Library of Resources- Step 1: Educate Yourself

 Step 1: Educate Yourself 

Full Tool Kit

  • A. Facts About the Second Amendment
  • B. Facts About Gun Violence
  • C. Arguments the Gun Lobby Makes
  • D. Common Sense Gun Regulations Save Lives
  • E. The Difference Between Federal, State and Local Governments
  • F. How to Identify Your Elected Representatives and Whether they have taken money from the gun lobby
  • G. How laws are made and where state law has been effective
  • H. A Sample State Law Agenda
  • I. How to Pass a Ballot Measure and Where They Have Passed
  • J. How to Pass a Municipal Ordinance or Proclamation

Supreme Court Cases on the Second Amendment:

District of Columbia v. Heller 

McDonald v. City of Chicago

Additional Second Amendment Commentary:

Second Amendment Decision- Best of Both (Urban and Rural) Gun Worlds, by John Rosenthal on Huffington Post

The Heller Decision and What it Means by the Giffords Law Center

Justices Won’t Hear Case on Waiting Period for Gun Purchases, by Adam Liptak, NY Times

A Lott of Lies: Debunking John Lott , by GVPedia

The Gun Violence Archive is the most

11 Facts that tell the story of gun violence in 2017, by Daniel Nass of The Trace

Stolen Guns in America: a state by state analysis, Center for American Progress

Fast Facts About Gun Violence, compiled by Stop Handgun Violence

Sources for all of the gun violence facts used in the tool kit.

  • Over 34,000 Americans die each year due to gun violence
  • Nearly 60% of gun deaths are suicides
  • Means Matter: 90% of people who survive a suicide attempt do not ultimately die by suicide.. This is important because when a suicidal person has access to highly lethal means in a suicide attempt, like a firearm, there is no second chance for them to get help.
  • Women in the United States are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries.
  • A gun in the home is more likely to be used to kill or injure an innocent person in the home than a threatening intruder.
  • Over the past 40 years more than 1.5M Americans have died from guns in the US, that is more Americans have been killed by guns than all US service men and women killed in all foreign wars combined
  • Over 150,000 Americans have died due to gun violence just since Sandy Hook 5 years ago.
  • Every 30 minutes a child is injured and every 3 hours a child dies from guns in the US
  • There is a mass shooting of 4 or more people almost every day in the US, there have been 1,607 mass shootings since the massacre at Sandy Hook.
  • There have been over 290 shootings at schools since Sandy Hook in 2012
  • There is no background check requirement for private gun and ammunition sales in 30 states and at thousands of gun shows and flea markets each year
  • Federal law allows unrestricted access to military style assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines without background checks
  • Law enforcement including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF and E) is restricted from regulating gun shows and all private gun sales estimated to be 50% of annual gun sales
  • Guns are extremely lethal, which is why it’s important to keep them out of the hands of people who are suicidal. Of all suicide attempts, only 5.1% of cutting suicide attempts and 7.4% of poison suicide attempts are fatal, conversely 96.5% of firearm suicide attempts are successful.

Myth vs. Fact: Debunking the Gun Lobby’s Favorite Talking Points, Center for American Progress

February 20, 2018 – U.S. Support For Gun Control Tops 2-1, Highest Ever, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Let Dreamers Stay, 80 Percent Of Voters Say, an online database of studies on gun violence.

For the gun laws of each state plus federal gun policies: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

The Giffords Law Center Annual Scorecard on each state’s gun laws.

The Differences between Federal, State, and Local Laws, By the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York on

Who represents me? On Ballotpedia (a comprehensive list of your elected officials that includes federal, state and local government representatives) tally of Federal elected official’s NRA donations, 1989-2018

While the graphics are not the best, the Schoolhouse Rock video “I’m just a bill” is a concise summary of how bills become laws.


For key elements of a background check law and which states have background check laws see the Giffords Law Center page on Universal Background Checks.

For key elements of a law to ban large capacity ammunition magazines and which states have these laws see the Giffords Law Center page on banning large ammunition magazine capacities.

For key elements of a law to banning assault weapons and which states have these laws see the Giffords Law Center page on banning assault weapons.

For key elements of extreme risk protection order bills and which states have these laws see the Giffords Law Center page on on extreme risk protection order/gun violence restraining orders.

More info on ballot measures on

California, Nevada and Washington set the example for gun control this yearby Bindu Kalesan and Sandro Galea, on The Conversation on Salon


List of over 80 local firearm ordinances passed in Virginia.

Lowering the Voting Age in Your Local Community

Lowering the Voting Age: A Legal Feasibility Study, a report by Generation Citizen.

For resources on lowering the voting age including a voter-age specific tool kit, see FairVote’s page on lowering the voting age.

A sampling of articles about lowering the voting age:

Why We Should Lower the Voting Age to 16, by Laurence Steinberg, NY Times

Why We Should Lower the Voting Age In America, by Angus Johnston, Rolling Stone


For an example webform for a city proclamation, see the Dallas, TX city website.


You can read the Barrington, RI School Committee Resolution here.

Write your own School Resolution or Town Council using templates from The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence.