Virginia Chapter
National Organization for Women

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June 1, 2022

Common sense gun safety is a feminist issue. 

Sandy Hook was almost 10 years ago and nothing has changed. The carnage continues because too many legislators - essentially the entire GOP -- refuse to do anything about it. They are willing to sacrifice innocent lives if it means they will win re-election. They lack ethics and they lack humanity. We can’t let them get away with it. This political action alert was provided by The Democratic Women of Clifton and Northern Virginia. Virginia NOW is nonpartisan but this alert is of interest to anyone concerned about a just society. We hope the facts will help you to talk about gun violence with people who are undecided or not fully informed. Here are some actions you can take to channel your heartache and frustration.

Share Gun Violence Facts - especially with those who might disagree or be misinformed

  • The Gun Violence Archive has counted at least 215 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022, defined as one in which four or more people were killed or injured.
  • Since 2014, there have been 244 mass shootings in Texas.
  • Firearms became the leading cause of death for American children and teenagers in 2020, according to researchers who analyzed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
  • The FBI defines an active shooter as one or more people killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. These events are increasing. Active shooter events are up 52.5% (2021-2020) and 96.8% since 2017.
  • The overwhelming majority of Americans support sensible gun violence prevention measures like requiring background checks on all gun sales.
Take These Actions at the Federal Level
​Virginia has two Senators - Mark Warner and Tim Kaine - who support common sense gun reform. Urge ​them to work with their Republican colleagues who might have a shred of feeling about protecting our children and families in order to gather the 60 votes needed if we are ever to pass even the mildest of gun reforms. 
We need our Members of Congress to:
  • Pass a Strong Federal Ban on Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazines (HR 1808 & S.736)
  • Pass the two Criminal Background Checks bills (HR 8 & HR 1446) to expand and enhance Brady Background checks and to close the Charleston Loophole
  • Support the Break the Cycle of Violence Act to invest $6.5 billion in community violence intervention and strategic workforce programs that are proven to save lives
  • Pass Ethan’s Law to require safe gun and ammunition storage (HR 748 & S 190)
  • Demand that the age to purchase all guns (including long guns) be raised to 21 (Senator Feinstein has a bill that goes part way – it seeks to ban anyone under 21 from buying assault weapons)
  • Institute National Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) - also called red flag laws- so that individuals who are a danger to themselves or others can have their guns temporarily removed
  • Prohibit the manufacture and sharing of blueprints to create Ghost Guns
  • Confirm Steven Dettelbach as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF)
 Advocate on the Hill – June 7-10
Advocate for all of the above on Capitol Hill during March for Our Lives Lobby Days, June 7-10. Sign up here.
March for Gun Safety – June 11
Support our youth when March for Our Lives returns to Washington DC on Saturday, June 11th. Register to attend the March here.

Take These State and Local Actions

  • Oppose any initiatives that would arm teachers and other school personnel

  • Attend your local school board meetings and make your voice heard

  • Ask your school district what they are doing to increase social and emotional well-being for students and staff

  • Ask if your community’s schools have a threat assessment team to potentially identify at-risk youth so that intervention services can be provided

  • Join us in front of the NRA, 11250 Waples Mill Rd. on the 14th of every month as we demonstrate for better gun laws. The event is always from 10-11 am unless the 14th falls on a Sunday, in which case we meet from 2-3 pm

December 17, 2021
Dear Activist,
This is an urgent request to email, call or send a Tweet to Senator Dick Saslaw, majority leader of the Virginia state Senate. 
Access to abortion is at risk in Virginia with a new Governor and a Republican majority in the House of Delegates. We can protect safe, legal abortion by codifying Roe v. Wade into law before the new administration takes over in January. This could be accomplished in Special Session, but the Democratic leadership needs to a firm push from us - the voters, many of whom voted for Democrats.
Senator Saslaw needs your emails, calls and Tweets. 
His phone is 703-978-0200
His Twitter handle is @DickSaslaw
Below is a sample email message that can be copied.
Dear Senator Saslaw,
Virginia women may lose their right to safe, legal abortion unless the Democratic caucus acts quickly and decisively. I ask you to lead the caucus in introducing and passing a bill to codify Roe v. Wade and ensure Virginia women continue to have the reproductive rights that the Democrats have fought to secure.
Passing this bill could be accomplished in Special Session. A Special Session will require a special effort by members. However, we elected Democrats to protect our rights – and that is what we need you to do now as the constitutional right to abortion hangs in the balance. 
We must not go back to the days of TRAP laws and mandatory ultrasounds. Don’t abandon women now.