Now that the holidays are over it’s time to get down to business. Usually this time of year I am looking at the match schedule and deciding what events to attend and what sports to concentrate on. With a little one on the way, I just don’t know when I will be able to make a return to the match circuit this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to disappear either.
Instead of gunning for titles, I’m setting my sights on areas where I can stay active in the shooting world. I’m going beyond the range and sharing my passion for shooting sports and promoting safe, responsible firearm ownership to those who are making decisions in Washington.
Reaching Out to Elected Officials
With all the anti-gun legislation proposals, internet chatter and media frenzy, it is more important than ever to reach out to government representatives and let them know how you feel. This year I plan to do my part and get in touch with my leaders. I’ll be keeping my ears open and when our rights are put in jeopardy, my fingers will be typing.
Here are a two websites that make reaching out to your government representatives easy:
- ContactingtheCongress.org – A simple click on your state provides you phone and fax numbers as well as a link to send an email to your reps.
- National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) – Use the interactive map or enter your zip code to get in touch with your elected officials with a printed letter or an email.
To reach out to my reps, I recently used the NRA-ILA link. Not only does the site list the names of elected officials, it also provides a way to write all of them at once. I was given the option to either email or print and send out my letter to any or all of the representatives on the list based on the location information I provided. I chose to do both. That meant I had to access the form two times, but a simple copy and paste of the body of my letter into the appropriate field allowed me to preview my letter and hit send as an email and print it to mail as well. Overkill? My thought is that it can’t hurt and is well worth the price of a few stamps.
Here are a few things you might want to consider when writing to your leaders…
Tips for Writing to Your Representatives
- Be Nice – Regardless of how you feel about your elected officials, this is not the time to be rude or insulting. It’s possible to be both passionate and respectful at the same time.
- Say Thank You – I like to start and close my letter by thanking my reps for their hard work, service and time. I may not agree with their specific policies or positions, but I do appreciate their dedication to our country.
- Choose Your Subject and Make Your Point Clear – Pick one topic, state your concerns, explain why you are writing and why the topic is important to you. Offer suggestions or solutions, but avoid going off on tangents or tackling too many issues at once. You can always send off another letter to cover additional topics.
- Proof It – Take the time to proof read your correspondence to catch any typos and grammatical errors and to make sure you are successful in getting your point across. I find it is helpful to write and then wait a couple of hours before re-reading.
I am so proud to live in a country where I am allowed to express my thoughts and opinions. In 2013 I plan to do just that and reach out to those who are in the position to make laws that not only affect me, but my children as well. Have links or suggestions on other ways to connect with members of Congress? I would love to hear from you!