One Thing You Can Do


What can you do about the shootings at Newtown?  One thing you can do is talk about it.  Not the mournful/terrified/horrified “I know—isn’t it awful?”

Talk about gun control. Don’t leave it to Congress and the President.  Talk about it to everybody with whom you spend significant time.  That means your family, friends, neighbors, teacher, therapist, co-worker—my rule is that I will talk about guns with everybody with whom I spend forty-five minutes.

This is too important to leave to the National Rifle Association or the politicians.  This is something that all citizens need to talk to each other about—and I’m not talking about an hour-long learned discourse or a passionate argument.  I’m talking about five minutes.  And I’m doing it.

I had breakfast with a friend this morning and in the last five minutes I asked him what he thought about gun control.  He has two daughters, aged 9 and 11.  He said, “My God, my God, this has got to stop!”

I had a forty-five meeting with a woman.  I spent the first five minutes asking her about guns.  She said, “Hunting—that’s okay.  Personally, I’m not into it but it’s okay.  But assault weapons?  Absolutely not.”

My aide came and somewhere between washing the dishes and making the salad, I asked her.  She said, “This is crazy.  This is just crazy.  It’s got to stop.  We got no need to have all these guns.”

And then I say, “Hunting weapons are okay, but no handguns or assault weapons because they’re only used to kill people.  And instead of just not selling them, let’s not make them.  Only specially licensed manufacturers can make them for the military and the police.”

Have this conversation with everyone with whom you spend a significant amount of time.  Take five minutes to hear their point of view and express your own.  Gun control is too important to be left in the hands of elected officials.

Take the problem back.  Have a little conversation with everyone you meet.  Surface the issue.  Find out what others think.  Share what you think.

It’s one thing you can do

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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5 Responses to One Thing You Can Do

  1. piracetam says:

    “People can answer a question like, ‘How much time did you spend watching TV yesterday?’ much better than a question like ‘How much time did you spend sitting yesterday?’ ” says Dr. J. Lennert Veerman, a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland, who led the new study.

  2. Lisa says:

    I agree with that. You might want to show them these two pages too: http://www.bradycampaign.org/media/press/view/289
    (has good, dramatic stats to appeal to their ethos i.e., credability and logos)
    It’s from the Brady Campaign… “MORE AMERICANS KILLED BY GUNS THAN BY WAR IN THE 20TH CENTURY 1.4 Million Known American Firearms Casualties Since 1933”

    Then also this study by The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2005, Vol. 72, No. 3, 359-374
    “THE COST OF FIREARM DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES:
    REDUCED LIFE EXPECTANCIES AND INCREASED
    INSURANCE COSTS” <— this shows statistics on how large it is compared to other countries (15 times larger, AND 4 times higher OVERALL rate, which is important for those who think it will simply increase other problems, when it has been proven for decades by these numerous countries to decrease it substantially, not increase other problems, and be effective in lengthening life span) it is updated until 2000 re per year. Tell them the statistics have been nearly the same since 1933 per year despite so-called "treatments" for supposed mental "illness" ranging from extremely inhumane asylums, to mental institutions, to inpatient care, to outpatient care, to drugs, and (any "treatment" you can put here) and despite there being more, then less censorship of movies, TV, video games (having no real effect). It has basically stayed the same at 30,000 related ones since 1933 – one of the greatest overlooked crimes against humanity in American history, higher than any other cause of death than car accidents, and there is not enough people clamoring for change.

    (.au websites are great too as they are a VERY successful example with lower rates in everything and ZERO shootings in almost two decades, when prev. they had 13, SUCCESS)
    Let's IMPROVE the situation NOW !

    Thank you! 🙂

  3. gold price says:

    You may be the most conscious and smartest individual around, but if you are constantly surrounded by negative, fear-based people in your life, it will have an impact on who you eventually become and your progression in life. If you are heavily rooted in yourself, there might be a limited downside that negative friends can bring you. However, you are also getting a limited upside because you are spending time with people who are holding you back vs people who can be elevating you.

  4. [“In other words, the results indicated that users who spend more time on Facebook have lower self-esteem.”]———————————————so … which way does it go … is it low self esteem leads to high facebook usage … or high facebook usage lead to low self esteem?

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