Letter from Christina Uss

The Senator from Wisconsin cannot frighten me by exclaiming, “My country, right or wrong.” In one sense I say so too…My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. – Senator Carl Schurz, 1872

Your courage to stand up and try to change something you know in your hearts to be wrong is truly inspiring to me. I want to offer you my support, my admiration, and a promise that I and my family will stand with you in this fight.

When faced with a fight like this, it’s good to have many places to turn for replenishment of your courage. You’ll be shouted down by those whose beliefs are against yours, those who believe that gun ownership is more important than human life. I don’t understand those people. I imagine it’s hard for you to understand them as well. How do we stand against such reckless and entrenched beliefs?

We STUDY. You and I need to learn more about three things:
1. How successful gun legislation works in other parts of the world (indeed, in every industrialized democracy other than the United States),
2. The path of successful peaceful protests like the America’s civil rights movement and India’s independence movement. Peaceful change has happened before and it’s going to happen again now, and we need a playbook. There are a zillion teachers ready to help us with this. We need to start asking for that help.
3. How human psychology works so we can understand a little bit about the beliefs of others that seem alien and even a bit mad to us. And perhaps find a way to influence them.

We TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES. When discouragement falls hard on your shoulders, you meet with friends, you ask for help, you breathe and dance and sing and write and read and cook and do whatever it is that renews your faith in life, peace, and the power of your voice.

And we KEEP DOING THE NEXT RIGHT THING.

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. – Winston Churchill, 1941

Christina Uss, Author

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