The freedom we have to effect change in a variety of non-violent ways is what I love about the USA.
In an attempt to avoid impressions of bias against gun ownership or the NRA, I have owned guns and was, for a time, a member of the NRA. Both were experiences I enjoyed. This blog post isn’t about gun ownership or the NRA, it’s about freedom of choice and the power of the public.
The desire for change
Rising deaths of children in school as a result of armed attacks has triggered a desire among a growing percentage of the population to do something about the availability of semi-automatic weapons.
There have been many attempts to get legislators, at both the federal and state levels, to stop or severely restrict access to semi-automatic weapons…to no avail. The next step employed was to, through votes, replace legislators with new ones…ones hopefully more attuned to the public’s wishes.
“Changes in leadership” haven’t produced the desired results, consequently people are turning their attention to what speaks loudest…money.
According to a Washington Post article REI and Mountain Equipment, both outdoor co-ops, have stopped ordering from NRA affiliated companies based on the results of a consumer-signed petition as well as requests from customers.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has discontinued sales of military-style weapons and banned sales of other guns to under the age of 21. According to the article Kroger, Walmart and L.L. Bean have also raised the age for buying guns to 21…all without any legislative action.
These changes are being effected without any violence on the part of the public. That’s what makes this country great. We can effect change without resorting to violence. We have many avenues to effect change, are fully aware of them and choose to use them instead of resorting to violence.
What that means for each of us is that there are always non-violent ways of achieving what we desire. And using them is always less costly and more effective than the violent approaches.
We hear evidence of that almost daily in the news about Arab-Israeli conflicts where violence intensifies rather than diminishes hostility…enrages rather than engenders collaboration…prolongs rather than shortens memories of past violence.
In moments of anger (we all experience them), pause a moment. Consider non-violent actions that can produce the desired result AND create a spirit of cooperation. Then implement one of them. If it doesn’t work, try another non-violent approach. Keep trying until you find one that works.
Remember, you have the power to effect change non-violently. Mahatma Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Teresa all did it. The only difference between them and us is their will (their desire) to effect change.
The kids in Florida (and around the country) are showing a strength of will that is helping those of us who are in a position to effect change to make that change happen…non-violently. Any violence in our action would be anathema to them and their wishes.
For our kids
It’s a part of our human nature to want to lash out verbally or physically when we feel hurt. Both are forms of violence. Share with your kids the amazing ways in which change is being effected today.
Let them know what attempts have been made. That not all attempts produce the desired result. But with the will to effect change and do so non-violently, will result in more and more ideas on how to accomplish that.
Finally, remind them that they can always tap into their subconscious minds to get an answer to what what their trying to achieve. It’s as simple as asking “How can I accomplish (what you desire) non-violently?”
Your and their subconscious minds will always produce an answer to the “How” question.
As I stated earlier, this isn’t about gun ownership or the NRA. This blog post is to remind us of how creative we are in finding non-violent ways of effecting change. That’s what makes us, and consequently, this country great. It’s why I love this country and am honored to be its citizen.