Recess messaging: Gun Violence Prevention
For too long, as the epidemic of gun violence in our country has grown, politicians have responded with a hollow routine: They offer thoughts and prayers and then return to business as usual, lamenting that there is nothing to be done. But young people across the country are standing up to reject that routine and the myth that nothing can be done. Already, we are seeing that the voices of these young activists cannot be ignored. The chorus they’ve led keeps growing louder, and Congress is under more pressure than they have seen in years to pass common-sense gun violence prevention measures.
In the days and weeks since the tragic mass shooting in Parkland, the young survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have shown remarkable courage, channeling their emotion into determined advocacy for gun reforms that will make our schools, and our country, safer. This impassioned call to action has inspired other students around the country—not to mention teachers, parents, and so many others—to lend their voices to an increasingly powerful movement.
Unfortunately, this is still an uphill battle. The gun lobby has repeatedly proven its overwhelming influence in Washington, helping stymie even the most popular reforms. So long as lawmakers allow these special interest groups to have more political power than the millions of Americans who want stronger gun laws, we won’t see solutions. We must demand that Congress prioritize gun reform now.
What you can ask:
Universal background checks
97% of Americans support universal background checks for gun sales. Even though Congress took modest steps last week to fix reporting to the background check system, there is still much more to be done to prevent guns from getting into dangerous hands. A background check should be required on every gun sale, no exceptions. Will you support legislation that institutes universal background check on gun sales?
Banning assault weapons and lethal accessories
Of the 10 deadliest shootings over the last decade, seven involved the use of assault weapons, including the tragedies in Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook and, most recently, Parkland. These are weapons of war that do not belong on our streets and certainly not our schools. And dangerous accessories, like high capacity magazines and bump stocks, are meant to inflict as much damage to as many people in as short amount of time as possible. Will you commit to support legislation that would ban the sale of assault weapons and prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines and bump stocks?
Stopping Concealed Carry Reciprocity
There is clear evidence that states with stronger gun laws see less gun violence—of the ten states with the lowest gun death rates per year, eight have some of the strongest gun laws in the country. Passing Concealed Carry Reciprocity would force states with strong gun laws to comply with weak laws from other states. Instead of working to weaken existing laws, we need you to pass legislation to protect public safety.
If your representative voted for H.R. 38 ask: Why did you vote to make it easier for anyone—including convicted criminals—to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public regardless of state laws?
Ask your senator: Will you publicly commit to vote against any bill that includes Concealed Carry Reciprocity to ensure that we do not make it easier for anyone—including convicted criminals—to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public regardless of state laws?
Check out OFA's Recess Toolkit for more information on holding your member of Congress accountable.