealt with, and perhaps the timing of the event was not the best for the Island’s National Night Out (NNO) event. Yet kudos to the ‘Mom’s’ for using the process we profess daily to celebrate; the right to gather and petition for change.
NNO is a citywide event for Islanders to get to know their neighbors and talk the nuts and bolts of emergency preparedness in their ‘hood. It is an event that is growing in size every year. The event adds to a sense of safety and security for Islanders. If you know your neighbor and they know you, everyone is more likely to look out for each other — and ask questions if something looks out of place next door or down the block. It is, might we say — a perfect complement to working toward gun safety.