UPDATE 7.04.22: March for Our Lives – Actions to take now!!

Two things have just occurred…

Action #1: Program your phone. Help your friends and relatives in RED states program theirs. Commit to calling your legislators. Every damn day.

Why in the world would I do that? Indivisible has, since its inception, adopted the tactics of the Tea Party – the group of hyper-conservative voters who worked together to call their legislators every day. Like a form of water torture – short calls from constituents, over and over, make legislators, who just want to be reelected, very worried.

Calling legislators works! There are lots of quotes regarding their phone call tallies whenever a sticky issue comes up, like for this Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. (which just passed both houses, BTW.)

  • Earlier, we pointed out that Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Loomis, recipient of a “lifetime A plus rating” from the National Rifle Association, had, due to her office being flooded with calls from constituents wanting legislation to stop the spate of mass shootings across the country, actually publicly stated interest in red flag laws, mental health programs, school security and opening juvenile criminal records to gun background checks. However, she now informs us that calls, undoubted organized by pro-GOP and NRA groups, have now turned “massively” against the pending deal.
  • Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who voted against advancing the deal Tuesday, summarized the message he has gotten from voters as: “Stand tall. … Don’t give up, don’t give any room on the Second Amendment.”
  • Todd C. Young (R-Ind.) unopposed from a May 3 primary commented “The calls are about 10-to-1 in my office — 10 in favor of reasonable prohibitions.” 

We can change their calls! Do a NAACP “Power of 5”-style phone campaign!:

  • Reach out to five voters you know in RED states and teach them how to program their phones and call their legislators. Reach out an encourage them as they get used to making calls.
  • Then ask each of them to do the same with five of their friends and relatives. Build a phone tree or resistance that rings the phones off GOP legislators’ desks.

Action #2 – STATE: Brady bills are now passing through the opposite chamber. Encourage your state legislators to vote for them.

Minimal call script to state senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to support bills to reduce gun violence. Are you ready to take down a list?: (just read the black lettering)

  • *AB-452 – Pupil safety: parental notification: firearm safety laws. (school notice of safe storage laws) )
  • NOW LAW! AB-1621Firearms: unserialized firearms. (ghost gun ban))
  • WAITING FOR NEWSOM TO SIGN! AB 2156 Firearm Manufacturing(Closes loopholes that currently allow individuals and corporations to manufacture large numbers of firearms without complying with standard manufacturer requirements.)
  • *AB-2552 – Firearms: gun shows and events. ((gun show oversight)
  • *AB-1769 – Firearms: prohibited places. Stops sales of firearm, firearm precursor part, or ammunition on the property or in the buildings that comprise the Ventura County Fair and Event Center, in Ventura & Ventura county)
  • WAITING FOR NEWSOM TO SIGN! *AB 223910-Year Gun Ban Expansion– This bill adds additional misdemeanors to the list of crimes for which the 10-year ban from owning or possessing firearms applies.

(* – final votes happening soon!)

Minimal call script to assemblymembers: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Assemblymember [___] to support the following bills reduce gun violence. (just read the black lettering)

  • WAITING FOR NEWSOM TO SIGN! SB-915Firearms: state property. (Sales of firearms, firearm precursor part, or ammunition would no longer be permitted on state property, or property otherwise owned, leased, occupied, or operated by the state. – 2nd reading)
  • *SB-1384 – Firearms: dealer requirements. (gun dealer code of conduct – 3rd reading)

State Contacts

  •  State Senator Monique Limón (SD-19): sd19.senate.ca.gov/contact, SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 
  • State Senator Henry Stern (SD-27): sd27.senate.ca.gov/contact, SAC (916) 651-2027, Calabasas (818) 876-3352
  • State Assemblymember Steve Bennett: (CA-37): https://a37.asmdc.org/contact, SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-370      
  • State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin: (CA-44): https://a44.asmdc.org, SAC (916) 319-2044, CAM (805) 482-1904, OX (805) 483-4488
  • Not your people? Which assemblymember/state senator is mine?:findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.

Action #3 – FEDERAL: Tell your legislators we expect substantive change.

Minimal call script to representativesI’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to pass bills that treat gun violence as the national health emergency that it is. Are you ready to take down a list?:
(just read the black lettering)

Update:

  • UPDATE – This bill is now law (read)! ! S.2938 – Bipartisan Safer Communities Act(Not all we wanted, but as this article says, it will help.) The president has endorsed it here.
  • H.R. 748 – Ethan’s Law – Requires safe storage of firearms
  • H.R.791 – MICRO Act –  (requires certain semiautomatic pistols to be capable of microstamping ammunition. Prohibits a licensed gun dealer from manufacturing, importing, or transferring a semiautomatic pistol that is not capable of microstamping ammunition. Violators are subject to fines, and make it unlawful to remove, alter or disfigure the code or microstamping cability of a firearm.)
  • H.R.825 – Gun Violence Prevention Research Act – authorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct or support research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.
  • H.R.881 – Require the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health.
  • H.R.1808 – Assault Weapons Banmakes it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).(We last had a ban from 1994 t0 2004) Recommended by the American Pediatric Surgical Association.
  • H.R.2280 – Prevent Gun Trafficking Act (to combat straw purchases of firearms and deter firearms trafficking. Rep. Lucy McBath is cosponsor)
  • H.R.4118 Break the Cycle of Violence Act. (Color of Change – would provide federal grants to communities for evidence-informed community violence intervention and prevention programs designed to interrupt the cycles of gun violence that disprorportionately kills young people of color and decimates their communities.)
  • I also want [him/her/them] to MAINTAIN restrictions on silencers, REPEAL all statestand your groundlaws and ALLOW states to maintain their own “concealed carry” laws. (More information from the NAACP here.) ( More on H.R. 38 – Concealed guns for everyone!” here.)

