Rise Up, Stand Up, Shout, ENOUGH!

Aurora, Virginia Tech, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. Will it ever stop? Will we as a country ever stand up to the NRA and say enough to unfettered access to any and all firearms? Will we as a country ever elect politicians that will say enough to mass shootings? We are at a critical juncture in this country, do we embrace the hatred and violence that is gripping our nation, or do we say enough!

Today, Representative John Lewis and last week Senator Christopher Murphy, have bravely, courageously and righteously stood up for all of the families in our great nation that grapple with the scars of gun violence daily. They, along with many other Democratic and Republican elected officials said ENOUGH! They stood up to the NRA and the most powerful interests in this country who threaten our way of life, our schools, shopping malls and night clubs. They stood up for what is right, what is just, and what is necessary.

Now is our time. Now is our time to stand up, to get involved, and to say enough! Enough with the parliamentary trickery, enough with the partisan bickering, and enough to the gun violence epidemic that is rapidly becoming the scourge of our great nation.

53 years ago, I was a victim of gun violence, my three children were victims of gun violence. 53 years ago, my husband, Medgar Evers, was shot and killed in our driveway for standing up for what he believed in — for justice, for equality and for fairness. He was gunned down by a coward who was afraid of change.

It has been 53 years and I still feel the pain, the anguish and the anger towards Medgar’s assassin and the system that supported his dastardly deeds. Every year on June 12, I pray, I remember, and I hope that we as a nation have learned from our history and our mistakes. Sadly, we have not.

Too many people — innocent people, churchgoers, club goers, people at their office, and children at their schools have been slaughtered — massacred and their lives taken too early from this world, just like my husband.

Rep. John Lewis said on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that there is a time “when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet and be silent no more.” Rep. Lewis is right, it is time to make some noise, it is time to move our feet…move our feet to the farthest parts of our communities, to our churches, to our schools, to our neighborhood groups and stand up and say enough bloodshed, enough death and enough to gun violence in the US.

Medgar once said, “If we don’t like what the Republicans do, we need to get in there and change it.” He was also right. It is up to us, to organize like never before, to talk until we cannot talk anymore, and when we’re tired and weary, to keep going. The only way we are going to change the gun violence laws in our country is to stand with those who support commonsense gun violence prevention legislation.

Let this be our clarion call. Let those 49 innocent victims in Orlando, the 9 prayer warriors in Charleston, the 27 adults and children in Newtown, and the scores of other victims of gun violence in our country not be forgotten.

It is time to say enough. It is time to say enough when you talk to your friends and neighbors, time to say enough when we are talking to our fellow churchgoers, time to say enough until we get action on gun violence prevention legislation.