By Nicole Silverberg/Medium
December 3, 2015

If you’re hurting like I am right now, thinking about the epidemic of gun violence in this country, but you have not yet contacted your elected representatives to make your voice heard, it’s time. I believe that many of us are disillusioned with our government, knowing the power the gun lobby holds over so many of the politicians who are supposed to fight for us, but disengaging from the system and spreading the word isn’t enough. I repeat — it isn’t enough.

I just finished reading Senator Elizabeth Warren’s memoir, and I am emotional and fired up about what our senators and representatives can do. They are our voices in Washington, and we don’t even have a chance of them following through on that unless we share our opinions and let them know what we feel.

Using the language of Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions, I’ve crafted my own form letter for you to use.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Take a little bit of time out of your day today and call or email your representatives. Not doing so — staying silent and privately grieving — isn’t enough anymore.

Contacting my Representative and Senators took about 10 minutes in all.

Here’s how to contact your Senators and Representatives:

Find your Senator.

Fine your Representative. Here’s a directory with contact information.

And here’s a form letter for you to use:

Dear ________________,

I am writing to urge you to support expanded background checks to reduce gun violence in the United States. I am begging you to vote to close the deadly loopholes in our laws that make it too easy for dangerous people to get guns.

Background checks are supported by over 90% of all Americans and are a commonsense tool for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. Background checks on gun sales are the most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and help save lives.

It’s time to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Thank you for doing what is right for the people of [your state] and the United States.

Thank you,
[Your Name]

Want to call instead? Right on! Here is a script to use, from Americans for Responsible Solutions:

Hello, my name is __________, and I’m calling today from __(city)__ to urge Senator/Representative __________ to support expanded background checks to reduce gun violence in the United States.

Background checks are supported by over 90% of all Americans and are a commonsense tool for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.

Thank you for sharing my message.

Or these guidelines, from Everytown for Gun Safety, if scripts ain’t your style!

  1. Tell them your name and where you live.
  2. Demand a vote to close the deadly loopholes in our laws that make it too easy for dangerous people to get guns.
  3. Tell them that background checks on gun sales are the most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and help save lives.

Make sure to say thank you before you hang up.

Of course, these form letters are optional for your use; if you have particular ideas about policy or want to speak from experience, you should absolutely do so. The most important thing is that you contact your representatives to tell them: this has to change.

Thank you for doing your part. I genuinely believe that together our voices can make a difference! Please share! This is our country, and elected officials work for us. Don’t go down without a fight.

Nicole Silverberg is a writer and comedian in Brooklyn, New York. This post originally appeared on Medium.

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