Realize fewer lives lost to gun violence by advocating and executing responsible gun ownership.
On the morning of September 6th, 2018, I was immediately hit by bullets as I entered the revolving door at Fifth Third Bank headquarters. As I attempted to reach for my phone, I was shot again - 12 times in total. Resolving to play dead to increase my chance of survival, I slumped my body into the bottom of the revolving door and my mind started to race.
For months I had thought about volunteering with organized efforts to reduce gun violence. In fact, I received text messages and felt guilty that I signed up just to ignore them. As I cowered in that revolving door I thought about those text messages. I thought about how angry I was that I hadn’t done anything to prevent this exact situation from happening. Now, as a survivor, how do I reconcile that I lived as a result of nearly thousands of things going right and others died as a result of nearly thousands of things going wrong? I can’t. I can only say that I feel an undeniable force pushing me to tackle gun violence.
“How do I reconcile that I lived as a result of nearly thousands of things going right and others died as a result of nearly thousands of things going wrong?”
— whitney austin, FOUNDER
What is Whitney/Strong? I can tell you what it’s not. It is not another failed attempt to make progress on the issue of gun violence as a result of partisanship. America is divided, we cannot even agree on what defines a mass shooting. According to an article in The Washington Post, there have been 6 mass shootings in 2018. However, Business Insider states that 154 have taken place this year. We shouldn’t be disputing the definition; we should be focused on how to prevent the next one. We can do better and we will do better.
Whitney/Strong aggressively pursues responsible gun ownership solutions to reduce gun deaths. We actively partner at the state and federal level to ensure that the current stalemate gripping our country is extinguished. With every law or vote we champion, we do it in memory of those who have died senselessly.
We're also investing time into working with people on the ground handling mental health, background checks, suicide prevention, and more. There is no single reason why these senseless shootings keep happening and thus, we are committed to tackling this issue from multiple angles.
Please join with Whitney/Strong today by making a donation. Together we’ll be working with politicians to drive conversations related to gun violence as well as gathering data and leveraging findings to drive education, advocacy, and solutions. We can prevent these situations from happening and I’m excited to take advantage of my second chance in life to make a meaningful difference. I can’t do it alone… but we can do it together.