Here's How to Make Your Voice Heard About the Shooting in Las Vegas
Gun violence is an issue that affects everyone. You have a voice if you choose to use it.
(Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The 273rd mass shooting of the year took place in Las Vegas on Sunday . A gunman shot and killed at least 59 people and injured more than 500 at an outdoor music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It's no small detail that the United States far suprasses other countries when it comes to the frequency of these horrific acts, and the aftermath has been consistently defined by lots of talk and very little action.
What happened in Las Vegas is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, exceeding the death toll from the 2016 attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were killed. This is an unequivocal tragedy, and a time when communities should come together to support one another. It's also an appropriate time for citizens to reflect on what they can do, and where the nation is going when it comes to preventing future catastrophes.
What you can do:
It's a sobering reality that only times of mass crisis seem to spark real conversations about important public policy. The Las Vegas tragedy rightfully brings the issue of gun-control front and center. Despite similar tragedies, like the Sandy Hook shooting in 2014 that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, close to nothing in Congress has been done to legitimately restrict access to firearms and ammunition.
Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, reach out to your elected officials and tell them how you feel about gun control laws. Policy doesn't make itself, and public input is key. Here's what you can do right now:
Here's how you can find your congressional representatives in Washington to let them know your thoughts.
Two pieces of legislation, The SHARE Act (H.R. 3668), pertaining to gun silencers. and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38), which relates to concealed carry permits, may be up for a vote in in the near future, and other legislation for and against gun-control is likely to be introduced in the wake of last weekend's violence.
Gun policy that impacts your hometown is often determined on a local level, so make sure you are also registered to vote in local elections. Many U.S. cities will be choosing new mayors this fall.
And then some:
- Donate to local Las Vegas medical facilities such as Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada. Their organization provides medical services to people without access to healthcare in the area.
- Don't spread fake news. Following a devastating event like this tensions are obviously high, and it's important not to unnecessarily fan the flames with false information. If you're sharing content via social media, make sure it's coming from a trusted news source that vets stories with the proper amount of fact-checking.
- If you want to help victims directly, contribute to their GoFundMe pages and other crowdfunding outlets to support them.