The Center for American Progress is out today with a new infographic explaining how our country's gun laws are broken. Too often dangerous people, even those legally barred from owning guns, can still purchase firearms without background checks to stop them. That includes convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill.
The streets of Nashua, N.H., were filled last week with OFA supporters voicing their support for common-sense gun violence prevention measures. Community members gathered at City Hall Plaza to raise the profile of an important issue that Congress has failed to act on.
At the rally, volunteers were met by a group of anti-reform advocates who openly carried their own guns to the event as a counter-protest, but OFA New Hampshire did not back down. Volunteers started a "Honk for gun violence prevention" rally outside City Hall to show New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte that support for common-sense gun reform is real and widespread in the Granite State. They demanded that the senator stand with the people of New Hampshire—the clear majority of whom support expanding background checks for gun sales to protect our communities.
OFA-NH supporters stood their ground to let Sen. Ayotte know they are not backing down on this life-or-death issue.
Join with New Hampshire volunteers and say you won't back down until Congress acts. Add your voice to the movement for gun violence prevention today.
I’m a small businessman, a father and a husband. For years I’ve been listening to my congressman, Dr. Joe Heck, speak out against Obamacare, and what he was saying just didn’t sit well with me. You see, Obamacare is already working for me, my business, and my family. So I took a chance at getting a little face time with Congressman Heck at a town hall. I had to drive out to Sandy Valley, Nevada, to do it, but it’s a fun drive, up and over a little mountain pass, about 30 miles south of my office in Las Vegas. I'm glad I did it.
I got to tell my Congressman that my family is already getting a break because of the law—free checkups, for one. And I got to tell him that as a small business owner, Obamacare will help me in October when I'm looking for a better deal to cover my employees. And I got to ask him why—why does he want to take this away from me, from my family, and from my employees? I asked him to explain why he opposes something that is helping me now, is helping bend the cost curve on health care and will help me in the future, and is helping small businesses. That’s mom and pop, my friends. That's me and my family and my business.
You may have seen my conversation with him made the news. That wasn’t what I set out to do, but I don’t mind if it helps spread the word about my story. Because I know there are more people like me out there.
While I sometimes volunteer with OFA and other organizations on the issues I care about, most times there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And I know that’s the case for many people. But sometimes there is something that’s important enough to take a 30-mile drive to say it. And when you do it, it matters.
Earlier this year, Congress had a chance to pass common-sense legislation to prevent gun violence—but they failed to act. Since then, OFA supporters have been organizing in communities across the country to send a message to lawmakers: We haven't forgotten, and we will not back down. Take a look:
My son, Daniel, was a smart, quiet kid. He'd just become a straight-A student, and he was overcoming his shyness as a new member of the debate team.
On April 20th, 1999, my beautiful and bright 15-year-old son was killed by two teenagers with guns in the library of Columbine High School—one of 12 innocent kids who lost their lives for no reason at all. It's been 14 years since that horrible day—14 years of fighting so no family has to grieve like ours did.
In December, when I heard about the shooting in Newtown, I sat in my office and broke down. I was watching another community torn apart by guns—more parents grieving, more kids who would never see graduation, or a wedding, or a family of their own.
And in the wake of another tragedy, nine in 10 Americans agreed that it was time to act—expand background checks to close the loopholes that put guns in the hands of dangerous people. But Congress disappointed us, putting politics above the safety of our kids.
That's why this week, we're asking: How many parents will have to go through what I did before we say "enough"?
Tomorrow OFA and allied organizations are standing up for a national day of action to ask members of Congress: What will it take to finally act to prevent gun violence?Find an event near you to stand up and demand action.
I hope you will join us and call on Congress to take some common sense steps towards gun violence prevention.
At left, local supporters check out information on how to reduce their carbon footprint. At right, OFA volunteers greet Congressman Huffman.
Congressman Jared Huffman joined OFA's Marin Chapter to hold a conversation on climate change titled "What Would Climate Leadership Look Like in Washington?" Huffman has been a leader on environmental issues, and OFA supporters in California have been working for months to put clean energy in the spotlight.
President Obama turned 52 on August 4th, and thousands of supporters coast to coast added their name to OFA's official birthday card. Now—after compiling all your notes—the card is on its way to the President. Here's a look, right before it left for Washington:
You've seen what OFA volunteers can accomplish in Action August, but do you know how we do it? Here is a peek at how we gear up at the Lehigh Valley chapter in Pennsylvania.
First, we lay out our schedule. The chapter uses a big calendar to map out a skeletal plan of August. We give each member a blank calendar so they can take notes and pin the initiatives they are most interested in.
This is our "Situation Room," AKA my living room, where OFA Fellow Megan and I review calendars and plot out the specifics of Action August.
We accomplish a lot over a small amount of time. In just an hour or so, the chapter organized its Action August events. Then, volunteers go home with a clear idea of our expectations, committed to specific events. That allows us to concentrate on recruiting new volunteers to grow our chapter.
To turn someone from just another name on our list into an active OFA volunteer, our team works to develop meaningful relationships. We don't just ask them which issues matter most to them—we ask them why these issues matter to them. The answers to that question have proven to be the most valuable pieces of data we collect.
Once we understand why our volunteers got involved, we tailor their volunteer experience (and our events) to meet the direction our volunteers want to go.
Already we've held a house party for Obamacare in Allentown on the President's birthday, spent a day standing with our future and sharing our "American Story" to push for comprehensive immigration reform, and called out climate change deniers in Congress.
We're halfway through Action August, but we've only just begun. Find an event near you, and make sure you are heard.
Supporters nationwide joined forces Tuesday to send a message to climate change deniers in Congress that it is time to accept the reality of science. In one day, OFA supporters hand-delivered "Congressional Climate Change Denier Awards" to more than 100 members of Congress.
Climate change denier Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in California has said that "global warming is a total fraud." OFA Orange County volunteers rallied to make sure he knew that 97% of climate scientists say otherwise.
In Bloomington, Ind., Rep. Todd Young sat down with OFA supporters when they delivered his Climate Denier Award, and the group had a conversation about climate issues and the importance of taking action.
Here's a look at more photos and stories from OFA events nationwide:
OFA volunteers will keep putting pressure on lawmakers until there is action in Congress to address climate change. It's not too late to get involved—call out the members of Congress who deny the science of climate change in your state.