Congress Faces #OneNation This August Recess | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Congress Faces #OneNation This August Recess

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Republicans in Congress have tried to strip as many as 32 million people of healthcare coverage, forcing survivors already facing the challenges of healing from gunshot wounds to struggle with paying for medical care as well. And while they’ve failed so far, they haven’t given up yet. Every voice matters as Americans rise up as #OneNation to tell their representatives we are united against gun violence, and against a healthcare bill that would put gun violence survivors at even greater risk.

As Congress prepares for its summer vacation, during which representatives will confront their home-state constituents face-to-face, it's your chance to make your voice heard – whether you're talking to your elected leaders about sensible gun laws or healthcare or both.

Below are example questions you can take to a town hall -- or use to call, write or Facebook message your member of Congress -- to make sure your representatives are listening. To remember these questions and for even more, print off these cards and take them with you to your meeting or town hall.

Ask About Healthcare

Gunshots kill 33,000 people each year. Another 81,000 survive, often with enduring physical & emotional scars and crippling debt for the uninsured or underinsured.

According to a Stanford University study, Medicare or Medicaid cover nearly $420 million (60%) of costs for initial hospitalizations of gunshot victims. Proposed GOP plan would drastically reduce or eliminate that coverage, and gut coverage for necessary follow-up treatment, which could be excluded as a pre-existing condition.

  • The 81,000 Americans who are shot and survive yearly are disproportionately covered by Medicare & Medicaid. Right now, following a traumatic incident like a gunshot, people certainly struggle but the ACA often prevents total financial ruin. How you are going to ensure that people in your district have the same access to recovery if Congress decides to jettison the ACA?
  • For survivors of shootings like the Pulse Night Club, Sandy Hook, or Rep. Steve Scalise, surviving gun violence means that they now have a pre-existing condition, which under proposed GOP legislation makes it more difficult for victims to maintain coverage--and potentially impossible if they have a lapse in coverage. How do you plan to address the problem of pre-existing conditions for victims of gun violence?
  • According to a Stanford University study published in June 2017, Americans spent $6.61 billion on urgent care for gunshot wounds from '06-'14. This cost does not include the untold billions spent on recovery. Until Congress finally passes sensible gun reform that prevents these tragedies from happening in the first place, will you commit to ensuring quality of care for all Americans that meets or exceeds the standard set by the ACA?

Ask About Protective Orders

An ERPO (Extreme Risk Protective Order), a.k.a. Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) or Gun Violence Protective Order (GVPO), allows a court to respond to an urgent request by a family member or law enforcement official to temporarily remove weapons from a person in crisis. ERPOs, which typically last 3 weeks, prohibit this individual from buying a gun until the order is lifted. (Legal safeguards prevent ERPOs from being initiated with false information/intent, or to harass someone.)

Mass shooters often exhibit warning signs beforehand, as in the Pulse tragedy and the recent shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise. Protective orders could have prevented these incidents.

  • Suicide attempts by shooting are fatal more than 85% of the time compared with fatalities of 3% or less for other common methods. HR2598 and S1212 would create Protective Orders to let family and law enforcement temporarily remove firearms from the home. Will you co-sponsor this legislation?
  • More than half of women killed in the U.S. are shot by an intimate partner who is not their spouse. Will you support measures to include close family members and intimate partners in any (ERPO/GVRO) protective legislation?
  • Mass shooters often exhibit warning signs before a shooting. Some states are addressing the problem with an Extreme Risk Protection Order– an order to temporarily remove weapons from a household of a person in crisis potentially preventing tragedies like the one at Pulse nightclub or the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise. Will you co-sponsor HR2598 and S1212 to help create a national ERPO?