It may be that we cannot fully measure the depth and breadth of our courage until we stare unimaginable danger right in the eye.
Well, we are all about to find out something about ourselves.
We thought long and hard about what to write in this e-mail responding to the election of Donald Trump. We were determined to avoid platitudes such as “it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good” or “the tough get going when the going gets tough” or “we’ll get them next time” or “hit the donate button.”
So, we’ll share a few observations and a personal decision.
- The National Rifle Association (NRA) invested heavily in the election of Donald Trump and maintained steadfast support for his candidacy in spite of – or because of – his racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic exhortations. The NRA is one of the bulwarks of Trumpism.
- The NRA will expect to be paid back for their loyalty and blood money and the current composition of the United States Congress poses a grave threat to the minimal checks on gun proliferation that have been established in a nation bludgeoned by gun violence.
- More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, a gun sense champion, than Donald Trump, an NRA apologist. Victorious U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R) ran television campaign ads highlighting his support for national background checks on gun sales because he believed that stance would help him win reelection in Pennsylvania. The two leading gun sense champions in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from Delaware County – Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D) and Jamie Santora (R) – both won reelection. Just because Trump managed to win slim victories in a handful of key states does not alter the fundamental fact that a majority of Americans and Pennsylvanians support sensible gun policies.
Each and every one of us who cares about human rights, peace, and social justice must now figure out how they will fight back in the era of Trump. We understand and respect that this is a time of discernment, discussion, and decision for millions of Americans who care about our country.
After much thought and soul searching, we have decided to stay active with the gun sense movement and fight Trump and Trumpism from that base of operation. We have decided to fight to help preserve the gains of the post-Sandy Hook era and to resist the coming counterattack from the NRA, their Congressional puppets, and their debtor in the White House.
Here is one thing we can say with certainty. We are frightened. We need to find our courage.
If you want to help us to be courageous…and let us help you to be the same…you are welcome at Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy.
Terry Rumsey and Robin Lasersohn, Co-Chairs
Orlando. Baton Rouge. Minneapolis-St. Paul. Dallas. Baton Rouge, again…and Chester, Philadelphia, and some other city or town in America almost every day of the week this summer.
Hate crime gun violence against LGBT people. Police gun violence against black men. Retaliatory gun violence against police officers. Just “normal” every day gun violence against children, men, and women whose faces will never be seen on CNN or flashed on a million mobile phone screens.
It has been a summer of gunfire followed by shock, grief, vigils, funerals, angry speeches, healing speeches, and a deep sense of foreboding across our nation.
One thing is for certain. We are killing each other with guns.
Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy does not have all the answers to America’s deep-rooted problems.
But we do have one solution.
Pass sensible gun laws…NOW…in Washington, D.C.…in Harrisburg…in State Capitols across the U.S.A.
When Congressman John Lewis sat down on the carpeted floor of the United States House of Representatives on June 23, 2016 and disrupted business as usual in the U.S. Congress, he forever changed the political paradigm about guns in America.
Friend and foe got the message: it was time for action – not words — to stop gun violence.
Just as importantly, he showed us how to fight without guns.
Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy plans to follow the example of Congressman John Lewis in the coming months ahead as we plan creative, nonviolent actions to end gun violence in our community and across our nation.
We hope you can join us.
Delco United supporters and allies from CeaseFirePA gather at Lighting the Way Speak Out: the Path Forward on Gun Violence on July 14, 12016 sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Over 100 supporters of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy participated in a spirited march from the Springfield Friends Meeting House to the office of U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA7) on Saturday, June 18th, in response to the June 11 mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 people. The fired-up gun sense advocates delivered a Call to Action to Congressman Meehan calling on him to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Delco United is lobbying Congressman Meehan to co-sponsor H.R. 4269, legislation that would ban assault weapons and large-volume magazines. Read a summary of the bill here.
Hundreds of motorists honked their horns in support as the marchers, carrying signs and banners calling for an assault weapons ban, proceeded down Sproul Road (Rt. 320) to the Congressman’s Springfield headquarters. Robin Lasersohn, Co-Chair of Delco United, read the group’s Call to Action to Meehan, and then placed a poster-sized placard with the written Call to Action at the front door of the locked building that houses Congressman Meehan’s office. Delco United also e-mailed the Call to Action to the congressman on Friday. Terry Rumsey, Delco United Co-Chair, had spoken with Congressman Meehan earlier in the week, asking him to co-sponsor H.R. 4269.
The event was covered by the Delaware County Daily Times, KYW News Radio, and three Philadelphia television stations (ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates).
Read sample news coverage here. https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/06/18/protesters-march-for-gun-control-in-delaware-county
The Board of Directors of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy would like to thank the more than 500 supporters from Delaware County who took action this past week after the Orlando tragedy by calling or e-mailing Congressman Meehan and Senator Toomey, attending Wednesday’s vigil and die-in, rallying and marching at yesterday’s Call to Action, or doing a combination of all those empowered acts of citizenship.
Delco United asked a lot from you this week.
You gave more than we asked.
Congratulations, you are a part of reinvigorated gun sense movement that will not relent until we have radically reduced gun violence in the United States of America.