Grandparents are an invaluable resource in the gun violence prevention movement. Their wealth of life experience and wisdom positions them as powerful agents of change. Harnessing their unique perspectives and influence can significantly contribute to creating safer communities.
The special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren is a wellspring of inspiration and motivation. Grandparents can leverage this connection to instill values of peace, empathy, and responsible gun ownership in their young ones. By engaging in open and honest conversations, they can raise awareness and foster a deep understanding of the impact of gun violence.
Within their families, grandparents hold a position of influence. Their words and actions carry significant weight and can shape attitudes towards gun safety. By actively promoting responsible gun ownership and encouraging open dialogue, grandparents have the potential to create a culture of safety within their own households.
Grandparents are often active members of their communities, involved in various organizations and social networks. Their involvement extends their reach and impact beyond their families. By mobilizing their communities, advocating for safer gun legislation, and promoting education on gun safety, grandparents become powerful advocates for change.
To fully utilize the potential of grandparents within the movement, efforts should be made to engage them. Outreach programs can be developed specifically for grandparents through community centers, senior centers, and online platforms designed for older adults. By emphasizing the crucial role they play in creating safer communities, grandparents can be inspired to actively participate and contribute their unique insights.
Education and resources tailored to grandparents are essential. Providing them with comprehensive information on gun safety, responsible gun ownership, and the consequences of gun violence equips them to engage in informed discussions and advocate effectively within their communities.
By elevating the voices and stories of grandparents within the movement, we inspire others to take action. Sharing their experiences, perspectives, and the positive changes they are driving can motivate individuals of all generations to join the cause.
Grandparents are a vital resource in the gun violence prevention movement. Their experience, influence, and ability to foster intergenerational dialogue make them a powerful force for change. By recognizing and empowering grandparents, we can create a society that prioritizes safety, understanding, and the prevention of gun violence for generations to come.
Here are 5 advocacy actions for grandparents (and everyone else). This information was retrieved from: Grandparents Unleashed. This article was originally written for and published on Grand Magazine in November 2022
Grandparents, It’s Time to Act: Advocacy Best Practices.
All this is to say, grandparents need to speak up and act. Here is a five-step process, using good practices for effective advocacy to help guide you:
Register to vote.
We are voters. By “we” I mean people ages 45 and older. According to the US Census, in 2017 over 70% of people, ages 65+ voted. That percentage hovered at 66% for those aged 45 to 64. If this doesn’t include you, there is time to register now, before the next election on November 8. Use this easy resource from Ballotpedia with a list of official voter registration websites by state.
Identify your state and federal reps for your address.
The League of Women Voters has a function where you can enter your mailing address and get a list of all your current elected officials, from local to county to state to federal. Click on Elections from the top navigation bar and select “Find Your Elected Officials.”
Ballotpedia lets you look up what will be on your ballot in the next election. Select the date/year for the next election from the main homepage navigation, and select “Preview your ballot.”
Know the laws and bills for your area, and see how your reps voted on them.
Let your elected officials know your position on upcoming votes. Arm yourself with bill numbers and factual information. Personal letters and emails work. Gather your friends and neighbors and make an appointment to meet in person. Check your representatives’ websites. Many offer town halls or drop-in times where they welcome a chance to connect with constituents.
Support candidates whose values match your own; run for office.
Many positions are coming up for reelection in November. Volunteer to canvass or get out the vote for candidates whose position on gun safety and safe gun laws aligns with your own. And if no one running in your district fits the bill…run for office!
And, talk to your family. Let your family know what you are doing. Invite them to join you. Let them know you care about them and their future. And—hug your grandchildren, in person, by zoom, by phone. Let each know how much you love them.
Here are more resources, in addition to those linked throughout this article. Of course, there are many, many more resources. These are ones that we found to be the easiest to use, mostly bipartisan politically (but definitely on the side of safer). We invite you to share other resources that you have found helpful, at email@example.com
Published by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 22nd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Director for New Jersey to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Board. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
View all posts by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN