8 Actions You Can Take to Stop Gun Violence in the Wake of Orlando
In the wake of the the worst mass shooting in U.S. history—at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016—the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has been receiving a constant stream of phone calls and emails from supporters asking what they can do to make positive change after this unthinkable tragedy. Eighty-eight Americans—including eight children and teens—are killed every day by gun violence. Please act now and help us change the culture and policy surrounding guns in this country so we can save lives. Without further ado, here are 8 actions you can take to stop gun violence.
1) Join CSGV on Email and Social Media. Get news, action alerts, campaign petitions, and the tools you need to advocate for sensible, evidence-based policies that will save American lives. To stay informed, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and sign up for our email list at csgv.org/signup.
2) Get Educated About the Issue. Learn about the unique problem of gun violence in America and share those facts with your friends, family, and social media networks. Our sister organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, has excellent resources and reports about relevant policy and research on this issue. Also, websites like The Trace and Vox are helping to pull back the curtain on the complicated and systematic loopholes that allow dangerous individuals unimpeded access to guns. Finally, this video is a great starting place for those just coming to the issue.
3) Become a Single-Issue Voter. Become a single-issue voter by pledging to only support and vote for candidates who support stronger gun laws. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Our country is at an unprecedented tipping point right now. From our dining room tables to water coolers to our presidential elections, the gun debate has gone from an issue folks have been ambivalently resolved not to discuss, to one a majority of us refuse to ignore. It is high time we send that message to our legislators. If we can’t get our legislators to change our lax gun laws, then we need to change our legislators, and let them know why.
4) Contact your Legislators. Often times we can get intimidated by the political process, but remember that Members of Congress work for you. They record every correspondence that they receive from constituents and your voice has a bigger impact than you realize. Demand action on gun violence prevention policies. Let your legislators know about your commitment to becoming a single-issue voter on gun violence prevention. Make them understand that you are watching their votes on the gun issue and making your own voting/giving decisions accordingly. Set a reminder in your calendar to call your Senators and Representatives once a week. Here is a wonderful guide that will assist you with your first correspondence.
5) Volunteer with a Local GVP Group. Attend local protests, vigils, and action days to stop gun violence in your community. An undeniable majority of Americans support gun violence prevention policies, but for a long time a loud minority has drowned out the majority’s support for common sense laws. It is time for us to lift our voices and get active. To get connected to a local gun violence prevention group in your state/locality, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us where you live.
6) Attend Legislative Hearings and Testify. In order to close the “Passion Gap” with pro-gun activists, we need people who are willing to attend legislative hearings and testify in favor of stronger gun laws, at the local and state level. When you go to testify, wear clothing and/or apparel that identifies you as a gun violence prevention supporter (i.e., t-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc.). It is important that our legislators look into the eyes of constituents as they vote on these issues because, at the end of the day, the cost of inaction is 88 Americans killed daily by gun violence. You can find out what legislation is being considered at any given time by connecting to a state organization (see #5 above).
7) Participate in National Days to Stop Gun Violence. Join national days of action like National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2nd or the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence on Sunday, September 25, 2016. Concert Across America is a day where we will see everything from massive concerts at big arenas to church bands and choirs to people who will simply record themselves playing messages of peace from their living rooms. Social media will spread these messages across the country. Take part in these events if you can!
8) Make a Contribution to Gun Violence Prevention. As a small non-profit organization, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence survives on donations from individuals who join us in making communities safer. Please consider donating to CSGV if you have not yet already done so by visiting csgv.org/donate. Or visit our 501(c)(3) sister organization at www.efsgv.org/donate to make a tax-deductible gift. Remember that every dollar counts, no matter the size! We are up against a gun lobby that is being funded directly by gun manufacturers and distributors. With your support, we can meet them on a level playing field, and save lives.