HOW & WHY TO ACT RIGHT NOW TO DEMAND GUN CONTROL REFORM (AND PARTICIPATE IN YOUR GOV'T)

Why: According to the Gun Violence Archive, 12,184 people have been killed by guns this year. There have been over 300 mass shootings (4+ killed or injured) in 2015 (number varies from 300-350 depending on source). The real "why" is WHY ARE WE STILL NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS?
  1. Mass shooters get their guns in lots of different ways. There is no easy solution. But, there are MANY solutions that would help decrease the prevalence of these attacks. Find out how some of these shooters got their guns and which they used.
    This article gives details on 11 mass shooters. You'll see we need reform not only on the kinds of guns people have access to, but also in background checks, registration, proper locks, and safeguards against non-licensed people accessing guns legally purchased by others. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/10/how_roseburg_newtown_and_other_mass_shooters_got_their_guns.html
  2. Visit this site, which couldn't make it easier to connect you to one of your senators, so you can DEMAND a vote on background checks. Enter your name, email, phone, & zip - you get a call with directions a minute later, and they automatically transfer you to a senator. Just make sure to reply STOP to the auto-text if you don't want future msgs.
  3. If you own a gun and support gun control reform, get vocal.
    Many gun owners support new legislation because the popularly-mulled over measures don't infringe on law abiding gun owners who own and use guns for lawful reasons (self defense, hunting). Gun owners, ESPECIALLY those who own guns for self defense, must demand reform as these measures will decrease the likelihood they will ever have to use them.
  4. Write a letter to your representative demanding that he or she prioritize gun control reform, in addition to the mental health reform bills garnering momentum in the House.
    Democrats focus on gun control and Republicans focus on mental health reform after these attacks. Reform on BOTH are necessary. Many different versions of a mental health reform bill are being thrown around Congress right now. Read more about these bills and let your representatives know what provisions are important to you to include in a mental health act. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/us/obama-repeats-call-for-stricter-gun-laws-after-colorado-shooting.html?_
  5. Most Americans can't name their representative in the House. Can you? Go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ to see yours, and find out how they've voted at https://www.opencongress.org. If something is important to you, let her or him know! These people are elected to represent YOUR interests.
  6. Pay attention to the Supreme Court's handling of the Friedman v. City of Highland Park petition.
    On Dec. 4, the Supreme Court will discuss whether they will hear a challenge to a Highland Park (IL) law that bans assault weapons. The challengers argue the law is too restrictive, as it outlaws "ammunition magazines that...make up nearly half of the nation's total stock of privately owned ammunition magazines for handguns and rifles." If SCOTUS hears the case and decides the law IS unconstitutional, it will be very, very important to DEMAND Congress takes corrective action.
  7. Stay informed.
    Tons of organizations support gun control reform and distribute information on gun violence, enacted legislation, and ways to become an activist. Sign up to get a newsletter so you know how you can get involved. Two good resources are http://www.bradycampaign.org and http://everytown.org.
  8. Update: this website, http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-law-statistics-and-research/ is an incredible resource and should definitely have been included. It's got statistics on gun violence, rates states based on their gun laws, explains the Second Amendment, and more.