TGB Reader Preferences of Names for Old People
Three Rivers Village Update - May 2014

“Not One More”

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:


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


Thank-you Ronni.

Done! Thank you for making this easier for us to do.

Thank you so much. Reagan started this in California by changing the rules about mental health. I think we need to look at these rules again. By the end of the day I'll have three words that say this.

Thank you for the addresses. I will do this also. However, I don't hold out much hope. After the horror of Sandy Hook, something like 92% of the public wanted some kind of gun control and still the bottom feeders that call themselves our "representatives" in both the House and Senate, refused to pass anything. I honestly feel that they just don't care as long as the NRA keeps their pockets full.

Mr. Martinez's comments have struck a chord in all of us. Here in New York, we have some of the strictest gun laws anywhere and, although deaths from firearms has decreased somewhat, it still goes on. While it is OK to want to make it harder to get, the answer to the problem is to change the "Wild-West" mentality of some of our citizens who seem to think that owning a gun is some macho god-given right, and that goes for hunters too. I saw an ad on NBC Sports network for a rifle company. The commercial was for a "junior size rifle" so kids can go hunting with their dads.That's the mentality we are dealing with here.

Yes! Mr. Martinez's words couldn't be clearer and are so right on target. He has also told politicians to stop calling him to express sympathy but instead to take action.

Thanks for the info. I'll make those contacts now. And maybe again and again ...squeaky wheels and all.

Everything For Gun Safety has a form to sign that will generate an actual postcard to your representatives and the governor of your state. I've already signed that as well.

I will do this, but I think the real answer to the NRA and their handmaidens in Congress is a National education saturation on the history and true meaning of the Second Amendment so that the NRA and the gun nuts can stop using it unconstitutionally. Why the Second Amendment was written is an eye opener and what the Founding Fathers intent was is somewhat debatable. Taken literally, only those who are members of a Militia (National Guard) were meant to be gun owners.

It's too long to write about here, but the history of the decision to add this to the Constitution is even more enlightening. I am so sick of hearing "The second amendment gives me the right to own as many guns and as many types of firearms that I can buy."

The NRA has distorted the meaning most successfully to our horror. Along with deep pockets to fund the craven politicians it is helping to destroy what was once a great country. Although I am discouraged, I think we have no recourse but to fight back with our limited weapons. So proclaim "NOT ONE MORE" to one and all.

Ronni, this post DOES relate to aging and elders. Many wise elders have pointed out that, for women after menopause, a very strong intolerance for injustice emerges. We are done sitting quietly. We are not afraid to offend. So you are still batting a thousand.
Let's get out there and kick some ass, people.

While we're at it, for some of us who live in some states, it won't hurt for us to contact our state and local government people, too.

England had 30 gun deaths last year; we had hundreds. I have little faith that this will ever change because it is our culture of violence that is to blame. Congress won't touch gun laws because they lose votes in doing so. In Memphis, we had two deaths over the weekend by stabbing. I have no idea how we work on changing our culture; we COULD do much with mental health, however. Just a campaign of awareness and vigilance would help tremendously because there are almost always signs to family....

Thank you, Ronnie for this column and the contact numbers.

I sent off three; 2 to the White House and one to my rep.

Will it do any good? Oh, I hope so. It's better than sitting on our hands, anyhow.

The kind of pain and anguish shown by that parent has been experienced all too frequently in this nation of ours. It should not happen at all.

Statistics of England or any country in Europe should not be compared to those of the USA: England and those countries should be compared to a state within the USA that is similar in size/population.

That said, the point on violence is well taken.

I have just emailed my state's two US senators, my US representative (the other representatives screen out email capability from out-of-district people), my state senator and representative, and the governor of my state.

Thanks, Ronni!

Thank you Ronni. All morning I've been on a forum where politics is debated and you would not believe the insensitive and callous things the NRA members are saying about this father and his raw grief. So it was so uplifting to come here and find this post.

Done! Thank you Ronni for addressing this crucial topic and the contact info.

As a Florida resident, possible 2016 presidential contender Marco Rubio is my U.S. Senator. Unlike my other representatives including the White House, neither "gun control", "firearms" nor "crime" are among the listed topics on his online email form. The closest was "social issues" or perhaps "other". Telling.

And, yes, I just finished sending emails to my house and senate representatives. Thanks for making it easy for us to do that.

Thank you, Ronni. I contacted all the Colorado politicians. Focusing on this issue DOES make a difference. Having a unified response NOT ONE MORE does make a difference. Thanks for making it very do-able to keep up that focus.

My Iowa Senators and my congressman have been sent the message "NOT ONE MORE". Now, let's hope they and the others 'get' the message.

