6 WAYS TO FIGHT GUN VIOLENCE
10,567 gun violence deaths in 2021 in the United States
3,408 women fatally shot by a partner from 2015-2019
23,437 people on average die by gun suicides
Every day, more than 100 Americans are shot and killed and over 230 more are wounded.
Gun violence disproportionately harms BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.
Gun violence victims are more than these statistics. Their individual stories matter. These statistics are merely meant to emphasize the impact of gun violence.
To effectively fight gun violence and debunk our misconceptions, it is important to understand the nuances of the issue, including its history, effects, causes, and intersection with other problems like suicide and domestic abuse. Additionally, since gun reform is a partisan issue, we must objectively learn about multiple perspectives on the problem to decide which solutions to advocate for. Here are some sources to help you get educated:
- Everytown for Gun Safety's "Gun Violence in the United States" fact sheet with gun violence statistics and list of "Solutions"
- A Podcast by NPR called Gun Play that examines various gun reform and second amendment arguments
- Documentary titled Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence shares stories of people impacted by gun violence
- Everytown's "Unload, Lock, and Separate: Secure Storage Practices to Reduce Gun Violence" to educate gun owners
- Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun's fact sheets on problems intersecting with gun violence and gun laws Violence <https://giffords.org/lawcenter/resources/factsheets/>
- Everytown's The Gun Violence Memorial Project
2. ADVOCATE FOR GUN SAFETY LEGISTATION
Learn about the existing gun control regulation in your state through <https://tinyurl.com/gunsafetylaws>, identify points of policy improvement, and advocate for them
Read Everytown's "Solutions" and Indivisible's "How States Can Prevent Gun Violence"
Track legislation through <https://fastdemocracy.com>
Phonebank/Textbank with Everytown for Gun Safety <https://tinyurl.com/makecallsnow> & sign petitions to persuade policymakers to pass gun safety bills <https://tinyurl.com/3jkrzxmd>
Important considerations (SOURCE: Indivisible's "How States Can Prevent Gun Violence"):
Make sure your language during gun reform advocacy and discussions does not perpetuate harmful stereotypes of BIPOC communities and read the Using Inclusive Language In The Movement For Gun Violence Prevention resource guide.
Keep police brutality in mind. When we talk about preventing gun violence, we should consider how any policies we propose that involve law enforcement could target or harm communities of color.
Stop generalizing that all people with mental illness are threatening. Mental illness is already stigmatized in this country, and only a very small subset of mentally ill people commit violent crimes.
3. SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS
Follow, DONATE to, volunteer, and start or join a chapter at these organizations that are dedicated to tackling & researching gun violence:
Everytown for Gun Safety <https://everytown.org/>
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence <https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/>
March for Our Lives <https://marchforourlives.com/>
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence <https://www.bradyunited.org/>
States United to Prevent Gun Violence <https://supgv.org/>
Violence Policy Center <https://vpc.org/>
Students Demand Action <https://studentsdemandaction.org/>
Moms Demand Action <https://momsdemandaction.org/>
4. TAKE ACTION
Advocate for gun violence prevention campaigns with Students Demand Action's Virtual Field Offices <https://tinyurl.com/fieldoffices>
Fundraise for violence prevention programs in your area and raise awareness about gun violence through <https://www.gofundme.com/> and Facebook/Instagram
Register to vote & vote for politicians that advocate for gun safety. Here is a great source by Gun Sense Voter to find "Gun Sense Candidates [that have] proven their commitment to lifesaving gun laws:" <https://gunsensevoter.org/candidates/>
Get creative: use art as persuasive expression, like by making a soul box with the incredible Soul Box Project ("collects and exhibits thousands of hand-folded origami boxes to raise awareness of the U.S. gunfire epidemic")<https://soulboxproject.org/>, or assemble a group in your community to discuss and take action against local gun violence (check out our mentorship program for personalized guidance <https://www.takeactioninc.com/for-youth>)
5. TACKLE CONTRIBUTORS OF GUN VIOLENCE
Even though the main cause of gun violence is guns, there are underlying problems that contribute to this violence, so tackling them is a part of the solution.
Here are some contributors:
Poverty or Economic inequality
Law Enforcement Violence
Learn about these problems' definitions and how to tackle them through Indivisible's "How States Can Prevent Gun Violence"
6. MENTAL HEALTH
It is a misconception to believe that mental illness is the root of the United States' gun violence problem. "In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators," according to Prevention Institute. Nonetheless, there is always more we can do to foster mental health and wellbeing for other communities as well as ourselves to grapple with the trauma caused from gun violence.
Some Mental Health Resources:
http://familyaware.org/lgbtqia_resources/ (for LGBTQ+ community)
https://www.onlinemswprograms.com/resources/social-issues/mental-health-resources-racial-ethnic-groups/ (for BIPOC communities)