Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It has so many great traditions: turkey, pumpkin pie (pecan for our southern relatives), stuffing, a warm fire and a day cheering on our favorite teams. I’m sure you’ll agree that the best Thanksgiving tradition is quality time spent with family, friends and loved ones, reflecting on all we have to be thankful for.
But giving thanks also means taking responsibility – like taking a few moments to talk seriously about our nation’s gun violence problem. Nearly 18,000 American children and teens are injured or killed every year by gun violence. This is exponentially higher than the rates in other developed nations. 30,000 Americans die every year from gun violence, including 1300 Pennsylvanians.
Ninety percent of Americans are calling for commonsense gun laws. Doctors call the travesty of gun violence a public health crisis. Yet too many of our elected leaders continue to turn a blind eye to the problem and a deaf ear to those calling for change.
We need to join together – fathers, mothers, teachers, doctors, nurses – and make this unacceptable. We must make it impossible to ignore the united voices calling for change.
Thank you for being part of this growing movement. As I offer you my best wishes for a beautiful Thanksgiving, I have a request. Take a moment this holiday weekend to think about what you can do to amplify the call for action: can you send one more email, make one more phone call, tell a neighbor about an upcoming event, give one more dollar? Please join me in resolving to do more to spread the message that gun violence is a problem that together we must solve.
Meanwhile, let’s all of us not forget to count our blessings: I wish you an incredibly beautiful Thanksgiving filled with Love, Joy and Gratitude.