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November 24, 2017

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Gun violence: 5 ways Nevadans can work to stop the bloodshed

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Investigators work at the scene of a deadly shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sunday Nov. 5, 2017. A man opened fire inside of the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than 20 people. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

When news emerged Sunday about the mass shooting in central Texas, social media lit up with comments to this effect: Thoughts and prayers may be well-intended, but they’re not going to help solve the epidemic of gun violence in the U.S.

So how can Americans make a difference? That question may be particularly relevant to Southern Nevadans in the aftermath of the Oct. 1 shooting on the Strip. Now, having seen two more mass shootings since the killing of 58 concertgoers here — the Nov. 1 killing of three people at a Denver-area Walmart, then the murders of 26 churchgoers Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas — here are five ways Southern Nevadans can get involved.

• Sign the online petition started by survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting calling on elected officials to pass common-sense measures to curb gun violence. The petitioners’ goals include implementation of the universal background check ballot initiative approved last year by Nevada voters. The initiative would require background checks to be conducted on sales between private individuals online and at gun shows — an extension of current requirements for checks on sales by a licensed gun dealer. But it stalled amid a provision requiring the FBI to perform the checks on private sales, with the FBI saying those checks were the state’s responsibility. Advocates for the measure have pressured Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt to forge a solution with federal officials to implement the checks. It’s worth noting that such checks would have been immaterial in the Oct. 1 shooting, as Stephen Paddock passed background checks for the weapons he purchased. But supporters of the measure argue that Nevadans have spoken — particularly in Clark County, where the measure passed by a wide margin — and demand that the checks be extended. The petition can be found here.

Those Killed in Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Bailey Schweitzer, 20, Bakersfield, California (Facebook) Launch slideshow »

• Sign up to volunteer for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a group affiliated with the national organization Everytown for Gun Safety. Moms Demand Action has members working in all 50 states to promote gun safety legislation, education and awareness. Think Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but with guns. Get more information here.

• Contact congressional leaders (see list below) and urge them to press for a ban on bump stocks, the aftermarket accessories that Paddock used to fire his semiautomatic rifles essentially like machine guns. Bills banning the stocks have been introduced in Congress, but action has stalled due partly to indecision over whether the matter would be handled best by regulatory review or by legislation. Amid the lag, concerns have grown that gun-rights advocates will find a way to derail the effort. Contacting congressional leaders can help keep up the pressure.

• Talk to neighbors, family members and friends. Chances are, you’ll realize you’ve got support in wanting to tighten the nation’s gun laws. Polls conducted by Quinnipiac University and Politico/Morning Consult shortly after the Oct. 1 shooting showed that Americans overwhelmingly supported such policies as a ban on sales of assault-type weapons and bump stocks, as well as universal background checks.

• Before voting for a candidate or volunteering for his or her campaign, find out if the candidate supports reasonable gun policies.

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Congressional and state leadership contact information:

Congress

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

Las Vegas

8930 W. Sunset Road

Suite 230

Las Vegas, NV 89148

Phone: 702-388-6605

Reno

Bruce Thompson Federal Building

400 S. Virginia St.

Suite 738

Reno, NV 89501

Phone: 775-686-5770

Washington, D.C.

324 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: 202-224-6244

Online email form: https://www.heller.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

Las Vegas

333 Las Vegas Boulevard South

Suite 8016

Las Vegas, NV 89101

Phone: 702-388-5020

Reno

400 S. Virginia St.

Suite 902

Courthouse and Federal Building

Reno, NV 89501

Phone 775-686-5750

Washington, D.C.

B40A Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: 202-224-3542

Online email form: https://www.cortezmasto.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.

Las Vegas

495 South Main St., Third Floor

Las Vegas, NV 89109

Phone: 702-220-9823

Washington, D.C.

2464 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: 202-225-5965

Online email form: https://titus.house.gov/contact/email-me

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.

Reno

5310 Kietzke Lane, Suite 103

Reno, NV 89511

Phone: 775-686-5760

Washington, D.C.

332 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: 202-225-6155

Online email form: https://amodei.house.gov/email-me/

Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.

Las Vegas

8872 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 210/220

Las Vegas, NV 89123

Phone: 702-963-9500

Washington, D.C.

413 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: 202-225-3252

Online email form: https://rosen.house.gov/contact/email

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev.

Las Vegas

2250 Las Vegas Blvd. North, Suite 500

North Las Vegas, NV 89030

Phone: 702-963-9360

Washington, D.C.

313 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: 202-225-9894

Online email form: https://kihuen.house.gov/contact/

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State

Gov. Brian Sandoval

Las Vegas

Grant Sawyer State Office Building

555 E. Washington Ave, Suite 5100

Las Vegas, NV 89101

Phone: 702-486-2500

Carson City

State Capitol Building

101 N. Carson Street

Carson City, NV 89701

Phone: 775-684-5670

Online email form: http://gov.nv.gov/Contact/Email-the-Governor/

Attorney General Adam Laxalt

Las Vegas

Office of the Attorney General

Grant Sawyer Building

555 E. Washington Avenue, Suite 3900

Las Vegas, NV 89101

Telephone: 702-486-3420

Carson City office

Office of the Attorney General

100 North Carson Street

Carson City, NV 89701

Telephone: 775-684-1100

email: [email protected]