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Dear Kay,

A month ago, I would have been mystified if Future Me had said, “Hey Ann, on April 18 you’re going to join hands with 5,000 people to make a human chain from Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to the Tennessee State Capitol. Also: you’ll all be wearing red clothes.”

But that’s what’s up this afternoon, as part of a nonpartisan effort to get the attention of the people who have the power to determine gun safety laws in Tennessee.

Voices for a Safer Tennessee is doing this as a plain old attention-getter, because we’ll do anything at this point to get attention about gun safety.

Nothing seems to have worked so far. Student walkouts, teacher walkouts, an absolute tsunami of emails and phone calls—Tennessee’s General Assembly is not interested in getting assault weapons off the streets.

What Can We Do?

I’m writing today to encourage us all to go for it. Wherever you are. This is a national plague.

Let’s honor the families and friends who have lost loved ones to gun violence. Let’s work to get assault weapons off the street. Background checks. Red flag laws.

I started to list here a bunch of statistics about the number of mass shootings this year, the number of school shootings, the number of shootings by children who get hold of a gun at home, the number of guns stolen out of unlocked cars, how mass shootings have increased since the ban on assault weapons lapsed in 2005. But you already know this stuff. It takes a two-second internet search to see how our country is sagging under the agony of gun violence.

Amid the sea of amazing signs at one of the marches, I am haunted by the young man who sat at the State Capitol for hours after a march. “This Has To Stop,” his sign read.

That’s the message. Give your time, your money, your talent, your platform—whatever you’ve got, this is not a time to sit on the sidelines. Great change is possible.



PS Here are organizations that are working on ending gun violence. Whatever resonates for you, plug in. And please share in the comments what you’re up to regarding this issue—it’s galvanizing to hear stories from everybody.

Everytown for Gun Safety

Moms Demand Action

Sandy Hook Promise

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence


  • I appreciate you writing about this. Too often you see comments like ” let’s stay out of politics and just talk about knitting “.

    Gun violence is real and people are dying every day. We’re being held hostage by the NRA and we need to speak up. Thank you.

    • Thank you!

    • The NRA is absolutely a factor in what is happening. Our legislators can’t even say the word gun, much less do anything to control them.

      • The US has a drastically higher rate of gun deaths than anywhere else in the world. Many of those places are far less religious than the US and practice various religions. If every country on the planet does something miles better than we do, we have to ask ourselves why. It’s not God. It’s the laws. It’s not a mystery. Everyone else knows how to solve this problem. We do too. Our politicians just refuse to do it.

      • You say this with such resignation. Do you have other ideas to solve this horrendous problem?
        Just a question, why would one want to bring a gun into a Panera?

      • With respect, here in Texas there really isn’t any gun control to speak of.

        Beginning September 1, 2021, HB1927 made it legal in Texas for most people 21 or over to carry a handgun in a holster without a permit both openly and/or concealed. This law modified the previous open carry law from 2016 by eliminating the requirement to have a license to carry.

        And we don’t have background checks, either.

        Businesses have to protect themselves from patrons who wish to carry guns. It’s not sustainable.

        I get that it’s “not the arrow, it’s the Indian” when it comes to gun violence. It’s a very complicated topic involving mental health issues, access to guns, access to healthcare, etc. But certainly having some commonsense checks on who can get a gun will go a long way.

      • This god of yours has failed miserably. We need good humans to help fix this. So sad there are so few brave ones in congress.

      • What reality do you live in?

      • Well where the hell is god then? Tired of waiting for him to get it together and do something about this.

      • Celeste – thank you for your words of wisdom.

      • If what you say is true, then why do automatic guns and magazines with lots of rounds keep showing up on the streets, in schools and in peoples’ homes? Somewhere there is a breakdown but I don’t know where it is. Yes, faith is also important but I hope somehow we can solve this problem, too many people have died.

      • Vote for candidates that hear you!

        • YES, YES, YES. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE for people who are willing to stand up and regulate guns!

    • THANK YOU.
      WITH YOU!!!!

  • Maybe we have been too conciliatory. “ Oh please legislators can we have background checks? May we have red flag laws? Can we have Assault rifle bans? And what do we get? Permitless concealed carry. Perhaps we now need to play hardball. Time to demand the repeal of the second amendment. Our children and grandchildren are worth it.

    • My husband has been saying this. I am dubious about the ability to succeed, considering the process for repealing a constitutional amendment, and I still believe a correct interpretation of the 2nd Amendment would be protective. (However, I am of course also dubious about that happening given the make-up of the federal courts at this time.) Thanks for bringing this suggestion up, in any case. (And being in Wisconsin, I share the frustration about gerrymandering!)

    • Two Words: Sandy Hook

      Victim of both the Second and the First Amendments.

    • With you in spirit from Pennsylvania. Gerrymandered primaries are a huge problem, almost impossible to break those districts. You know we’re in deep, deep trouble when books are considered more dangerous than guns. ‘Blanket’ yarn bombing could be an option for messaging from coast to coast. We probably would be arrested, hopefully not shot to death w knitting needles in hand.

