Written letters, delivered or mailed to your Member of Congress, are an effective tool for demonstrating support for or opposition to a given issue. Like phone calls, they are a direct way to keep up the drumbeat on this issue by directly communicating to elected officials. Letters are also a great first step for a newcomer activist, as they are a good chance to organize your thoughts on paper and learn the facts about Background checks.
Proper formatting is important; it gives the letter a sense of importance and forethought. Letters should be typed and printed if possible, using a clean, easy-to-read font and include important information like the Congressperson’s name and the sender’s name.
Correct talking points can make or break a letter. Just like a phone call or meeting, it’s important to convey a clear message and what you’re asking of your elected officials. See below for talking points on Background checks:
- Background checks work. They are effective and have blocked more than 2 million gun purchases, keeping guns away from convicted felons, domestic abusers, criminals and other dangerous people.
- The current law covers only about 60 percent of gun sales, leaving the door open for prohibited and dangerous people to still buy a gun. For example, domestic abusers with restraining orders can still go online and buy guns without going through a background check in most states.
- 9 in 10 Americans support expanding background checks to online and gun shows sales, including over 80% of gun owners and 74% of NRA members.
- Now we must tell Congress to Finish the Job and expand background checks to all online and gun show purchases.
Be sure you include some personal information about yourself and consider writing the letter by hand. Here are some examples of things to talk about:
- I am a teacher
- I am a gun owner
- I am a parent (grandparent)
- I am a victim or survivor of gun violence
- I am a religious leader
- I am in law enforcement