On Bees, Butterflies & Guns

{ two stories of one hour on the same day }

Jennifer M Koskinen
2 min readMar 23, 2021


fuzzy pollinator | photo by Jennifer Koskinen

3pm yesterday, Springfield ILLINOIS:

A fierce, ten year old girl (who happens to be my niece) presented testimony as the opening witness on a bill she’d worked with her State Representative to craft with the goal of protect pollinators.

Her vision is long and her approach was wise, resisting the late push by environmental groups to change the bill that only existed on account of her research and initiative. These groups and others wanted to add more to the bill. She convinced them all on the merits of getting *something* through, rather than trying for too much and getting nothing.

And then… HB3118 PASSED out of the IL House Energy & Environment committee. More significantly, it passed on a UNANIMOUS, BIPARTISAN vote.

Scarlett’s bill now heads to the floor, where it is expected to pass before heading to the IL Senate.

Her bill doesn’t outright ban a pesticide, it seeks smart, sensible regulation and will have the effect of reducing chemicals in water, food supply, and a positive effect on pollinators.

3pm yesterday, Boulder COLORADO:

The second mass shooting in 6 days.

18 lives lost just in those 2 shootings. Countless more in the interim to the shootings that never make the headlines.

What gun rights activists are asking for is not an outright ban on weapons, but smart, sensible regulation. Regulation the majority of Americans across the political spectrum agree on.

What we want is for legislation to at least *try* something new — to throw something more than “thoughts and prayers” at a problem that is uniquely horrific in the United States.

What we want is for it to be easier to register to vote and participate in democracy that hour… than it is to buy a gun and kill someone that afternoon.


Can we learn from the success of a precocious child who is pairing vision and follow through… and accomplish… SOMETHING??

If you’ve never contacted your state reps, governor or US Representatives, Senators, or would like to donate to people working on this, here are some handy links:




Jennifer M Koskinen

photographer | writer | tree-hugger