    • With you from NJ, where despite relatively strong gun laws we still need active-shooter drills in schools.

      • It breaks my heart when I hear of yet another shooting (and another and another and another). I went to a game the other evening and the thought entered my head that at any gathering anywhere I could be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I shudder at the words, “thoughts and prayers” which have come to mean “sorry for you, but the Second Amendment has precedence over all, even human life”.

        From everything I have read, the majority in our country want laws that will help end this cycle of death and violence. However, I live in a district that is so horribly gerrymandered that my vote is meaningless. As long as voting laws are increasingly restrictive to the point of disenfranchising people and extreme gerrymandering takes care of those who do, the minority will continue to rule the majority. If voting rights and districting were fair, candidates of whatever party would have to make an attempt to appeal to their constituents and perhaps be more responsive if they wanted to get elected and re-elected, regardless of party affiliation.

        • I’m sick of thoughts and prayers. We need to vote and mobilize.

        • If gerrymandering exists in a democratic country it means the country is not democratic!
          Nope – this is a contradiction in terms.
          The Second Amendment is a license to kill – why is such a law in existence? If anything it encourages lawlessness.
          And why do grocery stores sell guns – makes no sense…

        • Exactly.

  • Thank you Ann… we’re with you in spirit from NJ.

    • Thank you Martha! I’m meeting incredible people who are so inspiring in their commitment to changing all this. ♥️

  • And today news of a child shot on a doorstep when he knocked on the wrong door. As an Australian I have so many wonderful American friends made through the knitting community and so I know that not all Americans feel complacent about this. I know you want a better future.

    • Our state and federal legislators and senators do not represent the people who elected them. Gerrymandering, the Citizens United decision and big money dictate policy which our elected officials implement. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.Transparency in campaign financing and the hidden political financial outcome of Citizens United decisions, term limits, and apolitical Supreme Court justices are absolutely necessary. I don’t see any hope of these NECESSARY basics happening anytime soon. SAD

    • Vote them out while you’re at it!

      • This is the fundamental way it’s going to have to work. Feeling unrepresented by your reps? Help get a better person in that seat. Gerrymandered and your rep can’t be budged? Find a race where a flip is possible and help them out. Phone banking and door knocking are the ONLY efforts that actually get people off the sofa. (Just learned that this week.) That’s what I’m doing.

      • Thank you. We have a horrible problem in our country. I am grateful to you for speaking up and for taking action. Peace be with you.

      • That’s the key……Vote them out!

  • Thank you for speaking up. Each person who does makes a difference.

  • I am not a resident of the US. If I were, I think I’d be petrified to let my children go to school. Bless you and good luck.

    • It’s absolutely appalling.

  • You may have problems with gun laws, we have problems with knife crimes. The world seems a violent and don’t care attitude place at present. May God help us.

    • Keep hope alive, Heather! Huge change has happened before, and I think this has got to be one of those crossroads. Drawing inspiration from the young people who are driving the effort here in Tennessee.

  • Thank you for your post today. I am echoing what others have already posted. In our country weapons of war are protected more than children. Sensible gun laws are needed now more than ever. I will think of the marchers today and wish that their voices are heard and heeded

    • Assault weapons ban has actually happened here, lapsed in 2005. Gotta get it back in place.

  • Amen.

  • Minority rule and Citizens United = tyranny. thank you for using your energy and your platform in this cause.

    • Agree 100%.

  • I absolutely agree.

    • Also agree

  • Go Ann GO! And thank you

  • Thank you Ann

  • I write a column every week for a Jung Society that reaches about 3000 people. Every week I end it with a comment supporting Ukraine and the families who are touched by gun violence. And I also suggest people support a food bank, local or international. I don’t know if it helps. I
    know I occasionally hear from a Ukrainian thanking me. But I think all that will help is voting people out of office who don’t see the problem. I will wear orange today, as I am in a trip with no red….or maybe I will buy a new t shirt! Let’s all go get em!!!!

    • Love this idea, a sustained, consistent message.

  • Yes. This has to stop. We are with you in Virginia.

    • Thank you, Ann. Gun violence diminishes our country. I live in Virginia and am with you in spirit today.

  • I am part of Moms Demand Action. I am finding my way with them and it feels good to do something. Anything! I hope you human chain attracts attention in all the ways. I hope knitters employ our collective power of goodness and love for our neighbors in ways that say no to guns and yes to sensible laws to care for one another. Go Ann Go! Wear the red. Will it be a handknit!???❤️

    • Moms Demand Action is amazing. Everybody, download their app—it will alert you about bills coming up for vote, helps you send emails quickly to elected offficials. Very efficient and smart.

      • Thank you for this. I’ll check it out

      • MDA in Nashville is Awesome. My partner and I used to live there and worked with Linda McF-K. She is undeterred!

        We now live in NC and are finding our way here. MDA is strong here, too.

        Voting and letting your representatives know how you feel is truly key.

  • Thank you, Ann! With you in Colorado!

    • Help us get Lauren Boebert out of Congress!

      • CassieG – Amen. Here’s what I did: I moved to her district sadly after she already made it onto the ballot. Then I changed my affiliation from Democrat to Unaffiliated and chose to get ballots for both parties. Next time I will be voting on both sides to try to make my choices count!

    • Can I move to Colorado please?

  • Vote, VOTE, VOTE ! ! ! Raising awareness is fine (and important), but results in no change unless the politicians in office are listening to your voices. If they are not representing their constituents in this matter, vote for someone who will.

    • This is where I’m going to focus my energy—phone banking and door knocking are the only two efforts that are proved to get people off the sofa and to the polls. The human interaction is what works—in Nashville, 78% of people reached by door knocks or phone actually went to the polls. In a city with very low Democrat voting rates.

      • Thanks for sharing that information- I’m going to share it with everyone I know!


  • Thanks for addressing this!

  • Thank you for this, Ann! It’s got to stop!

  • I agree absolutely. Thank you for writing about this.

  • Thank you.

  • It is way past time to stand in defiance against the idea that assault rifles are okay!! It is appalling to me that Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to stop this insanity in its tracks.

    • Assault weapons must go, agree completely. And so much more!

  • We marched in DC after Parkland. It’s shocking we still haven’t seen changes for good. Thank you, Ann.

  • Must. Stop. Guns.

  • Tbis was one of the topics discussed in my knitting group yesterday. it will only change when enough legislators fear that continued support for lenient gun laws will cost them enough votes that they could lose their seats. Im glad you are doing this.

    • Activate that knitting group! My pickleball group is suddenly a gun reform group. We’ll be locking arms downtown today, gearing up for door knocking and phone banking.

  • I thought action would have been taken in 1999 after the Columbine HS shooting then 5 years ago students from Parkland HS formed

    But in Tennessee and elsewhere we have seen permitless carry and no background checks.
    Tennessee has a “State Rifle” designated in 2016 – a Barrett M28 sniper rifle (to please a Tenn manufacturer)
    Smith & Wesson is relocating their headquarters to Maryville, TN and it opens later this year.
    So, I hate to say it, I fear the Tn legislature at this time, is very much in the pocket of gun makers.

    All the more reason to keep up demonstrations and lobbying. It will be an uphill battle but keep on going. It’s gonna take “ Pressure & Time” to quote Andy Dufresne from “The Shawshank Redemption”

    Thank you Ann for writing this piece.

    • Tennessee is a mess right now. But we gotta clean it up. Most people want gun reform. We’re led by buffoons in thrall to the fun lobby.

      • “The fun lobby?” No doubt you meant the gun lobby— but the typo is apt; people are prioritizing their lethal toys over the lives of kids and other innocents.

  • It seems the first order of business is to vote the Republicans OUT of the Majority in the State House, which will be ridiculously difficult because of all the gerrymandering. The Tennessee State House has already shown us what it thinks of gun control protests. As long as Republicans are in control, there will be no gun control, sadly.

    • Vote them out is the game. We’ve had Democrat legislatures not that long ago, Democrat governors. It’s not impossible, it’s just a pain in the ass to do it and it’s going to cut into my knitting time for sure!

      • I see what a STELLAR job the democrats are doing in our major cities like New York, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, San Francisco and others. Their pockets get filled with kickbacks & under the table money while their constituents are dying in the streets.

        • Amen.

        • Kip— you are so right. It’s similar to the NRA funding many politicians. What is truly appalling are those states loosening gun laws so soon after bloodshed occurs in their and other states. Can’t we just agree to stop blaming red or blue and get to work on doing something to end this madness?

  • Thank you, Ann. Unfortunately the biggest change has to come at the Supreme Court – the courts continue to strike down every effort to implement any kind of gun control. We have to stop electing the fringe of the Republican party and support legislators who want to save lives. The Constitution DOES NOT guarantee everyone, every gun. That interpretation is insane and it has been made at the cost of too many lives. Vote, vote, vote! And, help to get out the vote!

    • I agree that second amendment is soooo misinterpreted! So many chose to overlook the actual point of that amendment and hide behind a gun lobby. I get so riled up by gun violence and there is so little I can do. I belong to (and donate to) several of the organizations Ann listed, always contact my legislators (to no avail), donate to campaigns, EVEN IN OTHER STATES, when a viable candidate is running and joined the League of Women Voters.
      It will only be enough when more people join in the fight!
      Will check into door knocking and phone banking.

      • I recently learned the 2nd amendment was put in place to allow groups of white property owners to gather to form militias and go hunt down runaway slaves.
        Everyone was find with the original 2nd amendment interpretation until the Black Panthers started carrying weapons in the 60s, then Reagan (then Gov of CA) and other people started getting worried about who could have a gun. A sub-group in the NRA took control and started pushing for the current interpretation of 2A. There’s a lot of history about the interpretation of 2A.
        I don’t think people need to have assault rifles. Those are military weapons. No one hunts with them because of the massive damage to the prey, they’re for killing people.

      • Hear, hear.

  • With you in North Carolina

  • Thank you, Ann. Writing to all my elected officials (again) today in your honor! We are a strong community, and we can do better!

  • Thank you, Ann. You’ve echoed what is in so many hearts and minds. I feel powerless against the bureaucracy but that doesn’t stop me from voting and speaking out.

  • I’m so proud of you and the other participants in what you are going to do today. The TN current gun laws ARE the problem and all of you have the power to change history! I have seen on the news the nonviolent protesting that has taken place on the steps of the capitol building in Nashville and inside the chambers. You have 3 members of Congress who are fighting with you–it is an uphill battle, as money and power have taken over our country. I’m hoping that all of you will persevere keeping the pressure on until a change is made! I’ll wear my red sweater in support. Thank you!

    • Wow thanks for the encouragement, Kathy! The Tennessee 3 are amazing, and a lot of us are drawing inspiration from them. If sunshine is the best disinfectant, they are solar flares—shining light on so much garbage happening in our state legislature.

      • When I heard the news, my first thought was for the MDK family. You have not mentioned, so I will believe that none of you were directly affected by the senseless attack.
        My family had a retail store, and my dad’s attitude was that you stay out of public rumblings so it doesn’t reflect on the store.
        That in mind, I wasn’t sure what posture your business would take. I am so very glad you are going full tilt to make a difference. You are inspiring!!

  • Keep up the great work Ann and good luck today with your challenge

  • Please also mention the League of Women Voters– fighting for gun control on a local, state and national level for decades.

    • Yes! A powerful, sustained effort. Thank you for reminding us!

  • This was the morning email I didn’t know I wanted, but it rescued me from directionless despair. I’m signing up! Thank you. ❤️

  • Thank you, Ann!

    I’d like to add that we need to advocate for FEDERAL laws because otherwise people will go to states with virtually no gun laws to buy guns. Write to your Senators and US House reps regarding red flag laws and a ban on assault rifles

  • Every. Single. Day. I’m so sick of watching the news every single day and hearing of another shooting, another child dead for no reason. Assault rifles shoot bullets that absolutely pulverize tissue. Just imagine what one of those does when it hits a child’s body. It has to stop. The hate has to stop.

  • Good luck and bless each participant. This gun violence is a scourge on our country. I will be with you in spirit and prayer.

  • Preach. Time for action and change, along with thoughts and prayers.

  • Gather hands and March on!

  • I’ve been donating and signing petitions for Everytown for Gun Safety. This event sounds amazing and uplifting. If I didn’t live so far away, I would be there.

  • Thank you for posting this!

  • Agreed!!!!!

  • Fear and hate. It’s behind everything wrong and used as a tool by curtain politicians. We need to agitate and shed light. Vote, talk, and show up when you can to be seen.

  • Thank you for bringing these events to my attention. Looks like I’ll be going down to Market Square in Knoxville tonight! My vote doesn’t carry much weight here in TN but I can use my voice.

  • I generally don’t like to see political posts on any of my knitting pages. That being said, these shootings don’t happen anywhere else in the world. The only way this will stop is by sending people to Washington who will enact gun control legislation. National laws are necessary to stop the purchase of assault weapons in states neighboring those with strong gun control. We need to bring mental health to the forefront and we need strong NATIONAL gun laws. Background checks, red flag laws and a ban on assault weapons will go a long way. I urge everyone to think carefully when you vote. Too many of our elected officials don’t share our values or our opinions on many of today’s critical issues. Vote like your kids depend on it. Because they do!!!

    • Trust me, Audrey, I’d rather be writing about my Valdres pullover sleeve, and I hope the day will come when we can have a country where gun lust is contained and regulated.

  • I will be with you in spirit.

  • Thank you for this. I’d add that people should call their congressman and senators. Get their numbers, put them on speed dial and call every day. Normally you get a human. Have a short prepared speech “ my name is x, my zip code is y and I want gun safety legislation “. All they really care about is reelection. If their voters are leaning strongly you will get their attention

  • Thank you for the courage to speak out on this here. The lives of children, teachers, those celebrating events, people working and people living their lives should not be political. You are doing what is right!

  • Thank you for using your platform.
    It’s time for everyone to stand up against gun violence.

  • Thank you Ann and all who have left positive comments. Perhaps we can also influence the movie/tv makers to stop glorifying death and destruction. Anything and everything to stop the insanity.

    • So so true! I sat through some previews the other day that were mind bogglingly violent. Sick, actually.

    • YES! Not to mention the creators of video games. Grrr.

  • Thank for your effort.

  • Something is terribly wrong when there is massive support for policies that our lawmakers at every level ignore. Even in deep red Mississippi, there are policy changes that 70-80% of voters support but can’t even get an acknowledgement, a discussion, a hearing in the state legislature. Our elected officials have been blatantly ignoring the voters for years. This is not democracy at work.

  • Thank you!! School Districts are now asking tax payers to pay for increased security measures, such as bulletproof glass, special doors, cameras, and having police on site when school is in session, to name a few. Common sense tells us limiting the guns would make much more sense. We are all being held hostage and our children, especially, are suffering.

    • Right on!

  • Thank you for standing up and to all who have commented. We must set our country on a course that will end these deaths and injuries of all kinds.

