COVID-19, or coronavirus, is highlighting the failures of our systems and leaving working class families scrambling. It is threatening the lives of the most vulnerable among us and causing a surge in gun sales across the country.

Given the risks of gun-related suicides, domestic violence, and accidental shooting incidents, we urge everyone to utilize Red Flag Laws, and to encourage gun-owning relatives to safely store their firearms particularly while children are at home during the school day.

Understandably, social distancing and other protective measures are impacting us, and certainly changing the way we advocate. At Youth Over Guns, our ongoing programming, and upcoming events for the next three weeks are being moved to virtual formats, or being postponed to later dates.

Despite these obstacles, Youth Over Guns continues to advocate for lifesaving gun violence prevention policies and programs. Earlier this month, our joint Advocacy Day with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence was nearly cancelled due to growing public health concerns, but was made possible with remote, virtual technology.

Virtual Lobby Day, before social distancing took effect.

Covid-19 isn’t stopping us and you shouldn’t let it stop you!

So here are some resources and ways you can stay engaged while practicing social distancing:

  1. Shape Your Future, Take the Census! It determines congressional representation and how much money communities will receive. We need everyone counted, particularly in the marginalized communities that we serve because resources are already scarce. It can be completed online or by phone, so make a plan to do it this week.
  2. Register To Vote/Utilize Vote by Mail & Early Voting. Make sure your voice is heard at the ballot box, even if you can’t make it to a polling site. We recognize that not all states offer these options for voting. Therefore we’re asking y’all to contact your congressional representatives and demand that they support Sen. Ron Wyden’s bill to protect public health and the integrity of our elections by expanding vote-by-mail options nationwide.
  3. Stay Connected. You’re already one step ahead by being subscribed to our newsletter, follow @youthoverguns on Instagram and Twitter to maximize engagement — check us out on Facebook too, Youth Over Guns. 
  4. Donate! These are hard times for us all, and our youth leaders can use some extra resources to keep the work going. Give what you can, and if you can’t — share the link to give with friends/family who can!

In Community,

Luis J. Hernandez

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Youth Over Guns