January 12, 2011
We are heartbroken over the recent tragedy in Tuscon, and continue to light candles and send prayers to everyone affected by this senseless act of violence.
Of course the events in Tuscon are a sobering reminder that our society is filled with (and glorifies) guns and killing, both at home and abroad. Thanks to Gov. Jan Brewer and a complicit state government, Arizona already has one of the most lax gun control laws in the country, and is thinking of making it easier to carry concealed guns on campus through two new bills to be introduced this week1 Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, who authored both bills, recently stated "When everyone is carrying a firearm, nobody is going to be a victim."
We know Gov. Brewer, Rep. Harper and all of the cosponsors of the bills need to hear the wise words of Gabrielle Giffords (a gun-owner herself) so as not to turn this tragedy into an arms race. Send them a note now.
At a Holocaust memorial event, the month after her office was vandalized in apparent retaliation for her vote to support the health reform bill, Rep. Giffords said, “We know that silence equals consent when atrocities are committed against innocent men, women and children. We know that indifference equals complicity when bigotry, hatred and intolerance are allowed to take root. And we know that education and hope are the most effective ways to combat ignorance and despair.” To honor Gabrielle Giffords, let's refuse to be silent. As we speak up, we also honor those whose lives were lost and shattered in that Safeway parking lot, and pay tribute to our belief in democracy.
Please, take a moment right now, and send Congresswoman Giffords' words on to Gov. Brewer, Rep. Harper, Speaker of the House Kirk Adams, and all of the new bills' cosponsors, urging them to withdraw support for even weaker gun laws. You can't shoot your way to security anymore than you can bomb the world to peace.
With heavy but hopeful hearts,
Dana, Janet, Jean, Joan, Jodie, Kristen, Lisa, Farida, Medea, Nancy, Rae, and Tighe
P.S. We are so grateful for Arizona CODEPINKers Lisa Blank, Edwina Vogan, Virginia Hauflaire, Jhan Kold, Mary DeCamp and Liz Hourican, for bringing messages of peace to the vigil at the Arizona State Capitol. They tell us “We have just learned The Crossroads of The West Gun Show is next weekend (1-15-16) in Tucson at the County Fairgrounds. Although we hope this show will be canceled in light of the recent horrific violence, there is no news to that effect this evening. We are in process of planning a caravan to Tucson to bring the message of non-violence to the city that is still in mourning at the County Fair Grounds where the show is scheduled.” It is actions like these, and their press conference yesterday, that give us such hope in the face of despair.