  • Thank you, Ann, and all those you’ll be joining.

  • Thank you for the list. We need action!

  • I would like to know why we have so many people that want to do violence.

  • Thank you Ann! I have been thinking about you and Nashville this past week. Very, very happy to hear from you about the senseless and ‘intractable’ gun violence issue and proud you are using your voice on MDK to promote change.

  • I’m glad to see this. My daughter goes to Michigan State University. She didn’t lose anyone to her. However she and the rest of the school know that no place is safe anymore personally. Locked doors and turning a campus into a prison just makes the innocent sacrifice their freedom. When do gun owners sacrifice their “freedom”?

  • I am having PTSD, having nightmares of school shootings and there stands A grandmother bragging that her 2 year old granddaughter has A gun. These people are so out of touch with their constituents! Register and vote! They have to be voted out !

  • I am so pleased and proud to do business with someone who is brave enough to publicly support this important issue. I am with you! Thank you.

  • Thank you – everyday we need to continue this fight

  • With you in spirit from Los Angeles.

  • With you from NH. Not one more. But feeling very discouraged.

  • No reason for gun makers to sell AR-15 rifles to anyone but armed forces or police.
    My heart goes out to families of law enforcement officers who worry if their loved ones will come home every day.

  • thank you!

  • Yes yes yes!

  • It is heartbreaking to hear our Tennessee legislators state on the record that “we’re not going to do anything “ after the Covenant massacre. And the other state legislators call elementary kids and young teens rioters and insurrectionists when they protested the Covenant massacre.
    It is mind boggling that these people are more interested in taking money from the gun lobby than actually serving the people of TN. This has to Stop!!

  • I’m with you, Ann! There are so many of us with you. Enough is enough!! Thank you for taking a stand!!

  • In Canada there have been 24 mass shootings leaving 137 people dead in the last 48 YEARS. 16 of those shootings were school shootings that left 40 people dead. The numbers are a little less for Great Britain in the same time frame. The difference is1 school shooting (Scotland) in the last 48 years.
    Gun control measures work!
    Personally,I am working on knitting a visual to highlight the difference. This will take over a year to complete. I am focusing just on schools. Are there cable needles long enough to cast on the number of stitches to represent people who have died in mass shootings(excluding the schools)since Columbine?

  • I’m the invisible one at the end of your red line, but that’s my heart & soul blowing in from Montana!

  • Thank you for saying something here, Ann! We’re fighting for this in Seattle too.

  • With you in Kentucky where our legislators do not want to vote on anti-gun legislation either. Good luck today!

  • Respectfully, this is not a valid argument. Lawless and mentally ill people are in every country of the world. Yet in no other country is there this kind of everyday gun violence, where you are terrified to send your kids to school. The difference in the US is that you can go buy an AR-15 and mow down a bunch of innocent people in a matter of seconds. That HAS to change.

    The founding fathers with their muskets you had to reload every time did not envision this. Nobody is talking about taking away the guns you use for a reasonable purpose. If you want to hunt, you can get a rifle. No civilian needs to own an assault weapon.

    Ann, supporting your efforts with every fiber of my being from Minnesota, where we are proudly and unapologetically progressive (we recently passed a bill making the state a refuge for transgender people).

  • And 6 year olds with guns shooting their teachers? Should the teachers have guns so they can shoot back at the 6 year olds? More guns does not equal safety.

    • In 1996 Australia had its worst ever massacre – 35 people killed at Port Arthur. The Government at the time held a gun amnesty and reformed the gun laws. Until Dec 2022 Australia didn’t have a single mass shooting. In Dec 2022 6 people died – the 3 perpetrators, 2 police and one bystander. I work in crisis mental health and fear what would happen if guns were freely available here in Australia. I fear a lot of my clients would use them to self harm. When we need an intervention we have to ascertain if the client has a weapon – they rarely do. If they have a weapon it’s generally a kitchen knife. I understand you feel the situation is so out of control in the US that only your God or fighting back will work but too many innocent people are being killed while your politicians offer up their thoughts and prayers and do nothing. It’s time for brave citizens to tell them enough is enough.

  • Not only the lives lost – a constant reminder for everyone are the children and adults in these events who are the direct recipients of the damage and carnage. No one should be dead and no one should live with this horror. Thank you for saying something out loud to those of us who are are brought together by ordinary, life lifting pleasures.

  • Thank you for your enlightened overview and for listing where we can donate to make a difference. Vote them out and support those that are listening to the majority of citizens.

  • Passing seatbelt laws didn’t prevent car accidents either. But the laws did increase use of seatbelts and seatbelts have saved lives. There is a huge difference between “taking guns away”, and restricting access to semi-automatic weapons.

  • Thank you Ann! With you in spirit today.

    We feel so powerless in the wake of these shootings. Thank you for the reminder that we can and must do something. Every little thing helps, and is better than being paralyzed into doing nothing.

  • Thank you for speaking out on this today. We all need to get LOUDER and ANGRIER for this to change! The blatant hypocrisy of the pro-life, ant-crime, gun loving politicians cannot be overstated. Otherwise, this is pure insanity. I’m with you 100%!

