Inspired by Kim Marsh, I decided to write about my own reasons for going to Denver, Colorado on June 5th to demand Colorado Governor Jared Polis sign an executive order to ban guns and buy them back. I’m going to try to keep this short and — well, I was going to say sweet, but it’s unlikely there will be anything sweet about this, so short and direct it is.
For starters, guns are the number 1 killer of kids in the US. (If you’re one of the people who insists that guns don’t kill people, people kill people, refrain from commenting. You won’t say anything I haven’t heard, thought, or said before.) I have three beautiful babies, and I want them to grow up in a world without guns. You know, back when I was an evangelical Christian, there was a line from “The Lord’s Prayer” that really shifted my perspective on many things. The line is “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I may no longer know exactly what I believe about heaven, but I know that the current state of the world isn’t it. And I know that whatever heaven is, whether it’s the world we create here and now or something else, I know guns aren’t a part of it, which brings me to my second reason.
We do not need guns. We do not need guns. We do not need guns. We do not need guns. We do not need guns. We really don’t. Children matter more than guns. (If you’re one of the people who insists that guns are needed for hunting, I want to remind you that people successfully fed themselves long before guns were invented. We’re a resilient species. I am confident we can creatively figure out how to adjust to life without guns.) If your rebuttal to banning guns is that you’re one of the good guys who needs a gun to protect us, I have a couple of serious questions. How have your guns protected the children who have died in school shootings this year? How would your guns possibly protect my children during a shooting at their school, the grocery store, the movie theater, the bank, the mall, and the list of places where my children are in danger of being gunned down goes on and on. And guess who wouldn't be there. You with your gun. (And before you try to convince me to get a gun, that’s not going to happen. I know how to handle firearms. I even have pictures where I’m posing in formal wear while holding a gun. Guns were a normal part of my life, even though guns are not normal. I will not be purchasing a gun because the truth is, I want to ban them, so, you know, getting one would go against the whole movement.)
Now, if you’re wondering why I am specifically going to Colorado, it’s the strategic location where Saira Rao told me to go. This is a BIWOC-led movement, and they have told us to come to Denver, Colorado. All the time and energy we’ve been pouring into trying to change “red” states hasn’t yielded any results. As Saira explained, calling our reps, posting on social media, raging, etc., hasn’t done anything. If our reps wanted to do something about gun violence, they would have already done something. Since Colorado is a “blue” state with a long history of mass shootings and a governor who is likely to respond by signing the proposed executive order, Colorado will be the first domino to fall.
For this to work, white women have to show up. 25,000+ of us. White women have to be there because, in the words of Carol Anderson, “The second amendment isn’t about guns. It is about anti-Blackness.” (Carol Anderson is the author of The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America.) Every single time I have heard a white man say something to the effect of, “So and so better be glad I didn’t have my gun,” the gun was the violent symbol of his beliefs in white supremacy and patriarchy. The gun was referenced as a reminder that he is in control and everyone else is disposable if they threaten his way of life. (If you’re one of the white Christians clutching your guns tighter, over these past few years especially, be like the Jesus you claim to love and lay your weapons down. You know what would be really radical and revolutionary? If you were the first ones in your communities to voluntarily turn in your guns. No one is coming for you, though you should more closely examine your paranoia. It might be trying to tell you something about how you’ve treated others and how maybe you’re afraid they will now do the same, or worse, to you if they know you aren’t armed. Do not dig in your heels while the innocent are slaughtered. Their blood is on our hands. Stop letting your guns be more precious than people.)
So, if you’re a white woman who is ready to do something to end gun violence, join me and 25,000+ others in Denver, Colorado on June 5th. We’ll be gathering at 5:00 A.M. Mountain Time on June 5, 2023 on the lawn of the Colorado State Capitol at 200 E Colfax Ave in Denver, Colorado. I am confident with Saira that Gov. Polis will sign the executive order by lunchtime when he sees how many white women are out there. As Saira explained, it is a good move for him politically to meet the demands. But even if he doesn’t sign the executive order by lunchtime, or doesn’t sign it on June 5th, we stay until he does.
Will it be inconvenient? Probably. Will it be safe? I can’t say with 100% certainty that it will be. But it’s time to join the movement. We white women have to show up because once Gov. Polis signs the executive order, other governors will follow. No one else is coming to save us and the kids in this country. We have to save ourselves.