For a few days in April 2021 two powerful gun violence memorials were on display in Washington, DC. As is often the case in America, dramatic acts of gun violence filled the news headlines. The morning after the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana I visited the gun violence memorials. Walk through them with me and then read how you can join the fight to end gun violence.
Giffords Gun Violence Memorial in Washington, DC
Giffords created an installation on the National Mall to remember gun violence survivors and inspire Senators to take legislative action. Led by former Congresswoman and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords, Giffords is “on a mission to save lives from gun violence.”
The Giffords Gun Violence Memorial consists of 40,000 flowers to represent the number of Americans who die from gun violence each year.
Giffords says, “In the wake of the House of Representatives passing lifesaving legislation to enact universal background checks, address the Charleston Loophole, and prevent abusive dating partners and stalkers from accessing guns, we’re sending a message to the Senate: enough is enough. Our country has done enough thinking and praying about this crisis—we need to end it.”
The Gun Violence Memorial Project in Washington, DC
Housed at the National Building Museum, the Gun Violence Memorial Project aims to demonstrate the enormity of the gun violence epidemic in America while honoring the individual lives taken.
“You hear those numbers all the time, but you never tie names to them. I wanted you to see who my son was,” said Pamela Bosley, mother of Terrell Bosley, Co-founder of Purpose Over Pain.
The Gun Violence Memorial Project consists of four houses built of 700 glass bricks. The 700 bricks represent the approximate number of Americans killed by gun every week. Artifacts donated by loved ones will continue to be added to bricks throughout the exhibition.
It was amazing how a small brick tells the story of a person. The donated remembrance items grow beyond their space to humanize each name into a full-color person you can picture in your mind. There was every kind of possession you can imagine from books to jewelry to toys to sports memorabilia to graduation tassels to prayer objects.
Join the Movement to End Gun Violence
As Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, says, “We don’t have to live like this. We don’t have to die like this.” We must continue to pressure our elected officials – from city hall to state house to congress – to take action to prevent gun violence.
Gun sense legislation works. We know how to systemically chip away at this problem. We just have to find legislations with the courage to do the work.
- Text ACT to 644-33 to join more 6 million volunteers across the country working with Moms Demand Action.
- Call congress: Moms Demand will connect you with your Senators to demand a vote on background checks legislation.
- Educate yourself on key issues in the gun violence prevention movement and proven solutions.
- Pledge to fight gun violence with Giffords.
- Send a message to your Senators demanding action on background checks. This post has tips on how to contact Senators. Sample email: “As you constituent, I want you to take action on gun violence in America. Closing a deadly loophole in federal background checks is the first and most important step Congress can take to stop guns from getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Please support critical legislation to require background checks on all gun sales.”
- Tweet at your Senators asking for action on background checks. Click here for the Twitter handle of every US Senator. Sample tweet: “@[YourSenator] I want you to take action on gun violence. Closing a deadly loophole in federal background checks is the 1st and most important step to stop guns from getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Please support this life-saving critical legislation.”