On Saturday, March 24th, thousands of people across the nation took to the streets to demand our lawmakers prioritize our communities’ safety and pass commonsense gun violence prevention measures. The March for Our Lives event, which was organized by the teen survivors of the Parkland school massacre and which builds upon organizing and advocacy work by groups like the Black Youth Project, is a direct response to the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. The US has more guns per capita than any other peer nation; Americans constitute about 4% of the world's population but own 42% of all civilian firearms. On average, there is a mass shooting almost every day of the year in the United States, and the nation has far higher rates of gun homicides than any other developed nation. Firearm suicides in the US are also dismally common, with suicides actually comprising the majority of gun-related deaths. However, thanks to continued lobbying by the National Rifle Association (NRA), Congress has repeatedly failed to take meaningful action and curb gun violence.
Gun violence prevention experts have recommended a number of policy approaches to reduce gun violence: — Congress can close legal loopholes that allow people to buy guns without background checks from private sellers, websites, or gun shows. Over 80% of gun owners support this policy change. — Congress can institute universal background checks for both gun and ammo purchasers and require gun licenses, measures supported by the vast majority of Americans. — Congress can adequately fund community-based interventions such as the nearly 20-year-old Ceasefire program, an underfunded effort that has helped to reduce gun violence in cities through education and public health crisis strategies.
America's disproportionately high rates of gun-related deaths are both tragic and shameful. Congress can save lives by passing common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence.
Who To Call: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, Representative Richmond or Scalise.
Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles 337-493-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (318) 670-5192
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling in support of the young people leading the Marches for Our Lives marches across the nation and urge the [senator/representative] to work to immediately pass commonsense gun law reforms such as:
[CHOOSE 1-2 policies below to highlight, or tell your own reason why you demand reform]
- Closing the loophole that lets people buy guns at shows and through private sellers without background checks
- Instituting universal background checks for ammo and gun buyers, a measure 80% of gun owners support
- Funding evidence-based community antiviolence programs, like Ceasefire, which have been shown to reduce shootings
- Reinstating a federal ban on the purchase of high-capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons, which is supported by at least 65% of Americans.
Now is the time to act on gun reform. Thank you for your time and attention.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
This call is adapted from 5calls.org.