If you're hurting like I am right now, thinking about the epidemic of gun violence in this country, but you have not yet contacted your elected representatives to make your voice heard, it's time.
I believe that many of us are disillusioned with our government, knowing the power the gun lobby holds over so many of the politicians that are supposed to fight for us, but disengaging from the system and spreading the word isn't enough.
I repeat -- it isn't enough.
I just finished reading Senator Elizabeth Warren's memoir and I am emotional and fired up about what our senators and representatives can do. They are our voices in Washington, and we don't even have a chance of them following through on that unless we share our opinions and let them know what we feel.
I was appalled that when I tried to find sample form letters of gun control support, I couldn't find even one -- just four straight Google result pages of sample letters for those who oppose gun control. So! I have taken some of the guesswork out for you, poked around online, and using the language of Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions, crafted my own form letter for you to use.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Take a little bit of time out of your day today and call or email your representatives. Not doing so -- staying silent and privately grieving -- isn't enough anymore.
To contact my Representative and Senators took about 10 minutes in all.
Here's how to contact your senators and Congresspeople:
Do you know how your Senators voted on expanded background checks in December 2015? Find out here.
Now that you know who you are reps are, how to contact them, and where they stand on gun reform, here's a form letter for you to use:
I am writing to urge you to vote to close the deadly loopholes in our laws that make it too easy for dangerous people to get guns. The federal government currently can't block firearm sales to suspected terrorists, and I'm begging you to close this deadly loophole in our gun laws immediately.
The bottom line is this: Lax gun laws allow suspected terrorists to buy guns on our soil. Organizations like al Qaeda are well aware of this, and even instruct would-be terrorists to exploit them in the U.S. If you're a suspected terrorist, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun, and I hope you will address this glaring national security issue.
Background checks are supported by over 90 percent of all Americans and are a commonsense tool for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill.
It's time to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Thank you for doing what is right for the people of [your state] and the United States.
Want to call instead? Right on! Here is a script to use, from Americans for Responsible Solutions (with some added language from Everytown):
Hello, my name is __________, and I'm calling today from _______ to urge Senator/Representative __________ to support expanded background checks to reduce gun violence in the United States, and to work to prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms. The federal government currently can't block firearm sales to suspected terrorists, and I'm begging you to close this deadly loophole in our gun laws immediately.
Background checks are supported by over 90 percent of all Americans and are a commonsense tool for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. If you're a suspected terrorist, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun, and I hope you will address this glaring national security issue.
Thank you for sharing my message.
Or you can tweet your Congresspeople, directly from Everytown for Gun Safety's website! It's very cool.
Of course, these form letters are optional for your use; if you have particular ideas about policy or want to speak from experience, you should absolutely do so. The most important thing is that you contact your representatives to tell them: this has to change.
Thank you for doing your part... I genuinely believe that together our voices can make a difference! Please share!
This is our country, and elected officials work for us. Don't go down without a fight.
This post originally appeared on Medium.