Thoughts, Prayers, Policy Change & Action.

policy change not thoughts and prayers we need gun reform in america .jpg

We live in a bubble world on social media: don’t say this, don’t say that, be this, don’t be that. It's something even I have battled with. Especially where growing my business is concerned. But I am one person, not 2, and one thing is for sure, I can’t pretend to be something I am not. I have a voice within that refuses to be silent. Not everyone is going to like my voice, that's reality, and there will be people who won't want to do business with me because of it. That is quite fine, we don't have to appeal to everyone to be successful and do what we love. 

As often as I pray and believe in something greater, I know enough to know thoughts and prayers don’t change things, it is we who are moved to change things. Prayers are not magical spells, nor are thoughts. We live in a crazy time. We are more self absorbed than ever, desensitized to the point that it will take a mass shooting to affect our own lives to finally believe we need change. 

Well, one happened pretty close to my hometown yesterday, one involving children. It has really ripped me up, I tried to avoid it and keep going on like nothing has happened, just to keep my sanity, but my sanity is never worth the cost of my silence.  


I have grown up around Christian society my whole life, I believe in the power of prayer changing mans heart, but after that it is up to us to do the work. Fortunately, this is because I was raised by a woman who never kept her mouth shut, raised me with the good of the religion and taught me to think for myself and to speak up. I remember asking her when I was 16 and we were learning about voting in school to prepare us for adulthood:

“Mom what are we? The donkey or the elephant?”

She looked at me and said:

“Honey WE are not a thing. You are your own woman. You have to make that decision for yourself and one of the most important things to remember is that you don’t have to be either.”

That conversation set the motion for an independent thinker.

Unfortunately, prayers will do nothing for gun violence without action. That’s just not how prayer works. You pray and then you move. I fear people don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to be seen as difficult. It’s a very "blend in, don’t stand out, remain neutral, just talk about your morning cup of coffee, how great things are, how successful you are in your career, etc." climate. I just can’t pretend that is who I am, while a mother, father, brother, sister, friend, wakes up to unimaginable horror. We all have to wake up and realize it can affect any one of us. Knowing it’s affecting someone else, should be enough to demand change.

For anyone who happens to find this and feels the need to dispute with the typical rebuttal: "People control, not gun control.", I ask you this: If it were your children, friends, family, yourself, would you be able to confidently stand by your views? Would you have the ability to comment on other posts regarding change with the same response? It's something to contemplate as you empathetically place yourself in the life of someone else. Maybe the answer for you is yes, I don't know. For me, the answer is absolutely no. Which is why I feel the need to speak up.

Gun regulation like the way we regulate drivers licenses and call them a privilege, doesn't mean it will make everything right, but it will make a difference, a difference that could save a life. 

Richmond, VA Photographer Victoria McGovern is a documentary lifestyle, family, small business photographer. Offering heirloom photography services in Richmond Virginia, Petersburg & Beyond. 

She's a woman with a voice and mind of her own.