Finally! After many delays, the new single, The New Normal is out today July 30, 2022, available exclusively on Bandcamp.com, just 100 days until the midterm elections here in the USA!
A full version of The New Normal with spoken word along with a radio edit version was produced and recorded as a fundraiser for the Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund to help elect candidates for office that aren’t beholden to the NRA’s “guns everywhere” agenda and don’t take money from the NRA and the gun manufacturers’ lobby.
All proceeds from the sale of The New Normal will go to Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. My goal is to raise at least $500 before the November 8, 2022 midterm elections in the USA. After the midterms, any proceeds made from this song will also be given to Everytown, in perpetuity, to honor and remember the victims of gun violence and continued efforts for gun sense in America.
Written in 2018 about the gun violence epidemic in The United States and finally recorded in 2022, the production of this song was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other band projects, but as a long-time supporter of Everytown and Moms Demand Action, I’m so pleased to finally get this song out to the public so it can hopefully serve as inspiration for change.
A little history of why I wrote this song and how I became involved in the gun violence prevention movement
After the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, and the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, I had already decided that I needed to do more to help stop the increasing gun violence in America. I joined the only gun violence prevention organization that I knew of a the time, The Brady Campaign, and sent in my contribution. I still felt that I needed to do more as an individual but my children were very young at the time and I was busy with work, taking care of the household and still attempting to find time for my artistic endeavors.
Then, on July 20, 2012, the same day as my first born son’s 7th birthday, a mass shooting occurred at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a Denver suburb, killing 12 people—the youngest a 6-year-old girl—and injuring at least 70 others.
The Aurora shooting took place shortly after the start of a crowded midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, which opened across the United States that day. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Colorado since the 1999 Columbine shooting.
Less than 6 months later On December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza killed 20 first graders and six school employees before turning a gun on himself. Earlier that day, he killed his mother at the home they shared.
The Sandy Hook shooting was, at the time, the second-deadliest mass shooting in the United States after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman killed 32 students and teachers before committing suicide.
I remember when my husband came downstairs to tell me the horrible news. Our own sons, ages 4 and 7 were at preschool and elementary at the time and I was attempting to get in better physical shape by dusting off an old stair-stepper that I had purchased back in the 90’s. I was trying to follow the accompanying Brenda Dygraf video.
After that day, I couldn’t even look at that stair-stepper and had to get rid of it because it reminded me of the moment I found out what had happened at Sandy Hook. The nausea, shock, rage and anger that something so senseless and horrible could happen is always there. I can’t even fathom how a parent, family member or friend could live with this unspeakable grief for the rest of their lives. There are also the never-ending mental health issues that will always be there for the survivors, police and first responders that will have the images of this horrific violence in their minds forever. The only solace being to live for the remaining survivors and to fight for change.
Since Sandy Hook, I have grown used to the bloodshed, not only in gun massacres by racists, homophobes, disgruntled employees, angry teenagers… but endless wars abroad, police killings of people of color, gratuitous and excessive graphic violence depicted on tv shows and films, as well as shooter video games. This is why I was also shocked to find out, that at this time in history, humanity in general, is less violent than it’s been in the past. In the modern world, parents aren’t allowed to hit and spank their children or abuse animals, yet we still have to grapple with the fact that we, as humans, are all still capable of going into a violent rage.
Most of us will just break a dish or slam a book onto the floor, but when there is easy access to a gun, the situation can turn out very differently. I refuse to become desensitized to this, even though it would be so much easier to just pretend that there isn’t something horribly wrong and that this should not be “the new normal” in America!
Already a member of The Brady Center, I felt so helpless and hopeless about what I could do. I waited patiently for new laws to be passed to ban assault weapons and other gun sense legislation, but nothing happened. Then I found out about Moms Demand Action founded by Shannon Watts so I donated the this new organization.
Then in 2013, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America came together to tackle the shared goal of ending gun violence and Everytown was born. Since then, they have combined the best minds in research, policy, litigation, advocacy, and grassroots organizing to grow Everytown for Gun Safety into a movement of nearly 10 million supporters. This is when I became an annual supporter and eventually a monthly recurring supporter. I later learned that Everytown had two funds, The Support Fund and The Action Fund. Contributing to The Support Fund is tax-deductible, but The Action Fund (now also called The Victory Fund) is not tax-deductible because this fund is used to support the election of gun sense candidates.
Today, I am proud to say that I have been a supporter for almost a decade and will continue to support the Moms Demand Action mission of bringing gun sense laws to America and banning of assault weapons and weapons of war that have no place on the streets and neighborhoods of this country. Students Demand Action and The Survivors Network are also a big part of the Everytown organization’s mission to empower young people and survivors who are left to pick up the pieces and work for a better future.
I have also joined Sandy Hook Promise — a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut. Their intent is to honor all victims of gun violence “by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. By empowering youth to “know the signs” and uniting all people who value the protection of children, we can take meaningful actions in schools, homes, and communities to prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.”
I hope that you will join me by listening and purchasing my song The New Normal as all proceeds will be sent to the Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. My goal is to raise at least $500 before the November 8, 2022 midterm elections in the USA. After the midterms, any proceeds made from this song will also be given to Everytown, in perpetuity, to honor and remember the victims of gun violence and continued efforts for gun sense in America.
If rock music isn’t your thing, I hope that you will get involved in whatever way you can to help turn the tide to a more peaceful future for America. Please see my other post for links at the bottom to some resources for learning more and organizations that you can join.