Updated: May 9
Thanks you to everyone who joined us on April 11th for our members' meeting focusing on gun violence prevention. Miss the meeting? You can catch the recording HERE. We had so many amazing speakers and you can support their organizations by taking action and/or making a donation. We have put together this resource with links to all their contact information, along with specific ways you can take action and support their work and activism. We don't have to live -- or die -- like this.
IE Leadership Team
Taking Action: Freedom from Gun Violence
Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, IL-17
State Rep. Rep. Gong-Gershowitz represents the suburban Chicagoland House district IL-17 (which includes part of Evanston, Wilmette, Skokie, Glenview and Northbrook). She joined us to discuss gun safety legislation that has passed since she took office in 2018 (including the recent Protect Illinois Communities Act) and how the assault weapon ban will be implemented as a result. She also discussed legislation in the works to hold gun manufacturer more accountable, including in terms of marketing to young people, and we will let you know when we can help support that legislation by filing witness slips to support it.
Gun violence is an epidemic and, to Rep. Gong-Gershowitz, it’s personal. Domestic violence and guns are American crises that end approximately 50 women’s lives every month. Jennifer’s family is among those who have experienced this horrifying statistic firsthand, losing her cousin and her two children when they were murdered by their father. She has turned that tragedy into action, and is committed to getting dangerous guns or war off our streets and out of the hands of abusers and other violent individuals.
The mission of Project Unloaded is to create a new cultural narrative that guns make us less safe. Research shows that teens and young adults are forming opinions and making decisions about guns. Through creative and cultural campaigns, Project Unloaded provides accurate information about gun violence to inspire the next generation to choose on their own terms not to own and use guns. SNUG is the first of many campaigns by Project Unloaded. How we can support the mission of Project Unloaded:
Share their information with the young people in our lives.
Amplifying their campaigns, like SNUG - Safer Not Using Guns
Moms Demand Action, Evanston Chapter
How to get involved with Evanston's Moms Demand Action Chapter:
Text "Fed Up" to 644-33
Join the Evanston Chapter Facebook Group
Find an event or chapter near you
Sign the Petition to Urge Illinois Lawmakers To Pass A (Gun) Industry Accountability Bill
Sign Petition: Northwestern University Must Divest From the Gun Industry (for NU students, alumni, staff and faculty only)
Contact Your U.S. Representative: Cosponsor Bill To Stop Gun Trafficking
Sign Up for Tuesday "Fed Up" Phone Banks to Battleground States
Sign Up for the Gun Sense Action Network Team (Phone Banks)
May 16: Statewide Advocacy Day (Springfield)
June 2-4: Wear Orange Days (more info TBA about Evanston meeting on 5/3/23)
Students Demand Action, Northwestern University and Highland Park High School
Students Demand Action is the youth division of Everytown for Gun Safety, which also includes (Moms Demand Action). We were joined by student leaders from the Northwestern University and Highland Park High School chapters, and were inspired by their activism.
Follow NU SDA on Instagram
Sign Petition: Northwestern University Must Divest From the Gun Industry (for students, alumni, staff and faculty only)
ALL NU SDA Resources HERE
If you are or know a student who would like to get involved with SDA chapter or to start one, click HERE
More Organizations to Support*
March Fourth was founded in the wake of the Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park, IL. It's an advocacy group with a singular mission: to federally ban assault weapons. Its members are unified on the issue of keeping Americans safe from weapons of war that shouldn’t be accessed by civilians. Their goal is to accomplish this mission by using their voices to drive change and to demand that our elected representative put people and safety over politics.
Save Our Students D.C. March 4/17 (please share with anyone in DC area!)
Be Smart for Kids: Secure Gun Storage
Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action launched the Be SMART campaign to take action to promote responsible gun ownership and reduce child gun deaths. The campaign focuses on education and awareness about child gun deaths and secure gun storage. Be SMART volunteers encourage parents and caretakers to “Be SMART” and take these five simple steps to help prevent shootings involving children: Secure, Model, Ask, Recognize and Tell.
March for Our Lives
March for Our Lives was founded in 2018 by students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. That year, they marched, activated the country, built a home for youth political advocacy, and helped engage over 2 million voters. In 2022, after back-to-back mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and across the U.S., they took to the streets again to demand a better nation from our elected officials. They marched, lobbied, activated, voted and were instrumental in getting the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed, which was the most comprehensive gun safety legislation legislation in 30 years.
In April 2023, March for Our Lives Nashville organized student walkouts and protests in Nashville after the recent mass school shooting there. And continued to protest after Representatives Pearson and Johnson were expelled from the state legislature after speaking out against the lack of legislative action against gun violence from their GOP colleagues. You can support March for Our Lives by taking actions locally and nationally, sharing their content on social media, and and by donating to support their work.
The Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (G-PAC) s a non-partisan political action committee that was founded to counter the political influence of the gun industry and their lobby in Springfield. G-PAC raises the resources necessary to protect and elect public officials with the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. Polls show that a majority of gun owners and non-gun owners favor alike sensible gun safety measures to save lives. G-PAC provides campaign support to legislators committed to keeping guns out the hands of criminals, gang members, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill. G-PAC’s political program supports endorsed candidates using time tested field and messaging strategies proven to influence single issue, like-minded voters to vote on election day. Their experienced team offers candidate recruitment, training, and strategic campaign support including targeted direct mail and television. You take action to support their work and stay informed with updates, or make a contribution below.
Divest from Gun Violence
Are you investing in gun violence and weapons companies without realizing it? Many mutual funds and 401(k) portfolios are invested in the gun industry -- because it's profitable! But you can find out how if your portfolio includes gun companies and take steps to remove them. Search your funds at Weapon Free Funds or click HERE to learn more. You can also contact your bank or investment manager and request that your money be pulled from any gun- or munitions-linked funds (or funds invested in other companies in additional industries that are not aligned with your values, such as the fossil fuel industry or tobacco products) and placed in a “socially responsible” mutual fund. It's just one more thing we can do to impact the gun industry.
*Additional Important Gun Safety Organizations
This list is by no means comprehensive, but includes some of the major groups taking actin here in Illinois to fight gun violence and end mass shootings with weapons of war. Of course, there are many more excellent organizations working on this issue, and some of the others we recommend are listed here: