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Congressional Democrats are staging an epic sit-in in support of a bill to deny guns to people on the no-fly and terror watch lists.

The protest began yesterday morning (June 22), led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.


Photo by Michael Reynolds/Getty Images.

Democrats have been holding the floor for almost 24 hours while their Republican colleagues gaveled the House into recess late into the night.

The protest has already produced some incredible moments.

Including Lewis' epic speech, recalling his days as a civil rights' leader, a congresswoman hiding her phone in her prosthetic leg so it wouldn't be confiscated, and an anonymous California resident having pizzas delivered to the exhausted, hungry lawmakers.


But the most chilling moment from the overnight sit-in so far might have been Rep. Debbie Dingell's jaw-dropping personal story of a time when she was almost a victim of gun violence at the hands of an abusive father.

The video was taken on Periscope by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California after Republicans banned cameras from the chamber.

(Transcript below, emphasis added).


"I lived in a house with a man that should not have had access to a gun," the Michigan congresswoman said to cheers and amens.

"I know what it's like to have a gun pointed at you and wonder if you were going to live."

"And I know what it's like to hide in a closet and pray to God to not let anything happen to me."

"And we have never — we don't talk about it. We don't want to say that it happens in all kind of households."

"And we still live in a society where we will let a convicted felon who was stalking somebody of domestic abuse still own a gun."

Dingell is far from alone — and she is one of the lucky ones.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

While more men are likely to be murdered, women are far more likely to be killed by a partner or family member. A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health review found that 40% of female homicide victims were murdered by intimate partner, and over half (55%) of them were killed with a gun.

The researchers concluded that having gun in the home increases the risk a homicide will occur by 300%.

The bill the Democrats are holding out for with the sit-in isn't perfect. Far from it.

Critics, including the ACLU, argue that the no-fly list itself is unconstitutional, biased against Muslim Americans, and that passing the "no-fly, no-gun" law would serve to further legitimize it.

But speeches like Dingell's send a crucial message: America needs to face the stark reality of gun violence and to take action to protect the vulnerable people who are its primary victims.

Actor Michael Jace (center), who was convicted of shooting and killing his wife in 2014. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

Sometimes that violence looks like what happened in Sandy Hook and Orlando. Far more of the time, however, it looks like a father with a gun, forcing his daughter into a closet as she prays to God he'll let her live.

As long as violent, abusive, dangerous people can own powerful firearms with little oversight, no one is safe. And if we do nothing, stories like Dingell's will continue to be terribly, tragically common.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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