Over the past three months, we've raised more than $500 for Moms Demand Action and their Arkansas chapter of tough mothers who are working tirelessly to advocate gun sense in our state and our country. Last week marked $522 donated so far, and I couldn't be more proud of anything else. During the past few months, I've witnessed these women (and men!) work their asses off during what has seemed like an incredibly violent, confusing and disheartening time for gun legislation (or lack thereof) and advocates for smart gun laws. I can't thank them enough for persevering and fighting as hard as they do and for keeping the spirit, energy and hope alive. And I thank everyone who purchased a handmade One Tough Mother necklace and helped me raise money for them.
Fundraising and supporting Moms Demand Action in Arkansas has been an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling thing for me. I'm someone who lost a loved one by firearm, and the act of making these necklaces gives me something to fight the helpless feelings that creep in when I read the news or start thinking too much about the past.
I'm grateful for the tough women (and men!) in Moms Demand Action who show up and speak out, and I'm glad that organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety have compiled research and statistics about guns and suicide. This issue is one of many important firearm-related issues with which they're concerned; for me, it's the most personal and the one that brought me here.
Let's talk about the problem. Let's change the culture around guns in the U.S. Let's shake the mental health stigma in this country and stop automatically blaming gun violence on mental illness. To start, let's lock up our damn guns and keep them out of reach of young people. And let's pass laws to make this place safer.
If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts, please know that you are loved and you are important to your loved ones and friends. If you need to talk to someone, you can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the US, anytime, about any type of crisis.