Moms deserve a world where they are celebrated all the time; showered with love, meaningful gifts, spa treatments, and more.
In order to get to a place where they might possibly have an opportunity to relax, however, it is vital that moms (and all parents) are also supported by equitable child care, healthcare, labor policies — and the peace of mind that their children are free from gun violence.
This year, thousands of moms are mobilizing against gun violence — the leading cause of death in children and teens in the U.S. — through a viral social media campaign #PhoneCallsNotFlowers.
The campaign is led by lawyer and journalist Emily Amick of For Facts Sake, a nonprofit that aims to drive political action through social media.
#PhoneCallsNotFlowers empowers parents (and the people who love them) to call their representatives and demand they support legislation that requires background checks on all gun sales.
“I hear from moms everyday who are worried about sending their kids off to school, worried about going to the mall and parades — and don’t know what to do,” Amick told Good Good Good in an email.
“The idea behind #PhoneCallsNotFlowers is to call more people into political action and for all of us who love moms to say, ‘we are standing with you in this fight.’”
The Instagram post that kicked off the campaign encourages callers to specifically ask for support of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2023 in both the House and Senate — a policy of which the majority of Americans are in support.
For Facts Sake makes taking action simple, providing a brief to-do list, resources for finding the phone numbers of one’s federal elected officials, a script for calling said officials (we promise, it really is as easy as a couple of sentences!), and then a call to action, which encourages users to share a screenshot of their call logs on Instagram.
In fact, the organization’s Instagram account is accepting “collab” requests for any posts that encourage people to take action under the #PhoneCallsNotFlowers campaign.
While thousands have already taken on the challenge, Amick is hopeful the momentum will continue over Mother’s Day weekend.
“I think we’re going to see more posts over the weekend and into Monday, especially from all the folks who are giving the gift of action to the mamas in their life,” she said.
Now, if you really want to impress your mom, you’ll send the roses and call your representatives, but the fact of the matter is that moms (specifically moms of color) have historically been on the frontlines of the gun violence epidemic — and we need to carry some of the load with them.
“So many people have been doing the work for a long time, and they are already deeply engaged in making a difference in their community,” Amick said. “I think what’s most important is to find a sustainable way to make civic engagement a daily habit.”
A phone call, theoretically, should be the domino effect for change.
“For some people, that means joining advocacy groups or local chapters of organizations, getting involved pushing for state-level legislation or gun sense candidates,” Amick continued.
“For others, it means speaking out in the public square — online or in their community — running for elected office, or working to make sure their community reflects their values.”
For those who have already been dedicated to gun safety efforts, this campaign serves as a dose of hope that others, too, are done with the tragedy, heartbreak, violence, and collective trauma caused by mass shootings.
“Your voice has value and we need you. The vast majority of Americans support common-sense gun reform, but right now our politics are controlled by a very loud majority,” Amick said.
“Every day I hear from someone who has called their reps for the first time, and they tell me they feel energized and empowered to fight for political change. All these small actions will add up to big changes.”
Header image courtesy of For Facts Sake