I’m angry, to a point beyond words at this moment but please bear with me.
My son is six now and listening to everything – particularly the television. Whether its one of his Lego shows or the news, he’s listening. And I had to tell my family to keep the news off TV today.
I can remember where I was the day of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012. I was in my office in the County Office Building, and I’m pretty sure I watched the news all day and accomplished nothing. I then went to my farewell party, as I was about to take the exciting transition from my beloved Democratic Caucus in the County Legislature, to start managing then-State Senator Ted O’Brien’s transition. It was supposed to be an evening of laughs, drinks, and fun. And my skin was on fire every moment I was there and I left as soon as I could.
Then I get home. I pick up my just a few weeks past one-year-old son and I weep. I hold him for minutes and just cry with the world; then quickly try to dry my face so everyone can stay happy.
But these disasters are not uncommon. Gun violence is ripping through families throughout our country, and in our community, on a daily basis. But the growing sense of helplessness and despair on this issue just seems to grow stronger. I sit here now and think, how will I explain this? How will I not instill fear in him of the world, but still make him smarter and aware?
But we are not helpless, there is so much we can do. And eliminating all guns is not the answer and not a reasonable solution. Yes, we need smarter and effective legislation (particularly at the federal level) but we must also make ourselves better gun-sense citizens. I steal that from a term I have heard at our local Moms Demand Action group, right here in Rochester, New York.
We should know how to have conversations with our family and neighbors about guns in the home, safe storage, proper training without having to devolve into a political nightmare. We’ve sent people to the moon damn it – how can we not find a constructive way to talk about this issue?!
I sit here with pain in my heart that can only be a drop compared to what parents every night go to bed with after losing a child to this tragedy. But I want you to know that you don’t have to feel helpless. MCDC has been proud to host the Rochester chapter of Moms Demand Action in our offices, and they provide some incredible tools, including the Be Smart campaign among others. There are ways we can fix this. We can be the change we need to see in this world. That’s why I wanted to share this with you tonight.
– Dominic’s Mom
[Jamie Romeo, MCDC Chairwoman]