Those of us who live in the United States have a strange relationship with gun violence, no matter where we fall on the beliefs-about-guns spectrum. We have to. Our mass shootings statistics are too bizarre, too absurd to be real, and yet here we are, constantly living in a combined state of denial, disbelief, disillusionment and despair.
We don’t have to live like this, and yet we do. Thanks to a well-funded gun lobby, our incredibly unhealthy ultra-partisan politics and debatable interpretations of the Second Amendment, most meaningful pieces of legislation put forth to curb our gun violence problem don’t get passed. Everything but the guns gets blamed for our mass shooting problem, so we keep reliving the same nightmare over and over and over again.
A group of moms lived that nightmare on the Fourth of July, when a gunman opened fire on a parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing seven and wounding 48. They immediately banded together with a singular purpose—to convince the government to ban assault weapons, which are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice in mass shootings.
They formed March Fourth two days after the parade shooting and organized a march in Washington, D.C., less than a week later. “I just want to go to DC, scream at the top of our lungs that we want these weapons of war banned, and not shut up until they listen,” said founder Kitty Brandtner.
Her quote to WGN9 News was even more succinct: “They f**ked with the wrong moms.”
Now March Fourth is holding another march at the Capitol on September 22 and they’re inviting anyone and everyone to join them. In a powerful PSA promoting the march, Americans describe what they “love” and “enjoy” about living with mass shootings—a bit of reverse psychology that makes the absurdity of our reality painfully clear.
The truth is no one wants to live this way. And we don’t have to. We can choose to take action to at least attempt to prevent mass gun violence. The assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004 had an impact. One analysis shared in The Conversation estimated that the risk of a person in the U.S. dying in a mass shooting was 70% lower during the ban.
u201cAdding evidence to the #GunViolence debate. New work presented at #AAST2018 by @nyulangone faculty shows that during the #AssaultWeapon ban #MassShooting related deaths were 70% less likely to occur.u201d
— AAST (@AAST)
Before someone swoops in with the “How do you define assault weapon?” argument, the current Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 bill that has passed the House and sits before the Senate offers a lengthy definition of the kinds of firearms it includes right up top. Read it here.
See more information about joining March Fourth’s September 22 march at the U.S. Capitol at wemarchfourth.org.