My temptation is to blame the gun manufactures.
To accuse the NRA of having blood on its hands.
To curse Congress for not doing enough.
To cry because I know that every 3 hours a child is killed by a firearm somewhere in America.
I’m frustrated, I’m sick and I’m tired.
I’m angry at the fact that every single day another person has to bury a loved one.
I’m tired of people pointing fingers at one another other.
And I’m frustrated because it’s not an option for me to give up hope.
I can’t stop working to end gun violence because I know that a part of America’s soul dies every time another child is murdered.
While it’s easy for me to blame others, I know that I have to take responsibility for my own actions.
I know that I have to keep working with those organizations brave enough to stand up against powerful special interests.
I know that I have to keep working to find peaceful ways to deal with conflict within my own life.
And I know that have to consistently reflect on how I contribute to America’s culture of violence.
So at the end of the day, the change that I want to see in Washington begins with me.
It begins with me campaigning for comprehensive violence prevention measures.
It begins with me not settling for what President Obama has proposed, but challenging myself to do more.
While banning semi-automatic assault weapons is critical, it’s only one step in a long line of steps that we must take.
While acknowledging that we need more mental health services is important, we also have to own up to our own country’s history of war and violence.
So although the work will be hard, the task is not impossible if we continue to believe in ourselves.
If we truly want to create a peaceful nation than we must all commit to stopping violence in every aspect of our lives.
For me, that means acknowledging that I’m attracted to certain violent sports, like MMA.
For me, that means teaching my little daughter that there’s plenty of non-violent ways to deal with conflict at school.
For me, that means changing my own life to be more inline with the policies that I’m proposing.
So today I commit to supporting those peacemakers and outreach workers on the front lines of stopping violence on the streets of Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere.
I commit to supporting those mothers who continue to provide safe passage ways for their children going to and from school.
I commit to supporting those legislators who are willing to work across the aisle to pass common sense gun safety legislation.
And I commit to transforming my own life.
And by doing this, I know that I am making a difference.
Watch Mike’s latest music video and PSA around the issue of gun violence: