Roll Call Group/Tom Williams CQ-

6 Things You Can Do Right Now To Help End Gun Violence

You can take action now to change the conversation.

One of the effects of mass shootings, like Thursday's at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, is a feeling of hopelessness.

Many ask themselves, "What can I do to stop this violence? Why does this keep happening?"

While there aren't any simple answers to these questions, there are things you can do -- like write to your legislators, advocate on a local level for stricter gun laws and support one of the many organizations that are trying to combat the epidemic of gun violence in this country, which takes the lives of an average of 31 Americans every day.

Here's are six actions you can take if you're sick of asking the same questions:

  1. The organization, named after the late press secretary to President Reagan -- who suffered a serious head wound during an assassination attempt on the President in 1981 -- has proposed "the bold goal to cut the number of U.S. gun deaths in half by 2025." You can read more about their proposed solutions -- which include universal background checks as well as public awareness and education campaigns around gun safety -- at their website.

  2. Educate Yourself Through Everytown For Gun Safety

    The nonprofit was formed in 2014 via a combination of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Since then, it has worked to educate legislators and voters about the consequences of gun violence. They scored a major victory in 2014 with the passage of a new background check law in Washington state. Their website contains a thorough analysis of mass shootings, as well as fact-based pages about background checks, the gun lobby, illegal gun trafficking and more.

  3. Challenge The NRA With The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence

    The 40-year-old non-profit, comprised of 47 national organizations working to reduce gun violence, is made up of a coalition of religious groups, child welfare advocates, public health professionals and social justice organizations. One of their goals is to reframe the debate and take on the "Second Amendment above all" message of the powerful gun lobbying group the National Rifle Association. Their website includes simple action steps.

  4. Formed by a mom the day after Sandy Hook, Moms Demand Action -- which has joined forces with Everytown -- has grown into a strong lobbying organization with chapters in all 50 states who have lobbied hard for the expansion of background checks.

  5. Call Capitol Hill

    You can call your representative in Congress and demand action on measures like background checks at 202-224-3121.

  6. Check Out The President's Gun Violence Prevention Page Suggestions

    One of the suggestions offered by President Obama is to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper supporting background checks.