  • With you. We are all hostage to the NRA(who, ironically, don’t allow firearms of any kind)into their conventions. And there is no valid reason for any private citizen to have access to a military assault weapon.

  • THANK YOU FOR THIS – we ALL need to do what we can to STOP this insanity. You are to be commended for addressing this issue. Good on ya!

  • Thank you, Ann, for “bringing up politics” today! We may be knitters, but we’re human beings, too! And how can guns be more important than our fellow humans?! I don’t understand any of the legislative “logic” surrounding guns and when we vote, we must vote like our rights depend on it, because they do! Not just with guns, either! But we MUST Vote Out those who are too blind, too greedy, too ignorant, too selfish, too hypocritical, and who are not even listening to their constituents! And gun control is just one of the issues where the elected politicians are failing to listen. I have become politically active in my retirement, and it feels good to help make changes! Go for it! We can do it with Persistence!

  • Thank you, Handstowork!

    • Thank you, Handstowork!

  • Thanks for this important discussion. I am increasing my donations to organizations working to end gun violence and my letters to legislators!

  • As a responsible defensive weapon owner, the problem isn’t “gun safety.” Clearly anyone with criminal intent in the US who wants a firearm can obtain one. The problem lies with the legal system.

    Prosecutors and judges allow YOUTH offenders committing crimes with firearms to be released with low bail, a slap on the wrist, or outright “no charges, no time.” These child criminals grow up with the idea that there are no consequences for their actions. They escalate their violence, have no fear of authorities & repercussions. Do they even respect human life? Or do they just become animals?

    As older, career criminals, jail/prison is a revolving door. Nothing deters them.

    If you want to rally & wear matching tee shirts, try protesting outside the courthouse. Our legal system is failing us. Those “serving” us are the culprits.

    • Kip and Handstowork. My comments are being censored *completely their right.* But you are not alone.

    • Amen, Kip.

  • When the shootings took down our beloved children and adults in Sandy Hook, CT there were several groups organized to change the gun laws in this state. Thanks to constant efforts, letters, marches, etc. laws have been changed here. I would encourage everyone to look to Connecticut legislative information to see what has transpired here and the difference it has made in lowering homicides. I personally am very grateful that we have two senators who work non stop on national sensible gun laws. I think we need a concerted effort to know what our legislators votes are on the topic of gun laws and vote them out if they continue to support this madness. Changes need to happen or more babes will die.

  • Thank you so much for your post! Appreciate the list of organizations that will help ban assault weapons.

  • So well said Ann. I don’t do enough and I’m going to change that. I’m with you.

  • This is the third comment I’ve read from you today, Handstowork. It’s not left-wing to want to do something about the number one cause of children’s death in the US. It’s just being a decent human being. If this is interfering with your knitting, please, go knit.

    • Everyone is entitled to an opinion, both pro and con on the topic of gun control. We should respect each others opinions without making personal comments to each other.

    • The measures you proposed are proven not to work (Detroit, Chicago, DC are all “gun-free” zones under Democrats and lead with gun deaths). Repeating the mantra does not change the outcome. We need a new approach. I am here for the ratio. I Refuse to be drowned out as a responsible gun owner.

  • Thank you for using your space for this today! Xox

  • Thank you for your courage to use the MDK platform to voice your support of sensible gun regulation. We need to change our culture of gun worship in the country. I am with you in spirit from Olympia, Washington.

  • Thank you! With you in Allentown PA.
    Special thanks for listing organizations information.

  • Thank you. I have kept a tree in my yard “yarn bombed” for several causes. It’s a way for me to be visible, but also a message to the young people in my neighborhood that I am listening (students on our street have organized awareness drive bys and other protests).

  • After Newtown, I decided that gun violence was going to be my one issue. The one issue by which I decided who to vote for, who to donate to, who to support. How can we look at children whose siblings have been killed and answer “Why didn’t you do anything to stop this?” That is a question I don’t want to have to answer.

  • Thank you for addressing this unacceptable “condition” of our lives. We are linked by our interest in an ordinary, life-fulfilling craft. We can be connected, too, by responding to this on-going carnage and life long damage. Remembering those who have died is important. No less important are those children and adults who carry the physical and mental burden of the direct impact of these horrific events and the vague useless responses. No one should die, nor should anyone face a lifetime of injury.

  • Bravo!

  • On this site, why can’t we just stick to knitting

    • Linda, Kay and I have never just stuck to knitting, since 2003. We’ve talked about many, many issues that are important to us.

    • It is an unwillingness to talk with each other that hinders life saving action. We MUST prioritize our children’s lives over our collective failure to apply the “well regulated” part of the 2nd amendment.

    • It’s Ann and Kay’s space to say what they believe is important.

    • Totally agree, Linda.

  • Every time a guy shoots up a ball game or a supermarket or his family or his classroom I wonder how it would be if we allowed only females to buy guns and ammo. No more restrictions than we have now. Men could still have and use guns, as long as they could convince a woman in their life to buy one for them.

