An Ugly World.

Waking up to the news that our country suffered the worst mass shooting in history feels like a kick in the gut when you’re already writhing on the ground from various other devastating blows.  The world feels like a very ugly place right now, with disaster and doom lurking around every corner and on every news website- natural disasters, ineffective and rude government officials, terrorism….  It’s hard to feel positive during dark times like these, and blogging about pillows and pretty paint color doesn’t feel right today. It feels like a day to be quiet and contemplative.  And also to think about what positive action one can take to perhaps, just maybe, change some the things that make this day in age so anxiety riddled.

Yup, I know, this is a design blog. I get that. But I am also a person, a citizen of this country and a mother and while many have said I should not to get “political” on here (“bad for business” they say, although I’ve never seen much collateral damage aside from a few unfollows) I am going to take a minute to remind everyone about the stalled, ridiculously messed up gun control debate we have in this country.  Our government has managed to STILL not take a stand on automatic and semi-automatic weapons, which actually helps shooters like the one last night do what they do with few hurdles to even slow them down.

According to the BBC, Nevada has some of the most lax gun laws of any state in the country. Open carry is allowed, even for assault rifles. There is no limit to the amount of ammunition that a person can buy at a time, which may have helped the shooter harm more people during the attack. Gun owners also don’t have to be licensed with the government, meaning there was no way to potentially track the shooter’s movements before the attack and prevent his actions.  I mean, it’s harder to get a license to drive a CAR than it is to get a freaking assault rifle in Nevada. HELLO? HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE?

I’m not here to say no one should have a gun.  If you want to abide by a set of rules and background checks to have a handgun or hunting rifle- fine. That is your right. But no civilian, and I mean NO ONE, needs to have an automatic assault rifle.  These should be banned completely. And it’s proven that in doing so it STOPS mass shootings (look at the statistics from Australia who bravely and rightfully made huge gun law changes after a mass shooting).

I myself have been a member of Everytown for Gun Safety since the Newtown shootings  and now have joined Moms Demand Action and am donating today to support their fight against these stupid, outdated laws that keep getting innocent Americans killed.  I think  about my sweet boy playing on tractors and eating apples this weekend happy as a clam and then think about the possibility of a gunman taking his life because we allowed them to have access to ridiculous weapons and I want to flip a dumpster in rage.

There is so much that happens that we cannot do anything to prevent, but we can with this.  I have to believe we can demand action from our elected officials.  So my call to action today is if you feel like I do, join a group like the above that are working to make change or write your Senators and Congressmen to tell them what you want from them. Lets fight for them to take at least ONE step towards reasonable gun laws.

It’s time.

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185 comments

  1. Thank you for this post. I’m with you. This country doesn’t seem to give a shit about its citizens.

  2. As a mom, I am terrified of this world we are living in today. All I can do is pray – for peace, for wise leadership, for safety, for more love and kindness. I do agree – NO ONE needs to have an automatic assault rifle. These should be banned completely! My heart is so heavy today with this news….

    1. I agree with your sentiment, but I think what Erin is trying to say is that we have to do more than just pray. We have to take action, and use our words and our votes to get through to local politicians who can at least try to make a difference.

      1. I agree. I am not sitting still and just praying though. Once we signed the petitions, voted, marched, and expressed our voices – then what? Feeling hopeless and helpless – because it seems no matter the action, not much positive is happening… How long do we wait? What else do we do?

    2. NKM-I couldn’t agree more with your post.
      And now I can’t sit here wishing for change anymore. I will get involved with one of these groups to help make positive changes and make the world a safer place for our children. I hope that more people will come together in love and peace and forget hate.
      Thank you for this post.

  3. Thanks for this. Australia’s experience with gun laws is a perfect example of how a modern liberal democracy can protect individual rights from both the possibility of government overreach AND the threat of gun-wielding (domestic and international) terrorists.

    In a world increasingly consumed by unthinking vitriol, people like you give me hope that we can reason our way out of this horrific mess we have all created.

  4. I agree completely. It’s long past time. Honestly, I can’t even believe this is still up for debate.

  5. Mandate more stringent gun control laws. It’s not a cure all but a start in the right direction. I am Canadian and proud to be Canadian. We have gun control laws in our country. Does that mean that there are never senseless shootings here? No, there are still acts of violence around guns but to a lesser degree. My heart goes out to all those in Vegas who gathered for a peaceful night of entertainment.

  6. I just want to applaud you for taking time to acknowledge that there is a world outside the blogging bubble and that you’re a human. I also completely agree that this country desperately needs gun control. Thank you for for writing about it.

  7. Thank your for posting this. I can only hope that your eloquent words and specific suggestions can help rally others to take action.

  8. 100% agree. No one needs an automatic weapon- hopefully those opposed can see that the number of fatalities are only growing in recent years because of these killing machines. Please do your part in ending these lax laws!