I couldn't find the Gun Control topic on (R)Rep.Tom Latham's site either. Very telling


I contacted my Representatives in Congress as soon as I read this.

I also contacted them shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings and you see what good that did.

But,I will keep trying and will not get discouraged until they GET RID OF GUNS!

OK. I have sent out the NOT ONE MORE MESSAGE! but have little hope that anything will change the violent culture of our country. Still, we do need to try.

I will add my cards to this effort, though I am not particularly optimistic about the effects. The community in which I live, a city of approximately 150,000, with a higher than average rates of poverty and unemployment, has been struggling with violence for quite some time now. There is hardly a week that goes by without at least one shooting; in the warm weather it becomes an almost daily event. Most victims have not died, but many have. This has been going for nearly twenty years here, regardless of efforts of a variety of programs and people. I understand Mr. Martinez' grief, though I'm sure I cannot even imagine the pain of his loss and the depth of his feelings. I hope that his words will begin to jostle our politicians out of whatever it is underlying their ineffective response to date.

I've added my voice to this also Ronni. Thanks for the addresses and suggestions.

Thanks so very much. I have already contacted the president and our senators and representative.

You or some of your readers might be interested in following Americans for Responsible Solutions, a non-profit established by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly after she was shot in Tucson three years ago.

thank you. i will forward to all my friends.

Thank you Ronni for doing the research to help us make our views known. Someone sent me this link to Everytown for gun safety with the same message :

Thank you for giving an easy way to express OUTRAGE !
It seems that shooting innocent people has become a sport in this country.
And it goes on because of gun lobbies. As long as money is more important than childrens' lives, the carnage will continue.
As you say, we must harass the politicians.

I've emailed the POTUS and my Senators and Congresswoman. I will warn you that I do this almost monthly on one subject or another and I get no replies from the White House. Senator Corker has acknowledged receiving my email and will probably send me a position paper, usually in favor of the direct opposite of anything I've proposed. Marsha Blackburn does the same. I will be surprised if I hear from Senator Alexander since he doesn't feel that he represents my section of Tennessee.

The oligarchy is owned by the NRA and will make all kinds of statements for the press, but will do nothing to change the status quo. We need a revolution... soon.

I've lost track of how many times I've written about guns and gun violence, and I'm absolutely sick with anger that I've been doing so again today. Of course I will write again and again and again to Washington until something gets done or until I can't write anymore. Thanks for the info, Ronni. I'll get right on this.

I read our comments, and have to agree that we have been writing and making our feelings known to no avail. And it's disheartening. Then, I see Classof65 again about the revolution.

You know, Class is right. I don't mean and would hope not violent and bloody, but what really important reforms have been accomplished without people going to the streets to demonstrate, sit in, protest and generally make a very big noise? Votes for women? Civil Rights of all kinds? Vietnam? It took a long time in each case and the courage and determination of many to get out in public saying things similar to "Not One More."

It may seem scary because after all, the opposition is proud of their open-carry ability and stand-your-ground laws. But following Ghandi and King, public demonstration should be peaceful and non-resistant anyway. Sadly, there could be injuries - there were in the past for all of these causes.

Aren't all of our children and grandchildren worth the effort and risk? Can't we stand up for them?

We need signs at the next July 4 events (there's probably one in your area with your local congressperson appearing,) buttons to wear on lapels, flyers to hand out, candlelight vigils. Yes and social media too - get something to go viral. But nothing beats face to face and large numbers of people.

Enough agitation everyday and every week until it's done is how you get the attention of politicians. (Think Herbert Hoover or Lyndon Johnson - each lost/resigned the presidency for basically not listening to the people.) Maybe you start with local efforts like womens suffrage or gay rights did.

You just don't give up!

Actually it's naive to think that banning guns will solve your problems. Up here in Canada we just had 5 college students stabbed to death by another crazy student. We had a guy on a Greyhound bus get decapitated by a schizophrenic guy, another 50+ woman stabbed and killed the toddler next door.

The root cause of many of these crimes is actually untreated mental illness not guns and that's what needs fixing.

Add my voice to the outrage, and to the chorus of Not One More.

Mr. Martinez lives in the same county as me. His son grew up down he street from me.
The NRA has it's hands in every pie. It's a very strong force.
Someone better grow some BIG chones to stop them.

Thank you, Ronni. And thank you, Annie and Sandra.

Whoever "Annie" is, wherever she lives, I believe we are soul sisters. Every day a slightly dingy canvas bag is with me. Inside sheets for a petition circulated by Everytown for Gun Sense. It was with me yesterday when Senator Elizabeth Warren came to Portland, Oregon, for a fund-raiser for our Senator, Jeff Merkley.

Clapping too hard, waving my sign, could have had many signers there--next time.

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