    Yes of course this idea is off the wall and fantasy, but so is the hope that we could get any but the teensiest restrictions as long as our current rulers can bluster and bully and redistrict to protect their power. And at least the debate would put the mental and cultural problems that underlie American men’s desperation to amass and use lethal weapons front and center.

    And thank you Anne for your courage and energy!

  • Thank you! We shall win this fight

  • Ann- Thank you for using your platform to speak about this travesty. I have been active in Everytown, Moms Demand, the ACLU. Even here in Massachusetts we are trying to contain the spread of easily available guns. As others have written, we need national laws, A ten minute drive will give me access to a dozen guns.
    Good luck today, wearing red in your honor.

  • I’m sorry to see this post on MDK as this site is usually full of joy. Many of the comments here today are incorrect, background checks are mandatory nationwide on all firearms bought from a gun dealer, there is no firearm that is an assault rifle and when there was a ban it didn’t change anything. Statistics show there is violence all around the world, we are not #1 for mass shootings. Guns are not the problem, the 2nd Amendment is there because it is a God given right. Bad people do not follow the laws and they will always have firearms.

    • A god-given right? What happened to Number One: thou shalt not kill?

    • Gun violence is the number one killer of children in America. Our children have a right to not be gunned down while we ignore the 2nd amendment’s admonition that arms be “well regulated”. Work with us to solve this, please. Take a look at the outcomes in countries that HAVE done something vs. our own that does nothing. How many loved ones would still be here if we followed their examples?

    • There is no joy on MDK today, Ivy—just a deep resolve to work toward a safer country. We all have a lot to learn. This Fox News report is the only thing I want to put to you: “Guns Now the Leading Cause of Death for Children, CDC Says.” This fact is what is motivating me.

  • Thank you for this post, Ann, and thank you for alerting us to the action today in Nashville. From the west coast, I am with you in spirit. I applaud all actions on behalf of gun control as a way to honor and pay tribute to the thousands who have died or who suffer in the aftermath of a loved one having died or been injured by gun violence. May our hands be a vehicle for creativity and love not death and destruction. And may the hands that link in Nashville today be a link joining all those whose hearts, minds, and hands are committed to creating a safer world for us all. Thank you.

  • I live in Texas and it is insane here. We are “protecting children” from storybooks but allowing everyone and their dog to buy and publicly carry all manner of guns…..

    “There is nothing that can be done” , says the only country in the world where this regularly happens.

    Thank you for your voice Ann.

  • Get rid of legislators who don’t make this a priority issue no matter their political affiliation. Our people are more important than guns!

  • es, vote for candidates who hear us and do mobilize. Thank you

  • The US firearm homicide rate is eight times higher than Canada’s. We have similar cultures, similar rates of mental health issues, but much different firearm laws.

  • The NRA needs to stop ✋ funding the politicians who couldn’t care less about the people whom they are supposed to be helping and serving!
    All the laws can be written and passed but those with guns don’t care about the law, we have gotten crazy

  • Thank you, Ann! With you in Minnesota.

  • This is so important. Each victim is someone’s sister, brother, mom, dad, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, grandpa, grandma, neighbor or a friend. Trauma affects all of us…, each of us.

    • I forgot wife and husband

  • Perhaps more attention and help with mental concerns, more love, and less prescribed “medicine” would be better than energy to control gun laws.

  • Thank you, Ann, for sharing this information. Our local art museum held a show featuring work from county residents. One of the pieces displayed was an old-fashioned yellow poncho like the safety patrol kids wore in elementary school days of old. The artist had drawn a small stick figure on the coat for every child injured in gun violence. Figures with red x’s indicated the child had been killed. As a retired elementary school teacher, mother, and HUMAN BEING, I cried about that for days. The young man is correct “This has to stop.”

  • Thank you I’m not a gun owner, but I believe in a free nation. These shooters
    Have all had some mental illness. More laws do not keep these people from getting weapons. Where do the teenagers get the guns in calif. Chicago
    and the other city’s to shoot innocent children and people randomly on the street not only are the schools not safe the streets aren’t as well.

  • Are guns the source of our sick society? Guns have been around a long time-even before we were a country. Why is like held in such low regard? Why are people willing to shoot children and end the lives of innocents? Our country has changed and it’s sick. To end the shootings we have to fix the culture not the gun.

    • God gave us hearts to care & brains to figure out how to live together in peace. Don’t throw away your responsibility as a human in society because “only God can help us.” Check your bible: Pretty sure god wants us to help each other! Turning a blind eye & saying “it’s not the gun, it’s the person shooting the gun” is a thoughtless & worn-out rationale.

      Part of our “sick society” is refusing to see when guns, drugs, & any other tool that could be used for good or harm has clearly gotten out of control — not unlike the oxycontin epidemic. I was a hospice nurse when that drug first came on the market, & a lot of my patients got tremendous relief using it as it was intended. But soon we couldn’t prescribe it anymore because it was a popular street drug.

