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Marla Goldberg-Jamate & Dr. Ann Cooper-Ciccarelli: Mothers await day of ‘gun sense’ in America

To the editor:

Mother’s Day, with its cards and flowers, will be a hollow celebration for many mothers Sunday, sapped of sweetness and significance. Mothers lost 20 children in the Sandy Hook massacre in December and thousands of mothers nationally are bereft of children, small or full-grown, taken by needless gun violence and accidents. Mothers blessed by living children may feel, as we do, that the daily deaths and severe injuries to children from firearms are unconscionable.

Astoundingly, Congress has turned its back on measures that could help reduce such tragedies. To mothers who take practical steps daily to nurture and protect children, the failure to implement reasonable public safety measures is shocking. We block electrical outlets from curious fingers, put up gates to prevent toddlers from falling down stairs and assert the need to hold hands when crossing streets. We take them to doctors when they are sick, bandage and treat their wounds, and try and chase away their sorrows with our kisses.

For all these reasons, the reckless sale, use, and storage of guns runs entirely contrary to our instincts, values and experiences as mothers and we are stunned by the irresponsibility of America’s elected officials.

Why can’t our government create gun regulations that are as strong as for toys, cars or food? Certainly, we expect our leaders to hold children’s safety more dear than their political careers or any potential kickbacks from the gun industry.

Fortunately, as everyone knows, mothers are persistent creatures. We continue to demand that Congress pass bans on assault weapons and online ammunition sales and impose criminal background checks, 10-round limits on ammunition magazines and greater penalties for gun trafficking. We will fight efforts by gun industry lobbyists to weaken relevant state laws.

This year, perhaps we cannot truthfully wish one another a “happy” Mother’s Day. But we can celebrate our strength in standing together for the safety of our children.

Marla Goldberg-Jamate

Dr. Ann Cooper-Ciccarelli

Amherst

The writers are members of the western Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

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