School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Grandparents – A Vital Resource in the Gun Violence Prevention Movement

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.”

  1. Know the laws and bills for your area, and see how your reps voted on them.

 The Boston University State Firearms Laws Database is comprehensive, albeit only updated through 2020. But it’s a good place to start.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) provides this guide to State Laws and Published Ordinances 34th Edition 

And here are role calls for Congress and Senate to see you’re your senators and representatives voted on the BSCA. 

  1. Call, send letters, meet with decision-makers

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.

  1. 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

Gun Violence Statistics

Gun Violence Archive

Federal Laws, Details

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, (full text, summaries, voting records, and more.)

Voting Record for BSCA Congress 

(find it for Senators)

Understanding the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and Why It Ended 

Learn More about Gun Laws in Every State

Community Organizations and Initiatives

There are plenty more. These ones have “Grandparents” in the name, or we have worked with them on this issue.

Grandparents for Gun Safety, Stand with Us!

Deerfield/Highland Park/Highwood Moms Demand Action

Sandy Hook Promise: Advocacy (background on issues and petitions) 

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement  (Character, Social, Emotional Development Curriculum)

Psychology TodayTalking to Your Kids about School Shootings: Six tips for talking to children about gun violence at school(ASK your adult children first if this topic is okay to talk about.)

More Resources:



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