      Gun use is deeply out of control, & we need to treat it like the oxycontin epidemic: go to the manufacturers, the lawmakers, & the media to expose how & why we came to be so convinced that gun “overdosing” aka exceptionally high rates of mass gun tragedy are somehow not the fault of the pills/guns being too widely available.

  • This HAS to STOP. Demonstrating and protesting is good (I’ve been doing it since 1967) but we also have to organize and get out the vote. The only way to stop the NRA and its paid-for politicians is for people who think otherwise to vote them out of office. And it seems that most people DO want some kind of gun control, gun registration, gun training. Something.

    When some believe that it is OK to take a gun to a protest out of your own state, and shoot someone – or that it is OK to shoot a lost teenager ringing your doorbell – or that it is OK to shoot children in schools day after day – our society has something deeply wrong at its core – something that I believe is fed daily by false media and performative fake outrage. We need to do something about that too.

  • The gun laws don’t need to change…the people need to change. Try disciplining your children. Make them understand they are not privileged and they need to respect authority and rules. Quit letting them run amuck in stores and making excuses for their bad behavior. Make them accountable and responsible. Teach them morals and values. And step in to get them help if they are heading down the wrong path…get your heads out of your screens and look at what the younger generations are doing and learning! Guns don’t fire themselves. Making guns harder for law abiding citizens to access is not going to stop criminals from getting them. And if they don’t have guns, they will just use something else. Maybe homemade bombs or knives. Doing “research” on the internet is only going to give you the results those in power want you to see! Try doing deep dives into the reality of the types of weapons actually being used and the character and history of the people using them. Quit trying to judge and punish the law abiding citizens and blaming inanimate objects for actions done by disturbed individuals. You want action? Start in your own backyard…raise your families to raise quality families.

    • For those of us living in other western nations, the fact of innocent children and adults, going about their lives, being slaughtered at this level, and the line not being drawn to the availability of guns, this many of us cannot understand.
      This is a uniquely US problem, it does not happen elsewhere, and children run amuck in stores with their heads in their screens in all other economically developed countries.
      Having an assault weapon available to you is not the same as “something else”.

      btw as I type this I see a name is required for me to post. Is Handstowork a name?

      • This is hardly a US only issue. Just because you aren’t hearing about it elsewhere doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Before comparing countries strictly by their amount of guns, you better also factor in the drug availability, consequences for breaking laws and mental health issues in those others places as well. And examine how many times it’s really “assault rifles” being used in our own events…this is a very false assumption propagated by mainstream media.

  • This isn’t just a gun issue. And until we recognize that it is a mental health issue this is not going to be solved.
    At the risk of causing all sorts of controversy, i shoot, my kids and grandkids shoot. None of us would ever even contemplate causing a mass shooting. Yet we are being asked to give up our rights because others are unstable.
    If the laws aren’t enforceable, fix the laws.

    • You’re fine, Cynthia. I don’t know of anybody asking for more gun safety legislation who’s going to take away your gun. It’s not controversial at all that your family shoots. Millions of families do. You may need to get it registered, and have a background check, and maybe get some instruction in storing your guns safely. But it sounds like these would be easy things for you and your family to handle. Mental health issues exist across the globe, yet our death rate from guns is higher than anywhere else in the world. It really is the guns.

  • Thank you Anne for your important post. As knitters, we are sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, significant others, and friends. We come from every walk of life. We are one race: the human race. We each deserve to be safe. So when you talk to me/post about safety, you are not taking away my joy, but showing me how much you care. After all, if something isn’t done, the next victim could be me or, heaven forbid, my kin. That would certainly take away my joy!

    Some people think that political subjects take away joy and wish to keep to knitting related topics. It seems to me, though, that knitting has had a place in politics for a very long time. It’s been used to carry coded messages during wartime, for spying (who looks more innocent than a “little old lady” or teenager who is knitting?). Also, during WWI and WWII knitting socks, sweaters, etc was part of the great war effort to support our soldiers. Other crafts have been used, as well. I’m thinking of reports that quilts were used to communicate messages in the underground railroad. Today, you will be using your knitting hands to make a human chain to send a message. Something has to change, not only with mass shootings, but also shooting on our inner city streets, or when ringing the wrong doorbell, or turning into the wrong driveway. I think we need to address underlying causes, too. Maybe for all this a grass roots movement is needed to get the ball rolling. You can’t get anymore grass roots than a group of dedicated knitters.

    Although it’s not always about knitting, MDK has been my number one online happy place since 2006/7. It has brought me so much happiness in so many different ways, fostered a feeling of community, and caused me, at times, to examine myself and grow. Thanks for the memories. They all bring me joy.

  • Thank you! ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH.

  • OK everybody, I’ve been gone this afternoon to the human chain event downtown, which was such a beautiful kid-rich, family event. Extremely moving and sweet. While I was gone, some of you just kind of sucked all the oxygen out of the room. If you’re sad I removed your comment, I’m sorry. But the question I asked was to share what you’re up to regarding the issue of gun violence, and some of you went way off topic. We’ve got plenty of comments for today, so I’ll close them now. We are grateful that you read MDK, and appreciate the encouragement.

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