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Violence Does Not Occur in a Vacuum

In the wake of yesterday’s violence, our country faces an all too familiar tragedy. At a Florida High School, 17 people were killed in the second-deadliest school shooting in US history. As we sort through this tragedy, it is critical to remember that violence doesn’t occur in a vacuum. We live in a culture where boys are socialized to believe that their value lies in physical dominance, sexual prowess, and financial control. This culture tells men and boys that while they are not allowed to show fear or grief, they can solve their problems with violence and aggression. It shouldn’t surprise us that we live in a society where 98% of mass murders are committed by men and many of them have prior records of violence against women. In an average month, 50 women are shot to death by intimate partners. It’s high time we change the toxic messages that tie violence to masculinity.

The combination of our hypermasculine culture and lack of gun control results in tragedy after tragedy. In fact, there is more than one mass shooting a day in the US. The time for action is now. This week, we’re asking you to call your representative and ask what they’re doing to pass common sense gun control legislation. Together, we can build a less violent and more peaceful society for all.

In peace,

Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The Representation Project Team