This year, instead of sending Mom a bunch of smelly flowers on May 8th which she’ll pitch into the garbage can, I have a better idea about how to celebrate Mother’s Day. If you live in or around Boston, you can go to the Town Field Park in Dorchester, MA and join in the 26th Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace sponsored by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, or you can make a donation to help fund this effort, or you can do both.

              Got something better to do on May 8th?  No, you don’t, and here’s the reason why you don’t.

              Louis Brown was a 15-year old student who was on his way to a meeting of a group in Dorchester called Teens Against Gun Violence when he was caught in the middle of an outbreak of shooting and was shot dead.  His death occurred on a public street in the middle of the day.

              Following this unthinkable incident, his parents, Joseph and Clementina Chery, had nowhere to turn to help them deal with their grief. So, they founded the Peace Institute in 1994 which was eventually recognized as a major factor in reducing juvenile crime in Boston and continues this important work today.

              The Institute’s work is supported and championed by many community-based anti-violence organizations, as well as the major hospitals in Boston and a gun-control group, the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, that was formed after the Sandy Hook massacre and has been active in trying to reduce gun violence in the Bay State.

              Among other efforts, the Coalition worked tirelessly to help pass the state’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law, which makes it easier to intervene in situations where someone may be considering suicide who also happens to have access to a gun.  In case you didn’t know, guns and depression are a lethal combination, and the Coalition’s efforts in this regard should be commended and expanded into other issues where access to guns breeds disastrous results.

              Come to think of it, access to guns in any circumstance is a recipe for disaster, unless you believe that a half-ounce piece of lead flying through someone’s head is a good thing. Oh, I forgot. The group which fronts for the NRA in Massachusetts, the Gun Owners Action League, (GOAL) will tell you that promoting gun ownership is all about protecting freedom, whatever that means. 

I guess what they mean is that if you own a gun, you’ll be able to shoot yourself or someone else with it whenever you want. After all, the guy who shot and killed Louis D. Brown in 1993 was only protecting his Constitutional ‘rights.’ Right?

Either we do something meaningful about gun violence or we don’t. I just hope that everyone who joins the Mother’s Day march on behalf of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute finds a way to get someone else to join the march next year.

When all is said and done, when it comes to dealing with any issue, boots on the ground mean a lot more than boots plopped up on the coffee table while you’re watching MTV.

Donate – 26th Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace (