Marit Brock is a mother from Minnesota. At the time of the Sandy Hook School shooting, her youngest child was in first grade. She said it was hard for her to understand how sweet innocent children could be murdered in the beautiful world of elementary school. It pushed her over the edge from thinking it was someone else’s problem to thinking that her own children are as much at risk as anyone else’s and she should be doing something about this.
Marit saw the Facebook page on Moms Demand Action and when a chapter started in Minnesota, she quickly joined. In February of 2013, they had their first in-person Minnesota chapter meeting. Though most attendees had never been involved in gun violence prevention, through Moms Demand Action, they learned about the issue and the cause.
For Marit, the most valuable work at Moms Demand Action was learning how to talk to people, to have constructive and meaningful conversation about a difficult topic. The more she learned, the more she understood the common ground and impact; that gun violence has effected so many lives.
Marit had also seen how this work could help her in her volunteer work with suicide prevention. Her brother had died by suicide with a gun in 2001. She realized easy access to guns was a contributing factor, as well as the mental health issues.
In Minnesota, 80% of gun deaths are by suicide. Studies show that even preventing accessibility to guns when someone experiences a suicidal moment, can save lives. Marit was able to have conversations with relatives and friends about preventing suicide by offering them safety locks for their guns used for hunting and separating out the ammunition.
The basic principles of Moms Demand Action help people to have a conversation about gun safety, rather than gun ownership. Most people want to prevent gun violence. The focus is on making sure they and their kids are safe.
Marit found a real opportunity to save lives by having these difficult conversations constructively. Keeping the discussion focused on questions like, what can we do to save the most lives right now? Marit said, having a productive conversation is almost a relief to most people who live in a hunting culture. She said this enables people to take action and still be who they are.
The ‘BE SMART’ campaign was created to bring together all responsible adults to reduce suicides and the number of unintentional shootings that occur when children get a hold of an unsecured firearm.
Marit says the hardest part is just taking the risk to start the conversation. Most people who once felt powerless, like she did 5 years ago, now see “there is a path that is constructive and hopeful”.
For more information about Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, go to their website, Moms Demand Action. To sign the Pictition to support the “Be Smart” Campaign, click on the link, #Be Smart.