Are We Powerless to Change?

Adriana Bergstrom

girl comforted by teddy bear

It has been super difficult to simultaneously work on happy, cheerful art and stories for children… when yet another school shooting takes their lives… and nothing in this country changes.

The dilemma is that I try to keep my deep emotions separate from the person I present to everyone. My paintings and artwork tend to be jolly and upbeat, but I am a sensitive person. I feel things deeply. I am a mom to a school-aged child, a former teacher, current children’s book author-illustrator… and unfortunately I’m also a gun violence survivor. If you know me personally, you already know the circumstances. How can I show up when I feel heartbroken inside?

The label ‘gun violence survivor’ empowers just as much as it disempowers. The reason you are a survivor is nearly always out of your control. A person you knew (or didn't) decided to use a gun to hurt people you loved, knew, or were randomly nearby. And that feeling of being powerless is terrible, awful and very frustrating.

So, I am struggling with how to stay true to the inherent promise I make to you, my readers and friends and family, while also expressing my extreme distress concerning the recent school shootings.

I'm a fan of turning big feelings into positive action. If preventing gun violence is something you feel strongly about as I do, there are organizations out there that have been trying to help keep people safe from gun violence for years maybe they can be a positive outlet for you…

These and many other organizations exist around solving the issue of gun violence. I hope we figure it out soon because doing the same thing and giving guns/gun owners priority has resulted in 900+ school shootings in the last 10 years (over 2000 shootings since 1970).  (Source:

I don't believe we are so powerless to change as a nation. How many more people will be lost to gun violence until things finally change?


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1 comment

Dear Adriana I am so happy you were awarded for your talent! I’m proud that you persisted in creating and delighting us all with your art.
I’m sorry guns are a part of this nation’s rights: to bear arms. I don’t agree with having a gun and wonder where these people get guns with or without a permit!
We are not always going to agree with what goes on in the world.
Stay positive, keep creating, stay sensitive and a lovely person.
Ana Delia

Ana Delia

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