Like many of us, Dec. 14, 2012, was a tough day for actress Julianne Moore. She had to explain the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary to her young daughter.
“I wanted to explain it and not scare her. But how was I going to tell my young daughter that children were massacred in their classrooms?”
Moore opened up about the experience in an essay she wrote for Lenny, a feminist newsletter launched by the creator of HBO series “Girls” Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner.
“At that moment, it felt ridiculous to me, and irresponsible as a parent and as a citizen, that I was not doing something to prevent gun violence,” she explained of the conversation she had with her daughter, who was 10 years old at the time.
So she decided to speak up.
In her essay, Moore totally nails why it’s more necessary than ever to act on gun control.
Here are three takeaways from the piece:
1. Gun violence hurts everyone, but it uniquely affects women.
“Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in [other high-income nations]. More than half are killed by a boyfriend, husband, or someone else in her family.”
Moore is right: The 2003 study that figure comes from and another similar one with 2010 data support that American women are disproportionately affected by gun violence. An alarmingly high number of these women are killed at the hands of their male partners, so the disturbing overlap between accessibility to guns and domestic violence is one that shouldn’t be ignored.
2. Guns shouldn’t be as controversial an issue as it is; even most gun owners agree that more regulation is necessary.
“A majority of [gun owners] approve of common-sense gun-safety measures. Around 90 percent of them support universal background checks. A large majority of American citizens believe we need to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, like stalkers and terrorists.”
Polling has shown the overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners, support implementing universal background checks — a move, Moore argues, that would keep guns out of the hands of “dangerous people,” including abusive boyfriends and stalkers.
3. Gun control won’t get rid of gun violence entirely, but it can make a significant difference. Just look at the car industry.
“I believe that gun-safety laws can reduce gun violence, even if they don’t eradicate it, because of the example set by the automobile industry.”
Approaching gun control the way we approach driver safety makes a lot of sense.
As Moore explains, we’ve regulated the car industry through things like licensing and training. We’ve added new technologies and safety precautions, like seat belts and airbags, and have passed laws setting speed limits and outlawing drunk driving. Largely due to these steps, the auto fatality rate has dropped dramatically in recent decades. Wouldn’t a similar affect happen if we took the risks associated with guns as seriously as we do the risks inherent with driving?
Moore’s essay is an honest and eye-opening take on the realities of gun violence.
The actor encourages readers to learn more about and support Everytown for Gun Safety — a group dedicated to keeping guns in safe hands only.
“We need you to continue to turn the tide on gun violence,” she wrote. “And I know that we can do it together. I don’t ever want to have to explain another Newtown to my kids, and neither should you.”