There’s no sugarcoating that what happened today in Newtown, Conn. is an unimaginable and unspeakable tragedy. White House spokesman Jay Carney can say that today isn’t the day to talk about gun control all he wants, we’re using the day to remember a much wiser thing Kurt Vonnegut said about guns:
That there are such devices as firearms, as easy to operate as cigarette lighters and as cheap as toasters, capable at anybody’s whim of killing Father or Fats [Waller] or Abraham Lincoln or John Lennon or Martin Luther King, Jr., or a woman pushing a baby carriage, should be proof enough for anybody that, to quote the old science fiction writer Kilgore Trout, “being alive is a crock of shit.”
If you agree, consider giving some money, time or attention to the following local and national gun control groups.
The Brady Campaign: Named after Ronald Reagan’s assistant who was shot and nearly killed by John Hinckley, this group scored a major victory in the 90s with the federal assault weapons ban. Help the cause by donating here.
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence: Formed by grieving mothers in the wake of a Prospect Park shooting in 1993, NYAGV has grown from a Brooklyn-based organization to one with branches in 27 counties around the state. Despite the fact that New York has strict gun laws already, we can’t take it for granted. NYAGV also lobbies at the federal level for gun control. You can donate to them here.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Shockingly and sadly enough the gun used to kill those kids in cold blood was legal in Connecticut. But illegal guns are still a scourge in cities, take this brutal and moronic shooting on a train in Philadelphia for an example. Mayor Bloomberg was a founding member of this group of elected officials, but if your hometown mayor isn’t, get on the horn to whoever you know there and tell them to demand it.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: Is this the most reasonably-named group in the history of American politics? Possibly, yes. The CSV is an umbrella organization of 48 national groups that seek to free the nation from gun violence through policy advocacy, research and strategic engagement. You can donate to them here.
Violence Policy Center: Even the NRA is a little afraid of these guys, branding them “the most effective, and most untruthful anti-gun rabble-rouser in Washington.” VPC has worked on campaigns from the Brady Bill to taking a stand against concealed carry permitting, filling Washington with reports on the dangers of unregulated gun ownership, challenging the NRA head-on and being a nuisance for anyone looking to make the Second Amendment into a license to carry any and every weapon under the sun. You can help them out with a donation here.
Carolyn McCarthy: A House of Representatives member who doesn’t turn tail and run from the NRA, probably because her husband was murdered by noted LIRR mass-murderer Colin Ferguson. McCarthy has been a leading force for gun control advocacy in the house and is currently working to re-instate the assault weapons ban, ban large capacity ammo clips and requiring background checks for gun store employees. She’ll be up for re-election in 2014, so keep an eye out for an opportunity to donate to her campaign.