By Candace Reels
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
- Maya Angelou
We should not have to live in a country where school shootings are normal, yet it seems to be the case. There has been 18 mass shootings this year alone and it’s only February! I know how hard it is to have hope, but we have to somehow continue to hold on to that glimmer of hope that we will be able to find a way to stop these horrific events from happening. So below I wrote down the ways that always helps me get through and leads me a step closer to making a difference.
1.) Give yourself a day, a week, or a month to process such a horrific event.
I know it’s important to stay informed, but being overexposed to the news can cause stress. We become overwhelmed, sad, angry, and it really effects you mentally. In order to take care of our mental health we must give ourselves time to process everything that has happened. That can include social media and television breaks. Use this time to take care of yourself, which will help when it’s time to get in the fight again!
2.) Donate to organizations that advocates for gun control and against gun violence.
Everytown For Gun Safety: encourages Americans to work together to end gun violence and build safer communities.
Brady Campaign: The mission of the Brady organization and it’s million mom march is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025.
Giffords: Founded by mass shooting survivor and former Arizona House Representative Gabrielle Giffords. This organization fights to reduce gun violence by working to pass related legislation, educating and empowering people on voting, and supporting candidates dedicated to addressing the nation’s gun laws.
The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence: They believe that all Americans have a right to live in communities free from gun violence through policy development, strategic engagement, and effective advocacy. They address gun violence in all its forms from suicide to intimate partner homicide to the shootings that never make headlines.
3.) Check to see which of your elected officials have received money from the NRA.
Remember the names of the elected officials who have received money from the NRA and make sure you will vote them out midterms, Nov 6th 2018. Until then continue to call/text/mail/tweet them and demand that they take action now! Here is a article by Politico with how much each elected official had received from the NRA in 2016: https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/gun-lobbying-spending-in-america-congress/
Also here is how you can contact your elected officials:
- This number will direct you the Capitol switchboard. When you call, ask to be connected to your senator or representative. The operator will direct your call to their office.
*Contact your Federal Elected Officials, State Elected Officials, and Local Elected Officials through this website: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/
4.) Make sure you’re registered to VOTE!
As well as your family, friends, and neighbors, here is a website to check to make sure you will be ready for midterms: https://www.vote.org/
5.) DON'T give up!
I know we are barely holding on and the easy thing to do is give up. But we can’t! We have to continue to fight and stand up for what is right. It won’t be an easy fight, but oh will it be beyond worth it when we win. Because as long as we continue to speak out, we will make change happen! Let’s continue to take action, work together, and get something done! I know times are dark, but I see a bright future.