While the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas may have been the deadliest in the history of the United States, something about it felt almost routine. News breaks. The death count rises. We learn some interesting facts about the shooter. Politicians offer "thoughts and prayers." One side suggests that maybe if we had fewer guns we'd have fewer shootings. The other side says to stop politicizing a tragedy.
Nothing happens. Repeat.
There have been more than 1,500 mass shootings in 1,735 days in America, since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The links between gun ownership and gun deaths are fairly well established. And the one concession Republicans may make is to shelve a bill that would have loosened restrictions on handgun silencers. Other than that, it will be business as usual in what is by far the most heavily armed country in the world.
As Sen. Ted Cruz recently told Time magazine: "The fact that a psychopathic killer murdered innocents is cause for grief. It’s cause for more vigorous law enforcement — for stopping madmen and killers. ... But it is not an excuse for Democrats to try and strip away Second Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens."
If you want to do your own small part to reverse this nonsense, you can donate your time and money to these six organizations that advocate for stricter gun control:
1. Everytown for Gun Safety
Launched by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2014 and funded initially with $50 million of Bloomberg's billions, Everytown was conceived of as a counterweight to the National Rifle Association.
The organization has been advocating a specific, if not entirely radical, legislative agenda that includes more background checks for would-be gun owners, laws that would keep guns away from domestic abusers, and tougher gun-trafficking laws. It also has a political action committee that supports and opposes various congressional candidates.
Technically an arm of Everytown, Moms Demand Action is more active at a grassroots level. Its California chapter holds regular events that you can learn about on their Facebook page.
One of the oldest gun control organizations in the country, the Brady Campaign was founded in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns by an armed robbery victim named Mark Borinsky. It was renamed the Brady Campaign in 2001 in honor of Jim Brady, the White House press secretary who was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt made on President Ronald Reagan.
The Brady Campaign advocates for policy but also for the government to enforce various laws already on its books. Lawyers from the Brady Center represented parents of one of the 2012 Aurora shooting victims who sued companies that sold ammunition to James Holmes (the suit was thrown out, and the plaintiffs were ordered to pay the defendants' attorneys fees).
The Brady campaign has a number of local chapters throughout California, including in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
Americans for Responsible Solutions is a nonprofit and political action committee (or Super PAC) founded by Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, after the Sandy Hook shooting, in 2012. Giffords, a former U.S. congresswoman, was the victim of a mass shooting in 2011 in Arizona.
The group has spent quite a bit of money in previous elections. In 2016, it helped unseat Republican Sen. Kelly Ayote by spending $2.5 million against her (though her defeat may have owed more to Donald Trump than it did the gun issue).
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Last year, Americans for Responsible Solutions merged with a San Francisco–based nonprofit, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Its executive director, Robin Thomas, says: "We consider ourselves a think tank for solutions to the gun-violence epidemic."
Among other things, the law center writes amicus briefs to defend gun-control laws that are challenged by the gun lobby; according to Thomas, they're successful about 95 percent of the time.
An umbrella group of 48 religious, social and political organizations, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has been fighting to pare back concealed-carry laws and prevent gun-related suicides, which have long outnumbered gun-related homicides.