Minimal call script to senators (just read the black lettering): I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to pass bills that treat gun violence as the national health emergency that it is. Are you ready to take down a list?: (just read the black lettering)

  • H.R.7910 – Protecting Our Kids Act – (This is a catchall bill that doesn’t go as far as most people want.)
  • H.R. 8 – Bipartisan Background Checks Act (requires all guns, with a few exceptions, to be sold from licensed dealers.) 
  • H.R.1446 – Enhanced Background Checks Act (extends the background check time from 3 to 10 days to eliminate the “Charleston Loophole.” Passed House.)
  • H.R.2377 – Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021 – prohibits people so designated from purchasing, shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition Passed House.)
  • S.190 – Ethan’s Law – Requires safe storage of firearms
  • S.281 – Gun Violence Prevention Research Act – (authorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct or support research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.
  • S.736 – Assault Weapons Ban(makes it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).(We last had a ban from 1994 t0 2004)
  • S.2275 Break the Cycle of Violence Act. (Color of Change – This bill would provide federal grants to communities for evidence-informed community violence intervention and prevention programs designed to interrupt the cycles of gun violence that disprorportionately kills young people of color and decimates their communities.)
  • I also want [him/her/them] to MAINTAIN restrictions on silencers, REPEAL all statestand your groundlaws and ALLOW states to maintain their own “concealed carry” laws. (More information from the NAACP here.) ( More on H.R. 38 – Concealed guns for everyone!” here.)

Federal Contacts

Get your friends and family in RED states to call theirs as well!

  • Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Wait a minute…Why am I calling? My legislators are Democrats!

  • Why do we need to call? Why do we need to call every day?”
    • Answer: People who agree with your viewpoint are NOT the only ones calling. People who disagree with you will be calling every day too. Multiple times. Our legislators keep tallies of the calls. We want them to know what we think, and to tell their colleagues that they have a HUGE number of calls on a particular bill with our point of view. Being the majority is our super power. Plus, sometimes a “Democratic” legislator surprises us. (Cough, cough, Sinema) Never assume anything. 
  • “Why do I need to call? Why not emails, those nifty new fax services or those bot thingies?”
    • Answer: Calls are answered by live people and their tally is immediate. Other methods require someone to read through your message and tally it. Later. Maybe. After face-to-face meetings and town halls, phone calls are our most powerful option. 
  • “Why just my own legislators? Why can’t I call all the GOP legislators who are voting for horrible bills?”
    • Answer: There are two forms of power for politicians. Money and votes. Unless you can offer a substantial donation to their re-election campaigns, the only thing you’ve got is your vote. And if it’s not your own senator, you don’t even have that. Their interns on the phone will be very nice, but they will not tally your calls or email.
  • “But our people aren’t on the committee that’s working on a bill I’m interested in. Logically, don’t those legislators who are on the committee have to represent us too?”
    • Answer: No. No, they don’t. (Unless you are giving them a huge campaign donation. See above.) Try this thought experiment… Do you see Mitch McConnell really trying to fairly represent the wishes of progressive Californians while he sits in committees? No, neither do we. While the bill is being kicked around in the committee, start calling your own legislators to tell them what you’d like them to do if or when it hits the floor for a full vote. 
  • “So how do we reach those legislators in other areas?”
    • Answer: Through your family and friends who live in their states. Help them program their phones with their 5 legislator contacts and teach them how to make fast calls. Keep in touch and make sure that they are confirmed to vote, especially in red states.
  • OK, so what do I do? What do I say?
    • We provide sample scripts with every call action. You only have to tell the intern who answers the phone what position you want the legislator to take. You don’t have to lecture or argue with them. They are just taking a tally. The formula is easy. 
      • 1. Be nice and say “hello.’ The interns who answer the phones have a hard job.  We always try to find out their names, so we can greet them when we call again. 
      • 2. “I’m calling from [zip code] – this establishes that their boss is responsible to you.
      • 3. “I would like Sen/Rep./Assemblymember/etc. [name] to vote [YES, NO] on [Bill name, number].”
      •      or “I would like Sen/Rep./Assemblymember/etc. [name] to vote [PASS, VOTE AGAINST] [describe 
      •      legislation]”
  • DONE! This usually only takes about 10 minutes to do a round of these phone calls. Try to talk to an actual person instead of leaving a message by trying different offices. 
  • More personal, more effort = more effect.  Aside from in-person meetings at town halls and so forth, phone calls are the most effective form of communicating with your members of Congress. Phone calls can’t be ignored. Emails, and social-media posts, and petitions can be ignored. Letters – also a lot of effort, especially those with personal stories the  legislator can share, are powerful tools as well.  Feel free to write/email/post on social media, but only if you make a phone call as well. ​

Resources

  • (NAACP) Gun Violence Prevention Issue Brief
  • (Brady) The Brady Plan – A Comprehensive Approach to Prevent Gun Violence
  • (MFOL) It Ends With Us – A Plan to Reinmagine Public Safety
  • (DavidHogg) Mass shootings can be stopped only if we work together. Americans can stop the violence and it starts by joining one of 450 marches nationwide
  • (Black2thefuture) Roadmap 2022 – A Black, Progressive Policy Brief
  • (indivisibleventura) “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”
  • (indivisibleventura) Gun violence is a national health emergency. Ask Biden and our legislators to treat it that way.

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