It is very important to let your representatives know what you think about this issue. Our local legislators hear a lot from the other side of the debate. They are organized, motivated and have the money associated with the gun lobby on their side. We need to respond with an equal opposition. Our perspective is important and backed by a substantial amount of credible academic research. Informed citizens make a big difference.
WRITING OR CALLING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
When contacting your representatives, it is important to be polite. It is ok to be passionate and have a strong opinion, but also try to be civil and show that you have a good understanding of the issues. When writing, consider the following things.
What to do:
- Start with a civil salutation including their name.
- Identify yourself as their constituent. Including your address helps them know they are supposed to represent you.
- Identify what you want them to do.
- Specify the name and number of a bill if you are referencing one.
- Explain why this is important to you and your family.
What not to do:
- Don't forget an opening salutation.
- Don't use all caps.
- Don't use threatening language.
- Don't forget to identify yourself or say whether you are their constituent.
Original letters stand out. It helps to use your own wording and explain why this issue is so important to you. Also, you may receive a response from your representative. Try not to be discouraged or intimidated if it is negative. Feel free to respond in your own way if you feel you are not being fairly represented.
Some Ideas You May Want To Discuss:
1. You don't want armed teachers, administrators, parents or grandparents in your children's school. Include logical reasons or research. Some examples:
- It creates an uncomfortable environment that is not conducive to learning.
- It makes for an atmosphere of intimidation for students and even other teachers.
- It is too much of a burden for educators and administrators to manage staff with weapons designed to kill.
- This puts children in the middle of potential crossfire, and you think there are better ways to prevent the danger of guns in school.
- You don't think having a concealed weapons permit means that people are responsible gun owners and will necessarily keep perfect tabs on their firearms.
- You think it is the government's responsibility to keep all firearms off of school property, and the school zone issue makes it easy for anyone especially criminals to bring firearms near schools.
- You don't like that our law allows for people to brazenly brandish weapons outside of schools.
- It is simply too risky to have firearms around children.
- Behaviorally challenged young adults could potentially overpower a teacher and use the weapons for harm.
- You agree with the research reported in John Hopkin's reporta on gun violence about Right To Carry laws, and that concealed weapons permit holders tend to escalate crime more often than alleviate it.
2. You are concerned about the ability to purchase firarms without an appropriate background check.
3. You want to strengthen existing laws for background checks.
4. You want stronger laws to protect children, like making people responsible for leaving guns unattended, mandating child safety locks, etc.
5. You think the state should allocate more for education about suicide risk or firearms safety.
Anything else that is important to you.