How to Be an Armchair Activist (in just 5 minutes a week)

Written by Hollye Dexter

I know you’re overwhelmed. Bad news is screaming at you every time you turn on the TV or radio. The gun violence stories are frightening and they make you sad… You’ve got a job, and worries, and kids or pets or older parents to take care of and you’re thinking…I feel terrible about what happened at Newtown but what can I do? I’m just one person. I can’t fix the world.
But you can do one small thing. A lot of people each doing one small thing is what moves the world. I have broken it down and made it simple for you. From the comfort of your home, in your pajamas, or even from your phone while you’re riding on a subway, you can do one small thing. Yes, you!
The NRA expects you to forget about Newtown. An NRA lobbyist said they were waiting for the “Connecticut effect” to wear off so they could continue pushing their agenda for looser gun laws. The NRA has millions in donations from gun manufacturers. They employ lobbyists to badger congress every day. Our elected officials are worn down and losing their courage. I hear this from politicians all the time, “We need to hear from the people.” That’s where YOU come in. YOU- the armchair activist.
GOT 10 MINUTES? WRITE A SHORT, SIMPLE LETTER: Our elected officials are hearing only from the NRA when they need to hear from YOU. If you wrote one letter, you would be doing more than most Americans. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. This letter is not going to your 10th grade English teacher so don’t be intimidated. All they want to know is that you care. Three simple sentences will do. Do you want background checks for all gun purchases? Tougher punishment for illegal gun sales? Say so.
Need your Senators name and address? It’s right here: WHO IS MY SENATOR AND HOW DO I CONTACT THEM? 
An actual snail-mail letter is best, but if you don’t have a stamp, an email will do.
GOT 5 MINUTES? EMAIL:  Click here to send an instant email to your Senators: FAST EMAIL TO CONGRESS
It’s all written out for you. You don’t even have to think about what to write. However, it is more effective if you change the wording and make it your own. This should take you a minute or two, that’s it.
GOT 2 MINUTES? CALL : Call the Senate switchboard (202) 224-3121. Ask for your senators’ offices and if you don’t know what to say, just say this:
I support Universal Background Checks for all gun sales. Please record my views so that the Senator knows I vote and I care. Thank you.
Here is a quick video showing how one mom made a call to congress in less than a minute, while her toddler napped.
Click this link to fast-tweet congress. The tweets are pre-written for you (but it’s better if you customize them). This action literally takes a few seconds. Honestly, who doesn’t have a few seconds?
GOT 30 SECONDS? SIGN UP TO BE A GUNSENSE VOTER: If Congress won’t take action, we’ve got to vote out the bad apples, and vote in the ones who will protect our children. By signing up to be a gunsense voter, you will be kept up to date on who’s running for office and how they rate on gun legislation issues.

If you can take one small action even once a week, you will be more active and patriotic than the majority of American citizens.

So did you do it? Congratulations- You are an armchair activist!
Now doesn’t that make you feel kinda great?

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  1. Deborah

    Brilliant, Hollye! Another helpful tip… put your elected officials on speed dial. It takes me 20 seconds to hit the button and call my Congressman. 🙂


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