The mass shooting in San Bernardino that unfolded late Wednesday morning Pacific time marks the second such event to make national headlines within a week. Social media has been flooded with posts of solidarity, offering prayers and support to those affected, as well as frustrated calls to action. The prevalence of such incidents is simply unacceptable. There are ways to combat such violence, however, including these three gun control petitions that have only gained prominence in the wake of such tragedies.
In addition to signing petitions and taking to social media, some of the best ways to make your voice heard is to hit the polls and vote in favor of ballot measures and mandates that allow for more stringent gun control laws. Likewise, demonstrations can be just as powerful. Given the tight-knit community in San Bernardino as well as the location of the shooting — Inland Regional Center, a California-run facility for people with developmental disabilities — there will undoubtedly be events of remembrance for those who were affected by the shooting. According to local ABC affiliate KABC Inland Empire, members from a nearby church rushed to the scene to offer prayers and support. Even if you aren't in San Bernardino, there are still ways to combat such senseless violence and show solidarity.
Request Comprehensive Gun Control
A prominent MoveOn.org petition has regained traction in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting. The "Gun Control. Now." petition has already garnered many more signatures on Wednesday, putting the number of overall supporters at well over 640,000 — just 10,000 away from the goal number of 650,000. This particular petition calls for the elimination of gun show loopholes across the country, as well as the banning of ammunition sales online and a stronger enforcement of mandatory wait periods. Many states, including Arizona, and Colorado, and South Carolina have no waiting periods whatsoever. The petition also pushes the accountability of firearm retailers themselves.
Urge The President To Take Executive Action
For those who are tired of Congressional inaction, Everytown.org has put together a petition seeking executive action from President Obama, a move that the commander in chief had previously been weighing when looking to expand nationwide background checks for gun purchases. Everytown.org represents multiple gun control coalitions, including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the latter of which includes current and former mayors from across the country.
Allow For Federal Gun Violence Research
The United States is approaching two decades since a ban was placed on federal funding for gun violence research. Whereas the CDC previously had a budget to investigate the relationship between violence and the possession of firearms, the public health branch of the government had its funding eliminated for such practices eliminated in 1996. More recently, the ban was renewed over the summer.
A Change.org petition advocating for federal gun research has emerged to put pressure on Congress and reverse the current funding ban. It was started by a woman whose mother worked at Sandy Hook Elementary School and lost friends and colleagues to the brutal shooting has started a petition seeking the reversal of that legislation. As of this writing, the petition is just 3,307 signatures away from reaching its goal of 35,000 signatures.
Images: joshlopezphoto/Flickr (1), Getty (3)