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I’ve been struck – ever since the incomprehensible tragedy in Connecticut – about something one woman, one mom, said on Twitter. “We need a movement of parents,” @centsiblelife wrote when I asked on Twitter, shortly after we learned the magnitude of the tragedy, when are we finally going to do something about gun violence.
On Monday, during an appearance on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. to talk about gun laws, access to mental health and our culture of violence, I repeated what I heard from @centsiblelife. “You know what we need, we need a movement of women, a movement of parents to get things done...to hold our leaders accountable that something happens, that something gets done this time, and it seems from the tenor of the conversation women are actively going to try to make that happen,” I said reiterating what I heard on Twitter.
After those comments, so many of you responded. @JolandaMosley wrote, "When women speak~the world changes~our very words carry so much POWER~pls speak sisters, the world awaits." Said @ParisLady1492, "Don't ever cross a mother whose children are harmed with guns. It'll be mothers who take the NRA (National Rifle Association) down. Bet on it." Said @ThePowerofOne98, "It's coming, you can bet on it. It’s coming." “Sign me up,” said @MichelleMozell.
On my voicemail, another response from another mom – “I really wanted to lend my voice and my hand in any way to organize moms with what’s happened.”
I was reminded of all these comments after I heard President Obama at a press conference announcing a new gun task force lead by Vice President Biden. The president said, "If we’re going to change things, it’s going to take a wave of Americans — mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals, and yes, gun owners — standing up and saying enough on behalf of our kids.” But what about the NRA, Mr. President, asked a reporter. "Well, the NRA is an organization that has members who are mothers and fathers, and I would expect that they’ve been impacted by this as well, and hopefully they’ll do some self- reflection."
The message: parents are going to be the spark to get something done. Since Newtown, so many moms -- and dads -- have responded by signing petitions like this one from MomsRising.org, calling on Congress and the NRA to take action on gun control regulations. As of this writing, it had more than 100,000 signatures.
What can you do? What can we do? I don’t know if any of us has the answer but we can do a couple of things. First, check out our new post on five things you can do -- right now -- on gun control!
We can also keep up the pressure for a national conversation by signing petitions like the one above and others demanding a focus on improving access to mental health services and dealing with a culture that seemingly has become desensitized to violence. We can keep up the pressure by continuing to talk about the issues and call for action on Twitter and Facebook. And we can join a movement of parents – moms and dads – to bring about change.
Do you want to be part of this movement? We can start one right here! Tweet @iVillage and use the hashtag #newtownmovement and tell us why you want to be part of it. And, send this post to your friends urging them to join you and us as we try to make sure we do everything we can to prevent another horror like the one we witnessed at Sandy Hook.
WATCH: iVillage join the conversation on MSNBC's Jansing & Co. about how women are responding to the tragedy.