I’ve seen a lot of people on social media lately who are outraged at the NRA and frustrated by the lack of progress in gun control. And I suspect a lot of you are curious as to how you could help. Well here is a great opportunity to find out how and to have a lot of fun doing it. I will be hosting a quizzo on Sunday (Just a general quiz, not a gun theme or anything) and there will be reps from CeasefirePA to talk about what you can do to make an impact when it comes to gun control. I interviewed Ceasefire PA’s executive director Shira Goodman about the program and how people can get involved.
JGT: What exactly is Ceasefire PA’s mission?
SHIRA: We work — through education, policy advocacy and coalition-building — to reduce gun violence and gun tragedies in Pennsylvania. Our goal is to empower every Pennsylvanian with the tools, information, and confidence to take a stand against gun violence.
JGT: How did you get involved in the organization and what is your current role?
SHIRA: I joined as Executive Director in 2012, a position I still hold. I have been working in the nonprofit public policy world in PA since 2002. I am blessed not to have a personal tragedy related to gun violence, but I work every day to honor those lost and those families and survivors who are fighting so that others will not have to know their pain.
JGT: How can people who care deeply about gun violence in America get involved to help a) prevent mass shootings like we see now regularly nationally and b) stop making illegal weapons so accessible here in Philadelphia?
SHIRA: We need people to make this issue a voting issue. They need to talk to their elected officials — and those who want to be their elected officials — about gun violence and the particular issues they are concerned about. They can get involved by signing up for our email alerts about policy and legislation. We’ll let them know what issues are coming up for votes and how to contact their officials about those issues. They can donate to support the work we do.
JGT: Do you feel like there’s been any sort of shift in the national dialogue on this issue or has the NRA completely stifled political dissent?
SHIRA: The NRA is powerful, but ultimately, they represent only a small portion of gun owners, and even a smaller portion of Americans. Those of us who disagree with the NRA need to do what they do — speak up and keep speaking up, make this a voting issue, and don’t give anyone a pass for failing to work for a safer America.
JGT: Why should people attend on Sunday?
SHIRA: Sunday is going to be a great time. While people are playing your Quiz, they’ll also be supporting a great cause. We’ll have information available to show folks how to get involved, but this is really a fun event. And, the Eagles are off. So, it’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.