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Taking Action Against Gun Violence

After yet another fatal school shooting, the reminder “don’t get numb” came across my newsfeed. I agree with the sentiment, but it’s a tall order.

Particularly for those of us with a direct connection to school life – parents with kids in the school system, or in my case a spouse who is a public school educator – the alternative to numbness is pain and fear. Choosing again and again to read the horrific details – most recently six fatally killed, three adults and three children at an elementary school in Tennessee – is exhausting and only somewhat productive. So for those of us who want to take action, but feel tired (and at least a little numb) what can we do?

Educate. Advocate. Donate.

Any of these three actions can help make a difference and can address some of the helplessness we feel after an event like this.

Educate. Read and share articles like this one that draw attention to the magnitude of the problem.

It’s become common knowledge that mass shootings are a national issue more than a global one. But did you know that according to a recent BBC News article, gun-related killings account for 79% of homicides in the United States, compared to 37% in Canada, 13% in Australia and 4% in the United Kingdom? Children in other countries don’t go to school in fear of active shooters. The same article highlights that only eight states have assault weapon bans, and mass shootings are on the rise, increasing by 137% between 2014 and 2022.

Advocate. Explore how you can get involved in gun violence prevention in your local community.

One way to take action is by writing to your representative. Gun violence prevention organizations like the Brady Campaign for Gun Violence Prevention are making this step easier than ever. Click here to urge the House of Representatives to support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, here to demand legislation to ban assault weapons or here to ask the Senate to pass Ethan’s Law to promote safe gun storage.

Beyond writing to your representatives, there are groups you can join to get involved in the gun violence prevention movement. Consider joining a local chapter of Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action or join the Gun Sense Action Network!

Donate. There are organizations who are advocating for gun violence prevention year-round – and they need our support. Two of my favorites are Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign for Gun Violence Prevention.

Do you have other ideas for how we can channel our grief in positive ways? Share in the comments!

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