According to Generation Progress’s latest report with the Center for American Progress, “America’s Youth Under Fire,” young people today are more likely to be shot by a gun than be killed in a car accident. Now, more than ever, we need to speak to our leaders to demand change. An underrated but effective way to reach your representative directly is simply by requesting a meeting with them. We know this can sound intimidating, that’s why we’ve come up with sample scripts and talking points on a couple of big issues to arm you with the tools you need for your next meeting with your representative.
You can start your meeting off like this:
Hi [[NAME]], thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I’m a constituent of yours from the XXX area in your district. I wanted to meet with you in-person to tell you a little bit about my concerns regarding our country’s rise in gun-related deaths and to hear from you on policy fixes you are working on to address this issue.
From there, launch into your talking points. This guide contains sample scripts for visiting lawmaker offices to discuss gun violence.
At the conclusion of the meeting, allow the staff member or representative to ask questions and respond to your concerns. Capture any follow-ups or commitments they make to stay on top of the issue and reiterate them at the end of the meeting. Thank them for hearing you out and be sure to get their contact information to touch base with them periodically on your issue. If the staff member or representative cannot offer you any assurance that they will be taking action on the issue, be sure to let me them know that you will continue to be vocal by notifying your friends, neighbors, and local media about your representative’s lack of commitment to the issue.
Hi [[NAME]], thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I’m a constituent of yours from the XXX area in your district. I wanted to meet with you in-person to tell you about my work and hear from you about your plans to prevent gun violence and make our community safer.
Tell your story about how your life has been impacted by gun violence. Tell them about the impact violence has had on your life and the steps you and your community have taken to prevent violence. If you have not been impacted by gun violence directly you can share how the country as a whole has, and how you plan to be an activist on this issue.
Print out these sources to reference or leave with your representative’s office:
- America’s Youth Under Fire: The Devastating Impact of Gun Violence on Young People
- Fighting for Our Future: A Series of Case Studies
- Q1: Congressman/women, I am concerned about the rate of gun violence in our community and across the country. As a Millennial/member of Gen Z, my generation is disproportionately affected by gun violence and I am concerned for my safety and the safety of my friends and family. We also need to ensure that people who pose a heightened risk to community safety, such as domestic abusers and people convicted of violent crimes, do not have easy access to guns. What are you doing to reduce the rate of gun violence in our community and ensure that young people have the opportunity to grow up with a sense of genuine security?
- Q2: Congressman/woman, more specifically what are you doing to address the growing gun-related deaths in black/brown communities? Young African Americans are eighteen times more likely than their white peers to be victim of gun homicide. How are you and your office addressing these concerns? As a society we need to be addressing the growing deaths of Black boys and girls.
- Q3: While we are addressing the increasing rates of gun deaths, it is also important to address programs and policies that work to address the root causes of gun violence, and how we can support these region-specific efforts. Would you consider allocating more funding for gun violence research and demanding resources and support to address the root causes of gun violence in communities that have been left behind?