This blog is about aging and for the ten years of its existence, every post has been related to some aspect of being old even if, sometimes, the connection is tenuous. But that is rare.
Today I am making the first deliberate exception (that I can recall).
This post has nothing to do with aging except that every person in the United States, all ages, should be standing with Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez who was shot dead last Friday at age 20. For no reason.
The elder Martinez has, it seems, been incapable of grieving silently and in private as the unspoken rules of American culture call for. Instead, he has been all over the media, inconsolable, making an anguished cry for attention to every child dead from meaningless gunfire. Who can blame him:
Maybe you want to take a moment to collect yourself after watching that video.
On Tuesday, Mr. Martinez told politicians to stop telephoning him with condolences:
“'I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a shit that you feel sorry for me,' Richard Martinez said during an extensive interview [with the Washington Post], his face flushed as tears rolled down his face.
“'Get to work and do something. I’ll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn’t impress me.'”
The Washington Post further quoted Martinez:
”Saying 'we are all to blame' for the death of his 20-year-old son, Martinez urged the public join him in demanding 'immediate action' from members of Congress and President Obama to curb gun violence by passing stricter gun-control laws.
“'Today, I’m going to ask every person I can find to send a postcard to every politician they can think of with three words on it: Not one more,' he said Tuesday morning. 'People are looking for something to do. I’m asking people to stand up for something. Enough is enough.'”
We often wonder at this blog if contacting our representatives in Congress really does any good but there is nothing else to do but keep trying.
In this case, what if everyone in America buried elected officials in Washington with postcards, letters, emails and phone calls with nothing more than just those three words:
NOT ONE MORE
You don't need to add anything to that. If enough people do it, they'll get it. Here is how:
Comment phone: 202-456-1111
Snailmail: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Email: Apparently the White House doesn't provide a generic email address and although they don't make it easy (lots of information to fill in), you can submit a comment via this online form. Remember just three words in the message: NOT ONE MORE.
At this website, a click on your state name will get you a page with phone numbers and email address access to all the representatives in your state.
If you click instead on the official's name and not the email address, you will get the full page for the representative or senator with telephone, email and snailmail address.
Again, just three words: NOT ONE MORE
Who knows if the country's leaders in Washington will pay any attention, will do anything. But how can we refuse Richard Martinez's plea to us to try.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marcy Belson: The Little Cottage in the Mountains