  9. “[W]e have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war.” – Judge Robert King of the Fourth Circuit (the court under the US Supreme Court), referring to the “military-style rifles” that were also used during mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, San Bernardino, California, Orlando, Florida, (and now Las Vegas), in Kolbe v. Hogan, February 2017. Each of us should be asking our state senators and representatives to introduce a bill modeled after Maryland’s, which has now been upheld as constitutional. And keep an eye on this case. A petition for certiorari (which is basically an appeal) has been made to the US Supreme Court. If the SCOTUS denies cert, it means they won’t take up the appeal, and we should take that as a call to action to demand similar legislation in our own states.

    Erin, THANK YOU for pausing to address this. It is only by our voices being louder and more forceful than the NRA and others that we will overcome this insanity. #flipthedumpster

  10. Thank you SO much for the thoughtful post. It’s a tragic accident and the victims + families deserve our thoughts and prayers, but they also deserve something to actually be done about it. Our current administration is working to ease restrictions on gun silencers, which could make it a lot harder for people to hear, identify and escape gunfire in future shootings. Our voices are more important now than ever.

  11. No civilian need an assault rifle, ever! I do not own a gun, but know many who do. My nephew is a competitive skeet and clay shooter. He is an incredibly responsible gun owner. he took multiple gun safety courses, preaches the same to his peers and belongs to a shooting team that teaches their members to treat their weapons (because that is ultimately what they are) with respect.

    I am originally from Canada where it takes years to get a handgun…of which I’m in complete agreement with. Please, we need to do something to stop the sale of assault rifles and automatic weapons!

    Thank you Erin for always making your voice heard!

  12. Agreed on all points. Tougher laws are desperately needed. Bravo for standing up and speaking out.

    – Signed – a gun owner from Texas

  13. I’ve often thought it is going to take an event where a bunch of conservatives are affected by our ridiculous gun laws to finally wake up and smell the coffee. Perhaps a mass shooting at a country music event was it. I can’t imagine what the families of these innocent victims are going through, but if just even one of them who is possibly hard core NRA can make a change, then that is a step in the right direction. These types of guns are insane to be available!!

      1. No, no ignorant at all in my opinion. NRA county stars and other NRA country fans have been publicly stating since this tradegy we need to reconsider our gun laws. It’s this group of people whose voices can really help to make a difference and that was my only point. Did my comment sound like I was generalizing a group of people, perhaps, but again I just clarified what I meant. Sometimes your community of people has to be affected in order for you to make a change!

  14. Thank you for speaking up on this issue and many others! I, for one, love it when you take the time to get “political.” (Even though, frankly, I think this issue is way past politics. It’s about humanity.)

  15. The sad truth is that no matter how strict the gun laws were to become, it won’t do much to change these situations. Unlawful crazies will always be able to access these weapons on the black market. It is what it is. I hurt for these families.

    1. That is proven to not be true though- again look at Australia. They banned them and no mass shootings since then. Lets at least TRY to make it hard for them!

      1. Well… Australia is on an island which makes it very hard to get guns across the border. These people just have to go to Mexico and sneak across the border to get them in our country.

      2. L, my faith in US-Mexico border security is much stronger than my faith in allowing people to own weapons of war.

    2. This argument always infuriates me. Bad things will still happen so we shouldn’t do anything to try to lessen the occurrence?? Makes no sense.

      1. It infuriates me as well! By that same argument, why have ANY laws since criminals will always find a way to break them? So stupid.

  16. He used a fully automatic weapon which is illegal, unless he purchased it prior to 1986, and had it registered. It’s also illegal to shoot people. I guess the Ak47 that killed 100 people in Bataclan, a country with the strictest gun control, doesn’t fit the leftist narrative. Look how well gun control is working out in Chicago, Obama’s town. Mentally ill, Islamist terrorists etc , kill people. Let’s ban trucks that drive into hundreds of people in crowds as well. And ban pressure cookers that blow up children /people at marathons. And “gun silencers”, only called that in the movies, do not silence guns. Good job politicizing this tragedy before the bodies are even cold. Donating again to the NRA over the stupidity from liberals today. I’ll try not to shoot someone today with my legally purchased gun.

    1. I am slack-jawed in horror at your comment. That kind of heartless, obscene talk is absolutely not welcome here. Go find a new blog to read, and I’ll pray no one you love gets caught up in a mass shooting.

    2. How does it feel to be part of the problem? Your self-righteousness doesn’t belong here.

      ERIN – thank you for posting. We can all do more – donate, lobby our elected officials… We *NEED* more strict gun control.

    3. Oh Lorrie you are missing the point. Erin clearly said, go ahead and have your gun, just that these sorts of guns should not be so easy to obtain! When will conservatives get that. No one is trying to take away your second amendment rights, but the outdated laws surrounding it could be better!

