I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to tell you that the Senate Judiciary Committee PASSED a gun violence prevention bill out of committee BY A UNANIMOUS VOTE IN SUPPORT!
Gun violence prevention has been untouchable at the statehouse for decades, and this is proof that times have changed. It has been your grassroots action that has gotten this issue on the table, and now it is moving forward despite opposition from the gun lobby. This is HISTORIC!!
Please e-mail the Senate Judiciary Committee members to thank them for taking this issue seriously!
Senator Sears – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Nitka – email@example.com
Senator Benning – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator White – email@example.com
Senator Ashe – firstname.lastname@example.org
We have such incredible momentum coming out of this committee vote, and it’s up to us to make sure we keep moving forward. The bill will get a number next week (it’s not called S. 31), and the debate and floor vote could happen as early as Thursday or else the following week. We’ll need to have supportive calls flooding into the statehouse for that, and since the gun lobby will likely do another robo-call to generate activity, we need to do the grassroots equivalent: a massive phone tree to call other supporters asking them to call their senators. To prepare for this, folks are coming together at locations all across the state this weekend to start making phone calls. If you haven’t yet signed up to help, contact Elissa, and she’ll put you in touch with the phone bank organizer in your area.
Our voices are making a huge difference, and we must continue to ensure that the call for common sense comes through loud and clear.
Together we are DOING this!!
P.S. Here is the first news report out about the bill, and I’m sure others will be coming out shortly.
If you didn’t see the Governor’s comments on the news last night, this clip is worth watching. From WCAX: He says voters sent him a message to act on property taxes and education costs, not gun laws or picking the state dog and vegetable. ‘I just don’t know very many Vermonters who come up to me and say, ‘You know governor, all of my problems are because Vermont’s gun laws aren’t serving us well.’ It’s not something I’m getting; so let’s focus on the things Vermonters asked us to get done.”
The phone number at the Governor’s office is (802) 828-3333. Let’s let Governor Shumlin know that those 12,000 petition signatures we delivered two weeks ago were actual Vermonters asking him to take action on this issue!
And thank you to all of you who stepped up to share yesterday’s fact in support of criminal background checks. Lawmakers are appreciative of your efforts and saying “Please encourage more to write,” — and given the rhetoric used at last night anti-criminal background check rally it’s essential that we keep making our voices heard!
Today’s Fact of the Day:
In 2013 in Vermont, abuse victims seeking help made 24,000 calls to the state domestic violence crisis hotline — an increase of 138% over the previous two years.
Source: State of Vermont, Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission Report, 2014,
On behalf of these families we can’t afford to ignore our domestic violence problem and allow abusers to have easy access to guns. Please share this fact with your lawmakers right now. (Direct links to lawmaker e-mail addresses are below.)
Please drop us a quick e-mail letting us know that you’ve reached out to your lawmakers.
P.P.S. Here are the basic steps for sharing the fact of the day with your lawmakers.
1) Highlight the fact of the day, and use the right-click button to copy it.
2) Click on the e-mail address of one of your lawmakers and right-click inside the e-mail body to paste it.
3) Add a personal message from you for your lawmaker.
4) Highlight your full e-mail text before you send it, and right-click to copy it. Then press send.
5) Click on each of your other lawmakers’ e-mail addresses and right-click to paste your e-mail text into the box that pops up. Send each one as you go.
P.P.P.S. Here are direct links to each of the lawmakers’ e-mail addresses. If you’re not sure what district you’re in, you can use the statehouse website to search for your lawmakers based on the town where you live.
I’m thrilled to announce that S. 31 has been officially introduced in the Senate. That means that it’s crucial that right now we all send a quick, personal e-mail to our lawmakers letting them know that we support it. (Senators’ and representatives’ e-mails are here.) This bill has three key parts, like three legs of a stool that work together to help keep guns out of the wrong hands:
- Criminal background checks on unlicensed sales of firearms
- A state law prohibiting violent felons from possessing guns (this would give local law enforcement the authority to prosecute violations)
- The timely submission of relevant court records to the National Instant Background Check System when a person has been adjudicated as being a danger to themself or others
If you’re interested in reading the bill in its entirely, you can see it here.
It is a huge accomplishment to have gotten this far, and looking ahead our work is cut out for us. While there area number of lawmakers who are fully supportive of this bill, there are many who are:
It’s up to US to help lawmakers see that this bill is necessary to help address our domestic violence problem and prevent other dangerous individuals from having easy access AND that their constituents support it!
This will require us all to make a commitment to reach out to our lawmakers on an ongoing basis. If they hear our polite and persistent collective voices day after day, democracy will work the way it should, and a bill that has 81% of Vermonters in support will get passed.
The First Step: E-mail your lawmakers right now to show your support of S. 31 and encourage them to watch our new ad that highlights gun owners standing up for background checks.
To help you do this:
- You can quickly find your senators and representatives’ e-mail addresses here.
- The link for the video to include in your e-mail is here: http://www.gunsensevt.org/gun_owners_for_background_checks
- Please also drop us a quick e-mail to let us know when you’ve done it, so we can keep a tally.
The Next Step: On Monday we’re going to begin a two-week Fact-of-the-Day campaign in which we’ll focus on one key fact each day to underscore why this legislation is necessary. We’ll send you a quick e-mail in the morning with the daily fact, and then all you need to do is turn around and e-mail it to your lawmakers. The fact itself will be powerful, but it will be even more powerful coming from a constituent.
Quick, personal e-mails only take a few minutes each day, but they could EASILY be the determining factor that will make this bill successful.
You have the power to make the difference!
Together we can do this!
P.S. The daily fact e-mails are designed to make it easy for you to stay informed and speak up. However, if you don’t want to receive these emails and do want to continue to receive general GunSenseVT emails, please just e-mail us, and we’ll remove you from this specific list. Thanks!
Putney Friends Meeting Minute 2014.03.01; Minute on the Prevention of Gun Violence.
Live in “the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion for all wars.”
George Fox (1624- 1691)
This applies to all violence including gun violence. Violence is a reflection of the ills of society. We challenge ourselves and others to look at the depth of this issue so we can address the heart of the matter.
Ann Braden from GunSense VT joined a group of Friends/friends at Putney Friends Meeting on January 18th to share the story of her work in founding this organization. Below is a link to a video explaining what they are trying to accomplish here in Vermont.
Please feel free to share this…