President Obama is said to read ten letters from the public each day. I really hope he reads mine today, but I invite you to send one, too, increasing the odds that gun violence and control stays top of mind, all day, every day, until we see progress.
Here’s the letter I sent President Obama. Feel free to copy and paste into this online form at WhiteHouse.gov:
Dear Mr. President,
In January you were as disgusted by our nation’s lack of gun control as I am. I had high hopes when I listened to your speech on the gun violence epidemic in America and was so excited about your executive actions for gun control. But it’s been almost six months and nothing has been passed. Nothing. And while the bills are stuck in Congress, people are killing each other.
What happened in Orlando that ended with 50 people dead might have been prevented if your gun laws were in place–especially the banning of automatic rifles like the one used by the terrorist. Your automobile analogy on how the industry made major changes to lower car deaths was brilliant, but we need more than analogies from you on this.
Please don’t leave the White House without leaving a positive impact on gun control. Because it is not enough to be upset about another mass shooting. Something must be done. Please use these last few months in office to set up the necessary barriers to keep guns out of the hands of possible killers.
This is my friend Victoria’s nephew, Noah. He was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.
I didn’t obsess over my words in these letters. I copied much of what a friend had already written. This is urgent. I wanted to get it done.
Here’s the letter I sent Vice President Joe Biden. Again, use my words if it helps you get the job done. Same form:
Dear Vice President,
I’m writing to request that you don’t stop thinking about Orlando. About Sandy Hook. Virginia Tech. About our gun problem in America.
As the point person for enacting Obama’s gun control initiatives in January, you are the person to whom we are looking for answers. We have all been waiting to see the outcome of that speech put into action. And we see nothing.
Please don’t make me fear sending my children to school thinking they could be shot, or fear that my friends and family members could enter a restaurant, get on a train, or simply live their lives and be held hostage by someone with too easy access to a gun.
Please continue to be vigilant on this issue for the remainder of your term; you’re on the right side of history, and I’m with you!
This is Luis Vielma, killed in Orlando.
”” J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 13, 2016
Here’s the letter I sent Attorney General Loretta Lynch via the Justice Department website:
Please ensure that President Obama’s gun control policies that he discussed in January are enacted and institutionalized in real, lasting ways. It has been almost six months and during that time thousands have been killed due to gun violence. Last week’s terrifying shooting in Orlando is a rallying cry for this issue. Please make this hate-filled Orlando shooting the last one we have to read about. You said your goal is to position the Dept. of Justice to carry on in all these issues long after you and your team have moved on. Well, part of that goal is to make sure gun control issues pass. We, the people, support you and plead with you to make gun control a priority.
I am a member of a Facebook group called Suffragette Sundays, a group of Bay Area women who get together and actually DO SOMETHING to activate on feminist and political issues on a regular basis. The group shares tools just like these letters, coordinates letter writing parties, phone banking sessions, and more. It’s a mom-friendly place and you are welcome to jump in!