    4. Lorrie, do you realize that Bataclan is not a country? It is a theater in Paris, France, located in a country that does not have the “strictest” gun control.

    5. Despite quite a few mass shootings in Europe, statistically speaking Europeans are still FAR less likely to become victims of gun violence than Americans. It’s simple. Fewer guns and harder to get guns = fewer deaths by guns.

      {https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/06/16/gun-violence-united-kingdom-united-states/85994716/}

      {https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/14/upshot/compare-these-gun-death-rates-the-us-is-in-a-different-world.html?mcubz=1}

      1. What a ridiculous comment. How in the world does being a NRA member make you responsible for this tragedy. This is a divisive, offensive and unbelievably trite comment. Do you have any depth of knowledge regarding this issue? Hope posting this offensive comment made you feel good about yourself.

    6. “I’ll try not to shoot someone today with my legally purchased gun.” And this is exactly why U.S. gun laws need to be tightened. 450 people are dead or injured today, tens of thousands more are killed or injured every year, and still so many people don’t think before resorting to the use of these deadly weapons. Sure, guns will always be available, but if it’s not so easy to purchase one, they will be out of the hands of many people who clearly can’t act responsibly with them. Shame on you for desecrating the lives and memories of these victims with your callous words.

  17. Love you, love your blog, love this post. It seems there are enough of us who support reasonable gun controls; I hope we can soon make a difference.

  18. As a gun owner and 2nd amendment supporter, I fully support banning assault rifles and stricter gun laws. Thank you for speaking out.
    I don’t particularly consider myself an optimist, maybe more of a realist but the poem struck a nerve. I have to call BS on the whole “the world is 50% bad”. I believe in God and the good of mankind. Consuming too much media easily skews perspective.

    Prayers for Vegas

    1. As a non gun owner, I am not against the 2nd amendment but I have never understood the resistance to stricter gun laws and the banning of assault weapons. Like you, Melissa, I seriously disagreed with the sentiments of the poem by Maggie Smith. Though the recent world events have been both disturbing and disheartening, saying that 50% of the world is bad has me bewildered. Anyone who believes that should really think about what the world would be like if half of the population were truly bad. And to say that there isn’t any beauty in the world? I agree that action is needed and we can’t remain silent. Look around and see people coming together to support and assist and grieve for the victims of all these tragedies. That is humanity and that is beauty.

  19. I, too, follow Everytown for Gun Safety. Each time the face of one of those precious Sandy Hook victims appears I question — “how could that not have been enough?”
    The argument that carrying guns could prevent shooters like the Las Vegas shooter is ridiculous. It would have taken a sniper.
    Last week a neighbor was having a late night cigarette on his deck when 2 young men approached and put a pistol to his head. In his attempt to push them away he was thrown to the ground and shot twice. Thankfully he survived but faces more surgery and a lifetime of traumatic memories.
    So much anger accompanied by so much crazy and easy to get guns will never end well.

  20. Thank you so much for this post. It’s incredibly honorable of you to use your platform for good and I wish more bloggers would do the same.

  21. Bravo…..well said ! Thanks for this post . I have been so heartbroken lately …this only adds to that in a very deep way . It’s hard to process everything going on right now .

  22. Thank you for this post.

    I generally think disagreement and discussion is good, but Lorrie’s comment is so out of line (and horrifying with the underlying threat) that you should consider deleting it.

    I’m in the South, and a gun owner, and whole-heartedly support gun control, waiting periods, required training, etc. But no politicians seem to want to listen to me.

    1. Do you have a lot of friends and family that feel the same as you? I feel like people like you are the key to changing this- smart, lawful gun owners who also feel that stricter laws need to be in place. Sucks that your elected officials don’t care. Thanks for speaking up!

      1. Erin, this is such an important point !! For all the law-abiding, sane gun owners ( and there are many, many out there) – YOU need to speak up!! Non-gun owners voices are not heard amidst the chatter. But if you are an NRA member then you are part of the most powerful lobbying group in congress, please let them know that you as a member want stricter gun control. Call, text, tweet, however you can let your representative or senator know! The 2nd amendment needs to protect every American, both gun and non-gun owners.

      2. Yes, but the NRA has such a stranglehold on politicians. Its voice well outweighs the more moderate vote of constituents. It’s very discouraging.

  23. Totally agree with you. Our legislators need to be told to TAKE ACTION. These mass shootings are preventable with restrictions on assault-style guns, databases, background checks, and more. Thanks for posting.

  24. All of us, who believe that stricter gun control laws in this country can make a difference, need to speak up. We need to tell our congress people how strongly we feel on this subject. We need to donate money, as Erin suggests, to organizations that work to make this happen. The time for silence and passive behavior is over. If this is a concern to you (and it should be to all of us – yesterday Las Vegas, tomorrow possible your home town), we need to be part of the solution.

