Seattleites who are fed up with gun violence probably feel hopeless today. The shootings just keep happening, and sometimes it seems all you can do is stare at your screen and feel powerless. I know that feeling, believe me. I feel it too.
But it's not true. There are things you can do to work to stop gun violence. They're not huge, sweeping actions, but they're small steps. And in politics, the only way you can get huge things done is by taking small steps.
A good first place to start is the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, which has posted a toolkit to help combat gun violence. You can donate to the Brady Campaign here. This is fairly unbelievable, but it looks like there isn't a Seattle chapter of the Brady Campaign. If you're interested enough in launching a chapter, you can contact them on this page, although Washington Cease Fire is a good local organization dedicated to reducing gun violence.
You can also sign an online petition at WeAreBetterThanThis.org. (I know, I know, I know: An online petition? Does that help? I realize that in this age where pop culture has dominated online petitions, it's hard to believe, but the answer is that they do matter. At her reading last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren said politicians definitely pay attention to petitions, especially if a whole lot of people have signed them. She encouraged her audience to take online petitions seriously. I'm going to take her at her word.)
And this fall, of course, you'll be able to vote for gun responsibility in Washington state. The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is the organization spearheading Initiative 594, which "makes sure anyone buying a gun in Washington State passes the same background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter whom they buy it from." It's such a simple, obvious change to the laws, and it's not going to solve every problem, but it's a good place to start. You can contribute to the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and pledge to vote for Initiative 594 on their website.