Society

"No Father's Day" Campaign Focuses on Children Lost to Gun Violence

| by Dabney Bailey
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Father’s Day is normally a time for celebration and family bonding, but for some fathers it’s a time of sadness and regret. The recent No Father’s Day campaign focused on grieving fathers who have lost their children due to gun violence.

Initiated by the PICO National Network's Lifelines to Healing Campaign, the movement urges people who have lost sons and daughters to gun violence to contact their representatives and tell them that, because of guns, they don’t get to have a happy Father’s Day.

Activists send cards aimed at stirring up strong emotions. One shows a father reading a book alone on a little boy’s bed. Another shows a bride walking down an aisle with her arm extended, but with her father conspicuously absent.

The cards read, "Don't let another family miss out on the joy of celebrating Father's Day because gun violence has taken a loved one away from them."

Neil Heslin, who lost his son during the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy, participated in the campaign. This was the first year that Heslin was unable to continue his long-standing tradition of taking his son to a car show on Father’s Day.

"I'm certain another bill may come up on the universal background checks," Heslin said. "What happened in December in Sandy Hook clearly touched everybody."

Rev. Michael McBride, the director of Lifelines to Healing, argued that the cards will have a powerful emotional impact on legislators. "These cards tell the story very powerfully that there are many fathers who will not be able to celebrate Father's Day because their children have been taken by gun violence.”

This emotionally charged campaign highlights one of the reasons why the gun control debate will never go away. Despite all of the pro-gun supporters rallying in defense of gun rights, there will always be grief-stricken fathers, mothers, and orphans asking politicians to fight against the guns that took their family members.

Source: USA Today