Nothing will happen unless we do something.
I couldn’t sleep after the mass shooting in Buffalo or Texas. The tragedy was horrific and we all have spent time picturing our loved ones or ourselves suffering through it. That alone is enough to keep us up at night but the idea that nothing will change as a result is truly heart-wrenching.
We have a voice and our voice matters. For years, I have worked with Rural and Migrant Ministry to address the unjust laws for farmworkers. Farmworkers did not have the same rights as the rest of us in New York State. They were not given overtime or even a day off. They were denied the right to organize. It wasn’t until 1996 that a law was passed requiring employees to provide drinking water to workers and it was 1998 before toilets were mandated for workers. (https://documentedny.com/2021/10/13/12-workers-make-history-forming-new-yorks-first-farmworkers-union/)
Finally, in 2021, farmworkers were given most of the rights the rest of us take for granted but they still need to work 60 hours before receiving overtime pay. We are still working to change that law.
I tell you about farmworkers because I know firsthand how long it takes and what has to happen to get the attention of our elected officials. But it can be done.
We all have to make our views known to our elected officials. I am against assault weapons being sold to the general public. There should be red flag checks. I am planning on starting with my town officials, then my state representatives, and my federal representatives. I’ve had their offices on speed dial for the last twenty years.
Here’s what to expect, when you contact the office you may get lucky and speak to a staffer. If you call often enough, they will come to know you. If you write, you might receive a form letter from their office. If you email, you will get an acknowledgment email. This can be discouraging but it takes time and repetition.
If only a few people take action by contacting their representatives, nothing will happen. It will be business as usual, both sides not listening to the other side. Meanwhile, 20 more mass shootings have happened since TX.
But if we ALL take action and rally our friends and family and thousands of letters, emails, and phone calls start happening, something might happen. If we all get out and vote, things could change.
Identify your representatives and contact them. https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative, https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-
contact.htmhttps://www.nysenate.gov/registration/nojs/form/start/find-my-senator. If you are outside of New York State, google “How do I find my state senator”
https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/. (If you are outside of NY, google “How do I find my state representative)
If you are a teacher, organize and barrage your representatives with pleas to make changes! How many more deaths will it take? Use your VOICE!!!!!!