There have been over 600 mass shootings in the United States in 2022 alone, with at least 26 least mass shootings since the start of November, per the Gun Violence Archive. The vast majority of these home-grown terrorists — because they are terrorists — are white men (Rockefeller reports that over 95 percent of mass shooters are male, and almost 55 percent are white). The ACLU of New York has highlighted the ways in white supremacy and patriarchy (two inherently violent structures) cross-pollinate and contribute to these kinds of attacks.
But gun control is another major issue, with many governments unable to pass meaningful gun reforms due to ongoing gridlocks in Congress, per CBS. The issue is particularly frustrating as mass shooters are increasingly using semi-automatic (or comparable) weapons to kill their victims, and these weapons are often bought legally, per USA Today.
Every single mass shooting in the United States is another reminder that this country has not done nearly enough to address the largely preventable issue of gun violence. This week alone, the United States has witnessed the attack on Club Q, a gay bar in Colorodo Springs on Nov. 20, coinciding with Trans Day of Remembrance. Then on Nov. 23, another mass shooting event in Chesapeake, Virginia resulted in 6 dead, in addition to the shooter himself, via a self-inflicted gunshot wound, per CNN. And on November 13, a student shot and killed three students and injured two others at the University of Virginia, per the New York Times.
These past two weeks of fresh violence comes on the heels of the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, representing the largest loss of life in a mass elementary-school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012, leaving 21 dead, including 19 children. And that horrific loss came just 10 days after a shooter killed 10 people in a racially motivated attack at a Buffalo, NY, supermarket.
It’s easy to feel helpless in moments like these, to feel like you can’t do anything but doomscroll on Twitter while losing hope that we’re capable of change. The truth is that there are actions we can all take, and while they may not feel world-shaking in the moment, small acts can lead to bigger progress over time. For example, you can directly support the community of Uvalde and Colorado Springs by donating to fundraisers created by victims’ loved ones. You can research your local representatives’ stances on gun reform and vote for candidates who support common-sense gun-safety laws, like banning assault rifles and requiring universal background checks. You can also donate to gun-reform organizations working to enact this change at local and federal levels.
It’s clear that thoughts and prayers are not preventing gun violence from occurring every day in the US. If this moment is moving you to take action, see below for a selection of organizations pushing for gun reform that you can donate to today.
Sandy Hook Promise
Sandy Hook Promise is led by the family members who had loved ones killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. This organization’s mission is “to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children,” and it promotes educational programs to identify the signs of a potential shooter as well as “sensible, bipartisan school and gun safety legislation.”
Giffords is a gun-violence-prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot at a local event for constituents in January 2012. The organization “is fighting to end the gun lobby’s stranglehold on our political system” through three separate paths: Giffords, which mobilizes voters and pushes for legislative change at the grassroots level; Giffords Law Center, which helps “draft, implement, and defend” the laws and programs designed to prevent gun violence; and Giffords PAC, which aims to be a counter to the gun lobby.
Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions
Two gun-violence-prevention organizations — the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence — recently merged to form the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. The organization combines research with advocacy and policymaking. “We use a public health approach to conduct rigorous scientific research to identify a range of innovative solutions to gun violence,” the org’s website says.
Everytown For Gun Safety
Everytown For Gun Safety was started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2014 to counter the influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Everytown advocates for a legislative plan that includes more thorough background checks and mandates for safer gun storage, while opposing ideas like arming teachers. Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America is affiliated with Everytown.
The Brady Campaign
The Brady Campaign has been around since 1974 and was renamed in 2001 to honor Jim Brady, the White House press secretary under Ronald Reagan who sustained a major head injury during an assassination attempt on Reagan. The organization lays out a 12-step plan to preventing gun violence at the state and federal level, while offering local chapters and events to get involved.
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
States United to Prevent Gun Violence works with 33 different state organizations across the country, each of which is committed to ending gun violence through local advocacy, the org says. “Legislators are predominately moved by hearing from constituents and leaders in their home states,” States United explains on its site. “Our state affiliates provide a critically important voice to counter the gun lobby.” The organization aims to “amplify that voice and elevate state leaders.”