As a nation, we are feeling the weight, sadness and anger after the last two weeks of deadly mass shootings in Buffalo and now Uvalde. We must not let the urgency of this moment fade away.
It’s particularly jarring to think that our elders, children, and particularly Black and brown communities, which are disproportionately impacted are at risk doing the most basic things in our society like going to food shopping or learning at school. This is a uniquely American problem that can and must be fixed. Since Buffalo: AT LEAST 622 gun deaths, 1,262 gun injuries, 17 mass shootings (including Uvalde). This on top of the gun violence that plagues our country where 34 people die each and everyday.
I started working on gun violence prevention right after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and then went on to work with the young people of March for Our Lives years later. This country’s obsession with guns and the lack of action to fix what might be the largest public health crisis of our time takes a huge physical and mental health toll on all of us, but there is work to be done and you can help.
- Get urgent resources in the form of food, financial support and victims services to the communities in Buffalo (Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund, Buffalo NAACP, Buffalo Urban League, Feed Buffalo, Open Buffalo, Voice of Buffalo, Say Yes Buffalo, Buffalo Peacemakers)
- Get urgent resources to the community in Uvalde through funding, memorial support, and supporting the efforts of groups on the ground.
- Speak out and march. Join the second March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on June 11.
- Support communities most impacted by the gun violence crisis by donating to evidence-based community violence intervention programs like the work of CURE Violence, or Life Camp.
- Take on the Gun Lobby – vote out politicians that are backed by the NRA, boycott companies that do business with gun manufacturers, and expose the hypocrisy of the NRA leadership anywhere that people will listen. You can find politicians in your state who back the NRA by going here.
- Support the work of youth led movements to end gun violence like March for Our Lives, Team Enough, Good Kids Mad City and Youth Over Guns.
- Urge your local elected officials to use available federal funding to invest in life-saving efforts from universal background checks to community based violence intervention funding. You can do that by going to 5calls.org
- Lobby state and local lawmakers to tighten gun access laws in your city or state by going to 5calls.org to find legislators’ numbers.
- Amplify the stories of victims of gun violence on social media. Don’t give notoriety to the shooter.
- Write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper and urge action to save lives.
- Film a video for social explaining why gun violence prevention is important to you and challenge your friends to do the same.
- Ask Your Employer to Act. Urge your organization to support local community efforts to reduce gun violence; end donations to NRA-backed politicians; and start making the business case for gun violence prevention.
- Help organize a gun buyback in your local community to get guns off the street.
- Donate and volunteer for Black and brown led gun violence prevention organizations like – Community Justice Action Fund, Live Free USA, Cities United, Gather for Justice.
- Organize an action to support gun violence prevention in your local community (rally, press conference, sit in at your local elected’s office).
Alexis Confer – National Gun Violence Prevention Advocate and first Executive Director of March for Our Lives