  25. Thanks for your post. Just horrible news this morning that another mass shooting has occurred. We have lived through the Pulse shooting here in Orlando and I felt so helpless afterwards. How much death has to occur before our leaders in the House and Senate will have the guts to take a stand. I would vote hands down for any candidate, regardless of party, who will come forward and do something to put a stop to this. Of course there are always going to be bad people who do awful things, but without access to these types of weapons the damage would be much less. Will someone out there please make some stronger gun legislation! PLEASE! I thought after Sandy Hook there would be no question….unbelievable that nothing has happened to improve the situation.

  26. With you on this 100%. Thanks for sharing the group information, I’ve just joined Moms Demand Action.

  27. YES GIRL. THANK YOU.

    Was waiting for a troll like Lori to spew some garbage stats that she pieced together from Fox and Breitbart. Lori, you are racist trash and are grossly under-educated on geography and the constitution. You, are what’s wrong with this country.

    1. Dear Jess,

      Your comment is just as hateful as Lorrie’s. I don’t agree with what Lorrie said, and I think her sarcasm at the end was inappropriate. But I don’t get “racist” from her comment. Nor do I see statistics from Breitbart or Fox in her post–unless there was another one she posted that I missed. Nor would I consider her “trash” as she has a right to an opinion in this country just like you do.

      Your anger and exaggeration regarding her post does not help. You are just adding another level of anger and hate. I’m sure you have more important things to do than wait for “trolls” .

      Ugh this event is absolutely tragic: whether it is automatic weapons, knives, hijacked trucks, or pressure cookers. Can everyone–leftwing, rightwing, NFL players, twitter users– just take a collective pause? Maybe a long pause?

      Grieving for everyone hurt by this tragedy.

      1. Jess,

        I am as mad as you are. And, I am guessing that you and I would get along great over coffee if we were discussing the day’s newspaper. But I want to implore you from calling folks names, if for no other reason than it hurts our cause. Because now, instead of debating the issue, those whose oppose you will now draw attention toward your anger, instead of the things that matter.

        I am sympathetic. It is your right to say what you do. But I am begging you to please use your voice to keep on with the message that we need to bring about positive change. We need all the help we can get.

      2. Thank you so much for this. The quickness with which we attempt to discredit a different opinion with how someone is stupid or racist or trash is truly demoralizing. It is more than possible for one to believe in their right to own an assault rifle and also to be a good person, parent, friend. I will admit I am not one of them, but I have friends that do (two that I know of, but whatever) that are the kindest souls I know, and insulting their intelligence doesn’t suddenly make them hate their guns…let’s attempt to not take our own anger out on people who feel differently than us. They didn’t kill those people.

  28. Thank you for your posts and for your sensible, articulate replies on this terrible, terrible and tragic topic. I really appreciate you writing about this. Xx

  29. Thank you for your post. I’ve been writing to my congressmen every since Sandy Hook and on its anniversary each year. We need to keep fighting for tighter gun control and easier access to mental health care for those at risk. To me, these issues are intertwined.

  30. Congress is now poised to pass a bill that will make it much easier, faster, and cheaper to purchase silencers – which will mean an even greater potential loss of life in future inevitable attacks. The bill will almost certainly pass, in spite of this mass killing and in spite of the recent attack on GOP representatives themselves at their baseball practice. We need to stop electing people who pass these idiotic, heartless laws . “Thoughts and prayers” are hollow coming from those who continue to vote for them. In addition to joining organizations like the ones you mentioned, another thing we can all do is call our elected officials today and tell them where we stand on the silencer bill. I’m certain NRA supporters are calling.

    1. Dear AR Owner,
      She may make pillows, or to be precise, she designs pillows, but she sure as hell can weigh in on this issue. She is a citizen of a country where these horrific mass shootings are about as commonplace and predictable as pumpkin spice lattes.
      I must ask, when you reference that she knows ‘NOTHING’ about what she weighed in on, what exactly do you mean? Do you nean she knows nothing because she does not own an AR? If so, I feel so genuinely sorry for you and your most unfortunate ignorance. I really fear for this country when so many of its citizens feel like they are so aggrieved by this, that and the other. Get over yourselves, get involved with your communities, get out of your selfish, selfish heads and start thinking intentionally!

  31. Thank you, thank you Erin! For this post, the poem and taking on the hateful comments here. I’m sharing the poem on my Facebook.

  32. I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone was talking about how to talk to your children about tragedy, and they said they tried to direct focus on “the helpers.” In times of great tragedy, you will also find people performing extraordinary acts of courage and kindness. Yes, there seems to be so much horrible pain and anger in the world, but I believe if we keep our collective attention on the heroes that arise, we have a much better chance at improving things for our kids.

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