|Putney Friends Meeting —
GunSense VT’s founder and fiercest gun violence prevention warrior, Ann Braden, has announced that she will be stepping back from the organization to pursue two incredible opportunities: writing and running for public office. A prolific and talented author, Ann has had her middle grade novel accepted for publication by Sky Pony Press. It is due out in Fall, 2018. Additionally, Ann has been accepted into the Emerge Vermont program which trains Democratic women candidates, and is planning to run for office in her home district of Windham County.
“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished with GunSense VT, and I’m humbled by the passion and energy of its supporters. From simply gathering names on a petition to bringing gun violence prevention legislation to the Governor’s desk, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds over the past five years,” states Ann. “I know that GunSense is well-positioned to continue the fight for common sense gun legislation in Vermont.”
The Board of GunSense VT and all of Vermont’s citizens owe Ann a debt of gratitude for opening the door to conversations and legislation that will ultimately improve public safety for all Vermonters.
As GunSense VT looks to the future, we will be growing our capacity and making improvements to our communications to continue the fight for universal background checks. Seasoned gun violence prevention activist and farmer Clai Lasher-Sommers is taking the helm as Acting Executive Director. Born in Vermont, and now living just over the border in New Hampshire, she is a survivor of gun violence, knows the issue inside and out on the personal level and national stage, and brings a fearless commitment to the cause. The GunSense VT Board will be holding a day-long retreat in January to identify priorities as we enter the 2018 legislative session.
Clai will be happy to hear from you @ email@example.com
“My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something.”
– Senator Chris Murphy, (D) Connecticut
We were outraged by the news out of Sutherland Springs, Texas. On Sunday a man armed with a Ruger AR-556 assault rifle ended 27 lives, and shattered countless others, at a place of worship. Once again, we are faced with massacres happening in places that are supposed to be safe. No one should feel apprehension while worshipping, going to school, going to the movies, shopping, or doing any of the other things that we do in our daily lives.
The NRA and the politicians whom they own will spout the same senseless sentiment: “It’s not the time to talk about guns.” We know differently.It is way past time to talk about guns. And for the 27 people killed in Texas and the 13,254* other people killed by guns this year, it is too late. Your voice has the power to effect change. Keep calling. Keep writing. Keep demanding action on gun safety legislation.
Take one of these actions today. Once you take one action it becomes easier to do two, or do three. Whatever you can do will make a difference.
1. Call Senators Sanders and Leahy and tell them that you support universal background checks, and you expect them to as well. Tell them to stand up with Chris Murphy and make this a bipartisan issue. Gun violence affects all Americans. It will take all of our representatives working together to make a change.
Senator Bernie Sanders: 800-339-9834
Senator Patrick Leahy: 800-642-3193
2. Call Governor Phil Scott and tell him Vermont’s lack of gun laws are shameful. Right now, there’s nothing preventing someone with a history of violence from buying a gun in Vermont without a background check from a private seller. Tell the Governor that Vermonters deserve better!
Governor Phil Scott: 802-828-3333
3. Please make a donation to GunSense VT, which is at the forefront of fighting for universal background checks in Vermont. Your donation today will help us continue our work for gun safe legislation in Vermont.
4. Make sure to follow @GunSenseVT on Twitter, and GunSense on Facebook and share our posts. When we raise our voices, even in the virtual world, it encourages others to raise theirs.
5. Make sure you know who your state legislators are and find out where they stand on gun violence prevention. Visit legislature.vermont.gov to find your legislators and see their voting records.
6. Remember that a significant majority of deaths by firearm are suicides. Visit the website of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center for information and resources. Familiarize yourself with the risk factors, which can include depression, substance abuse, family violence, and feelings of isolation (especially among older Vermonters), and having firearms in the home.
7. Most importantly, look out for one another. Get to know your neighbors. Spend a few more minutes in conversation. Meet someone in person for coffee. We all need more human connection, especially now.
*The Gun Violence Archive: www.gunviolencearchive.org
Newtown Vigils: Help shine a light on gun violence in December
This December 14 marks the five-year anniversary of one of the most heartbreaking tragedies this nation has ever known: the murder of 20 young children and 6 educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Since that horrific day, we have also known the pain of other high-profile mass shootings. Charleston. San Bernardino. Orlando. Las Vegas. Texas. The list goes on.
This December, we invite you to recall all victims and survivors of gun violence: those who have died, those still living, and those who still live with the pain of loss. Those who have been threatened with guns and traumatized by violent acts, Those who still live with abuse and threats in homes where there are guns.
Vigils to remember victims of gun violence are being held statewide. Please consider organizing one in your community!
Organizing a vigil need not be stressful or time consuming. It can be as large or as small, as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. You can organize a group to stand silently with candles in front of your town hall, or you can organize speakers in your local library or house of worship. It’s up to you, and GunSense is here to help.
Please contact Elissa at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are holding a vigil or if you would like to organize one.
We have resources to share, and we want to help you publicize your event (and make sure that you are counted nationally). Connect with GunSense today!
All the Best,
Elissa Pine, GunSenseVT