This is a call to action. Our society needs positive change. If you want to make a difference, you're in the right place!
Every time there is a mass shooting in America, we all go through another episode of deja vu.
It’s been written about before and I’m not going to belabor the cycle of events, prayers and thoughts, polemics. What I DO want to focus on is the latter part of the cycle that always ends up in a lack of definitive actions or steps taken to prevent future mass murders and horror.
So, what’s next? Are we just going to keep tweeting our outrage and shrugging our shoulders like, oh well, there’s just nothing to do here. We can all gawk and sulk at the tragedy, maybe even make a phone call or two, but then it sinks back into the quicksand of yesterday’s news.
In some cases, even a few hours is all it takes for millions of Twitter followers to move on to the next big tragedy.
In this 24 hour news cycle, you can easily consume a steady diet of nothing but bad news. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, suicide bombers and more. It’s all there to consume everyday all day.
But we can change the conversations and the focus of all the polemical language.
It wasn’t long ago when NRA framed all gun issues as “gun control” and something about cold dead hands. Yawn. Slowly, we are watching the tides turn as more women stand up to run for office and fight for gun laws that keep our families safe.
It’s not common knowledge, but 60 percent of NRA members actually SUPPORT universal background checks. And many Republican politicians support this effort to reduce gun violence in America.
It’s just that we’re going about it a bit backwards. Like letting a million car accident fatalities accumulate before we decide, huh, maybe seat-belts and air bags will help save lives.
So the current climate gives us a lot of vapid prayers and thoughts but never a definitive law that says nobody needs a military grade assault weapon in their daily life.
2017 was brutal in terms of ongoing OMG, WTF news bombarding us every hour of the day. It’s enough to make you wanna say… forget it, I give up. It’s all just too much.
And I’m here to tell you that this is our fight and we’re not gonna give up. Not today, not tomorrow and not ever. I want you to help fight in this struggle to make gun violence a public health and public safety issue, not a matter of ownership and outdated amendment rhetoric.
So, if you say you want to be a part of The Resistance in 2018, here are a few definitive and tangible ways to start changing the world with your voice, your actions and your determination…
10 Ways You Can Make a Difference for Positive Change in Society
- Sign up to be a part of Moms Demand Action – www.momsdemandaction.org
- If you or someone you know is suffering from an abusive relationship, please reach out for help. One organization in Massachusetts that helps women in domestic abuse situations is called HAWC, [Healing Abuse Working for Change]. They have a 24 hour hotline: 1-800-547-1649. You can call a staff member and they can help you make a safety plan immediately. They’re website is www.hawcdv.org
- Look for a local Indivisible Group and start going to meetings, signing petitions and helping progressive candidates run for local office. If you can’t find an Indivisible group near you, start your own. Visit www.indivisible.org to print out the Indivisible Guide and find other activists in your area.
- Join the ACLU. Visit www.aclu.org and become a part of their brand new volunteer organization called People Power. Sign petitions, make phone calls, and show up for protests.
- Start a local community news page so everyone in the neighborhood can get real time updates on local news and events.
- Find a cause and focus on that one thing. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the bad news. Focus on the one thing that matters to you. For me, it’s gun violence prevention. But your issues could be anything from voter suppression to climate change to just a simple local ban on plastic bags. Whatever you decide matters most, write it down and make it happen.
- Learn how to start a petition on Moveon.org
- Join a local board or committee. In my town, there a lot of ways to get involved with local events like the Community Impact Team or the local Library Board. It’s usually volunteer and hardly takes up any time, just occasional meetings.
- Vote. Register others to vote. Repeat.
- And most importantly, take care of yourself. 2018 will be revolutionary and it will be revolutionary because of YOU.
Related Resources on How to Make a Difference
Michelle Mullet is an artist and activist living in New England. She is the Legislative Lead and Community Outreach Organizer for Moms Demand Action in Massachusetts. She recently published her first children’s picture book called “The Lonely Candy Cone.”