6 Gun Control Organizations You Can Join If You're Sickened By This Violence
Over two dozen people were killed by a mass shooter on Sunday, after a person opened fire at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. As these types of events often do, it has renewed the gun control debate in the United States. But the truth is, conversation and donation-making can only do so much. Another way to get involved in the gun control debate after the Texas church shooting is to join nonprofits and advocacy groups that support gun control legislation and policy making.
The right to bear arms is protected by the Constitution, but meaningful legislation can protect that right while also putting barriers in place to make it more difficult for would-be mass shooters to get ahold of problematically high-powered weapons. Some key policy points to consider are closing the gun sale loophole which doesn't require unlicensed, private gun sellers to run background checks on customers, requiring firearms registries nationally, and regulating bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more similarly to fully automatic weapons.
No one organization can tackle everything, so consider which aspect of gun control compels you most. Smarter, more thoughtful gun control isn't going to happen overnight, but by working together, advocates can take steps to decrease the likelihood of deadly shootings, large-scale and small-scale, from happening so frequently.
Everytown For Gun Safety
Americans should be able to worship without the threat of gun violence. Join the movement for common-sense gun safety: Text ACT to 64433 pic.twitter.com/PfQxxFU1qz— Everytown (@Everytown) November 5, 2017
Everytown For Gun Safety is a movement that lists several points for action on its website. They advocate for increased background checks, keeping weapons out of the hands of perpetrators of domestic violence, and cracking down on gun trafficking. You can join their partner program, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and find an event near you.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has set a goal to cut gun-related deaths in half by 2025. They focus on three major tactics: applying background checks to all gun sales, cracking down on gun sellers known for selling weapons involved in crimes, and promoting a paradigm shift around how people discuss the dangers of having firearms in homes. The Brady Campaign accepts volunteers for local chapters.
The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence works to draft and pass gun control legislation. The Coalition is not just focused on preventing mass shootings, but also is concerned with gun-related injuries and deaths which don't make headlines, like suicides and domestic violence. You can sign up to be notified about the group's various campaigns.
Run in part by former congresswoman Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot while meeting with constituents in 2011, the eponymous organization provides in-depth statistics about gun laws across the United States. A major focus of the organization is setting into place responsible gun control legislation. You can participate in the organization's action plan and sign up to stay in the loop.
Violence Policy Center
Founded in 1988, the Violence Prevention Center takes a multi-faceted approach to decreasing gun-related violence. The organization, per its website, focuses on highlighting the impact of gun violence, drawing attention to the gun lobby, and offering expertise to policy-makers.
States United To Prevent Gun Violence
States United to Prevent Gun Violence is a network of state-level gun violence prevention groups (32 in total). States United provides resources to its affiliates and works to bring awareness to gun-violence issues on a national level.
Gun control isn't a simple issue with a simple solution. There are a number of factors to consider, whether it's regulating what types of guns are available for sale or simply educating people about gun safety in their own homes. Either way, it requires a concerted effort from volunteers of all backgrounds. Working together, advocates can take steps toward safer, well-regulated policy.