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Daily Action: "Thoughts and Prayers" Are Not Enough!

Sen. Dianne Feinstein
DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Sen. Kamala Harris
DC: (202) 224-3553
LA:  (213) 894-5000
Rep. Julia Brownley: 
DC: (202) 225-5811
Thousand Oaks: (805) 379-1779
Rep. Ted Lieu:
DC: (202) 225-3976
LA: (323) 651-1040
Rep. Steve Knight:
DC: (202) 225-1956
Simi Valley: (805) 581-7130

Sample Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a constituent of Representative ___________'s in _______________, California. I am calling to express my disgust at Congress' refusal to act to curb gun violence in this country. Yesterday's tragedy in Texas was one more piece of evidence that, no matter the race, creed, ideology or mental state of the shooter, semi-automatic weapons like AR-15s have no place in our society. Their only usefulness is to enable killers to destroy as many lives as possible, in as short a time as possible. It's outrageous that the only gun measures before Congress right now would make it easier for men like these to carry concealed weapons across state lines, and to do even more damage by easing access to silencers.  I urge the congressperson/senator to oppose H.R. 38/S. 446, the concealed care reciprocity bill. (For House members) I also encourage the congressperson to oppose H.R. 367, the "Hearing Protection Act," which would remove protections against the use of silencers that have worked for 80 years. Thank you!

Yesterday's shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX, followed a now mind-numbingly familiar script: An unstable individual, in this case a white man, was easily able to obtain an assault rifle in a low-regulation state (as well as a cache of other weapons, later found in his vehicle). He carried out a horrifying attack on innocents, then took his own life. And Republican politicians quickly made it clear, via the usual and useless expressions of "thoughts and prayers" for the victims, that these 26 deaths were simply more collateral damage in conservatives' (and, of course, the NRA's) irrational and immoral fetishization of Second Amendment rights.

The shooter used a Ruger AR-556 assault rifle, a variant on the popular AR-15. In Texas, such rifles can be purchased without an ownership permit or waiting period, and can be carried openly without a permit. Texas doesn't not limit the amount of ammunition that can be loaded into such a rifle.

The shooting is the latest evidence that America's current gun violence prevention laws simply aren't up to the task of curbing the tragedies that can be caused using modern weapons that are easily available -- too easily available -- at stores, gun shows, and via private transactions nationwide. Trump already has made it easier for both fugitives and the mentally ill to buy guns, rescinding protections via the Congressional Review Act.But instead of recognizing the need to find legislative solutions to America's crisis of gun violence, this fall Republicans in Congress intend to do the National Rifle Association's bidding once again, and pass laws that achieve the NRA's legislative priorities for the year: making it easier for gun owners to purchase and use silencers, and for concealed-carry permit holders in one state to tote guns in every state.

Under current law, silencers -- which reduce the noise emitted from firearms -- are regulated the same way machine guns and short-barreled rifles are under the 1934 National Firearms Act. However, the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), now on the House GOP's agenda, would remove gun silencers from the list of items regulated by the Act. The NRA and Republicans in Congress also want concealed-carry reciprocity, allowing people who hold permits in one state to be able to tuck away their firearms and carry them across state lines. Bills achieving such reciprocity have been introduced in both the House (H.R. 38) and Senate (S. 446).