Ahead of the State of the Union address – call Congress about gun violence.

Update, 2/12/13: As of 9:14 CST this morning, the tally stands at 1,771 dead.

Update: As of 3:52 pm CST, the tally stands at 1,747 dead.

When I first glanced at Slate’s gun death tally this morning [Monday], about two hours before typing these words, 1,686 Americans had been fatally shot since Newtown; two hours later, that number stands at 1,695.

The President is bound to talk, possibly at length, about gun violence during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. If you haven’t called/emailed Congress and the White House yet about good gun laws and good policies, please please — do so.

Click here for all the phone numbers, links, and a sample script.

1,600 Americans fatally shot since Newtown.

More than 1,600, actually. In 55 days.

That averages out to 29 people a day. On Christmas, 30 Americans were killed by guns. On New Year’s Day, it was 58. On Martin Luther King Day, 28. Last Thursday was a good day — only 13 Americans were shot to death that day.

Click here to see Slate’s utterly breath-taking graphic of the gun-death tally since December 14, the date of the Newtown massacre.

  • Call Congress: 202-224-3121
  • Call the White House: 202-456-1111
  • Find your Senators by clicking here (if you’d rather send an email, you’ll find that information here, too).
  • Find your US Representative by clicking here (if you’d rather send an email, you’ll find that information here, too).

Sample script:

Hi, I’m calling from [location], and I just wanted to make sure that President Obama/Senator XXXXX/Representative XXXXX knows that I support the White House gun control initiative. I think that things like background checks, limits on magazine capacity, and a ban on assault weapons are common sense, and I think it’s so important to also work with inner city communities to address their particular needs — less than 1% of urban populations are responsible for about 70% of all shootings in cities, and it’s tragic that so many people are held hostage to that violence.

As Gabby Giffords told Congress: “We must do something. It will be hard but the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous.”

“You must act. Be bold. Be courageous.” – Gabby Giffords on gun violence.

Update: Chicago high school student Hadiya Pendleton, a 15 year old who performed at last week’s inauguration events and was planning to go to Paris, was fatally shot in the back on Tuesday, Jan 29 , while hanging out with friends in a park. Please call Congress.

*****

The Senate Judiciary Hearing on gun control was held this morning on January 30; Gabby Giffords opened the hearing, saying:

Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard but the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you.

The video is below, and it’s incredibly moving – when Gabby Giffords tells you that you have to be courageous, it carries quite a punch.

Here’s what we can do, now, today, to help protect boys and girls, men and women in all of our communities: We can call our elected representatives and tell them that we support the President and Vice President in their efforts.

In a democracy, that’s our job, our sacred duty. And if Gabby Giffords can go to the Senate, we can damn sure call Congress.

Sample script:

Hi, I’m calling from [location], and I just wanted to make sure that President Obama/Senator XXXXX/Representative XXXXX knows that I support the White House gun control initiative.I think that things like background checks, limits on magazine capacity, and a ban on assault weapons are common sense tools to help us protect each other, and I hope that efforts will also be made to work with inner city communities to address their particular needs — I know that less than 1% of urban populations are responsible for about 70% of all shootings in cities, and it’s tragic that so many people are held hostage to that violence.

Phone numbers:

  • The Senate: 202-224-3121
  • The House of Representatives: 202-224-3121
  • The White House: 202-456-1111

Find your Senators and Representatives:

Many people don’t know or can’t remember the names of their elected officials – no shame! If you’re not sure who yours are, go to these directories:

And if you’ve called them all already – call them again, or send an email. Ask your friends and family to do the same. If you have some money to spare, you can give some to The Brady Campaign — there are floods of money behind the gun lobby, and that’s why it’s so powerful. We have to counter with everything we have.

And the first thing we have is our voice.

“Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important…. We must do something. It will be hard but the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous.”

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