How To Write Your Congress Critter
by Kirk Lawson
It has become very clear that Personal Political Action is the most effective method for a Second Amendment Supporter to really let his or her views be heard by legislators. Some feel that the supporters have become too complacent and too dependent upon large organizations or associations to represent them, a mistake which is coming back to haunt many supporters and former supporters of certain national level associations. But just choosing a different national level organization to outsource your political activism to is nothing more than trading one association with troubles for an organization still full of people who could eventually have the same troubles as the first. Yes, definitely find a national level organization “fighting for your rights” and support them, but don’t outsource your work. One of the best ways is to write your representative, either the House Representative or your Senator, whether by email or physical mail. There are some rules and suggestions to make your communication most effective. Here is the short list:
Over all, the process is pretty easy and, frankly, a bit formulaic. Just a paragraph or three and you will have made your point. All it costs you is 5 minutes and a stamp.
- Be respectful. As the old saying goes, you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. The fact is that, even if you are angry at your representative, calling them names or being combative shuts down the communication and they will not listen to your position, even if you make compelling arguments. Address them as “Honorable [name],” and “Sir,” or “Ma’am.”
- Let them know you are an active voter. Be sure to respectfully tell them that you are a registered and active voter in their district, that you are watching their votes, and their support will earn your support.
- Tell them exactly what you want. If you want your representative to opposes or support certain proposed legislation then specify it by House Bill/Senate Bill number and ask them to oppose or support it.
- Make your points but keep it short. The truth is that a Staff Member will be reading this, not your representative. At most they will summarize it to their boss. At worst, it will get filed in a “pro” or “con” stack of letters, the totals of which will be given to their boss every few days or weeks. If you have specific points, be concise.
- Ask for a response. If nothing else, this can serve to solidify a politicians position in print. It lets them know you really are interested and watching.
- Compose your message electronically. Spell check it before sending and keep a copy for yourself for future reference or to copy and edit for the next Senator or politician you want to send a similar messages too. No sense typing the same thing twice when you can cut-and-paste, then change the “To:” header. They do it to you, you can return the favor.