While this title may seem incongruous to the subject matter, I feel it fits perfectly into the goals and objectives of FAMSVARPAC and other organizations of similar ilk. What is FAMSVARPAC? The acronym stands for Families Versus Assault Rifles Political Action Committee. This organization was founded after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) to fight for better and stronger gun control from our legislators at all levels of government; local, state, and federal. Their ultimate goal is the elimination of semi-automatic rifle sales to the general populace, stronger background checks focusing on mental health, and the elimination of the NRA as a major force in the political arena as well as in our American way of life. How do they propose to move forward with their ideas?
I met with and interviewed three of the men on the board of this organization: Jeffrey A. Kasky, president; Sergio Rozenblat, national financial chairman; and Steve Wind, treasurer. All three come from diverse backgrounds and occupations. Despite their differences, they have something in common – all three men had children who not only attended MSD at the time of the mass shooting, but who also survived the horror. Their fathers’ united belief that there must be a stop to this type of violence led them, along with many others, to form this group. To say they are passionate and determined in their goals would be an understatement. While I sat there listening (and interacting) with these men, I found it interesting that even though they have the same common goals, they have different opinions on how to achieve them. As an apolitical organization, they hold no set stance against either party, and they do not advocate against any one politician or group of politicians. What they want to achieve is to elect politicians who have the same objectives toward gun safety as they do, and replace those who don’t. What they also believe is that weapons, such as the AR-15 and similar weapons of military grade, should not be sold to and do not belong in the hands of the American public; they simply serve no purpose. Yet, in most of the mass shootings we have seen in recent years, these are the weapons of choice; and sadly, purchasing one of these “weapons of mass destruction” is easier than buying a car.
Let me be even clearer about their feelings: None of the three are against the Second Amendment. None of them want to take guns out of the hands of gun owners. In fact, there are gun owners in this group, along with those who have proudly served in military and law enforcement agencies, and they believe in the right to defend self and property, if necessary. The revocation of the Second Amendment is not their calling. What they are doing is putting their money where their mouths are… they are tired of hearing “sound bytes,” empty words, promises, condolences, and seeing very little being done by our leaders and politicians. They are tired of hearing all the rhetoric after every shooting… until the next shooting. They want politicians who listen for a change… to listen and then effect change. “Never Again” should be more than a slogan.
Will their goals be met? They aren’t sure, but they are determined to keep on trying, now and into the foreseeable future. While the reality of the difficulties they face isn’t lost on them, it is also not deterring them. I think that is what ultimately counts. Nothing great, or of major importance, has ever been accomplished without strife and struggle.
Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu