Grant Cunningham, revolversmith, trainer, and blogger, had an excellent post yesterday on writing to those in Congress. As he notes with regard to Feinstein’s anticipated assault weapons (sic) ban, “If we, the shooting community, don’t act immediately her little scheme might just work.”
This is one fight that we can’t leave to the NRA, GOA, NSSF, or SAF. They do work but can only do so much. We have to get in there and do some heavy lifting.
Grant lists a series of things he’s learned about communicating with Congress. Many of them aren’t new but do bear repeating. I’m just going to list the high points and urge you to read his full blog post.
- Unless they know you personally, the Senator or Representative will never see your letter themselves. It will be read and tabulated by staffers.
- Aides are young and idealistic. Be nice to them.
- Don’t use paper – fax, e-mail, or call. This is due to the anthrax scare of a few years ago.
- Don’t write a book. Be concise and to the point.
- If you aren’t a constituent of that particular Representative or Senator, it will be ignored.
- Make sure your name and address are in the letter.
- Make sure your e-mail has a subject.
- Form letters are nearly useless. Don’t use them.
- Any response you get will be a form letter. It is just the way it is.
I’m starting to collect letters that we can use as a basis for writing both state and national representatives. I will be posting the better ones for you to use and would urge you to modify them to suit you. There is no need for you or me to reinvent the wheel. We are all in this together and need to work smarter, not harder.
If you have a good letter, send to me by e-mail at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com.