How to Help

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6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Fight Gun Violence

6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Fight Gun Violence

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So you joined the demonstrations for #MarchForOurLives this spring, and you kicked off Gun Violence Awareness Month by urging others to #WearOrange — what now?

See where the anti-gun violence movement is heading.

Name and shame lawmakers who accept money from the NRA

If you want to call out lawmakers who accept money from the gun lobby, but you’re short of the $230,000 fee for a two-page public shaming in The New York Times, here are some things you can do.

  • Road to Change: Activists who organized March for Our Lives — most of them students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High — are keeping the movement alive through summer break with a 60-day road trip across the country.

The caravan kicks off on June 15 and will split off into two separate trips: One bus aims to hit roughly 50 different cities across 20 states; another will focus almost entirely on Florida. So far, about a dozen students from Parkland, Florida, are riding along. Find out more about tour dates here

  • Parents of the Parkland shooting victims have started their own super PAC with the express purpose of defeating politicians who are backed by the NRA. Families vs. Assault Rifles PAC is accepting donations at increments of $17 to represent the 17 students who were massacred at their school in February.

  • Open Secrets has a comprehensive list of members of Congress who have accepted campaign contributions from the gun lobby. (BTW, Sen. John McCain tops the list of lawmakers to accept pro-gun money over the last three decades).

  • Worried your representative might be influenced by the gun lobby? Ask them to take the No NRA Money pledge.

Support gun safety laws that have a track record for saving lives

Background checks are a bonafide solution for fewer gun deaths. And yes, the public overwhelmingly supports them.

There’s at least one other gun safety policy that’s also worth highlighting: Evidence shows that laws that keep children away from guns often have a dramatic effect on preventing accidental shooting deaths. Child-access prevention laws tamp down on suicides for young people, too. Read more on the RAND Corporation’s analysis of gun safety legislation at The Trace.

Think national, act local

Local gun laws can have an immediate impact on your life — particularly if you’re from a state that has expanded concealed-carry rights or newly allows gun-slingin’ students on college campuses.

Connect with any of the national groups that have local chapters:

  • The Brady Campaign has 94 local chapters set up around the country. Still don’t see a location near you? Contact Shikha Hamilton at shamilton@bradymail.org, or call 650-863-3360, to set up a chapter in your area.

  • Moms Demand Action, founded by stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, has local chapters nationwide. Find a chapter near you.

  • States United to Prevent Gun Violence in America has a catalog of groups that are organized at the state level. Click here to find a local state chapter.

 He said it, not us...

He said it, not us...

Vote — Gun control will likely be a hot-button issue for the 2018 midterms

As Vice’s Katelyn Harrop points out, there are at least eight congressional races this fall where gun control could be decisive issue in the outcome of elections. Democrats are already channeling energy from this year’s nationwide demonstrations calling for meaningful action on gun violence. This time millennials could make the difference.

For a complete rundown of voter registration deadlines wherever you live, read these tips from How to Help’s Jay Connor.

Make gun regulations good for business

If you’re not crazy about the idea of a dude packing heat next to you in the grocery aisle while you’re browsing for milk, this petition is for you. Moms Demand Action is pressuring corporations to ban civilians from carrying guns in their stores.

You can also make sure that you’re putting your money where your mouth is. Goodbye Gun Stocks has a tool that allows you to look up whether an investment fund is linked to any gun or ammo sellers. If your fund is tainted by gun money, Goodbye Gun Stocks also sets you up with alternatives.

Go deeper

Speaking from experience —need to prepare for that conversation with that one uncle who has a custom walk-in gun closet installed in his home? Here are just a few recommended resources.

  • Jason Fagone has a *fantastic* longread for HuffPost Highline that details the raw impact of gun violence in “What Bullets Do To Bodies.

  • Charts! The New York Times has a bunch of up-to-date graphics that cover the state of gun violence in America and why mass shootings are just half the story.

  • More charts! This video from Vox is a few years old, but it’s still salient in explaining how gun violence is a uniquely American problem.

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Police Killed Gregory Hill, Then a Jury Gave His Family Just $4. Now, They Want Justice.

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