Another school shooting has us all reeling. There have been 27 this year, and 119 since 2018. Guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens. 1 out of 10 gun deaths are age 19 or younger.
Each of the victims in these shootings is not just a statistic. They were children, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. As parents, our hearts ache for these families and we ask how we can help, and what we can do to help put an end to this unthinkable violence.
We don’t have a magic answer, but we also know that we are not helpless and that there are things that we can do, now. We’ve crowdsourced our readers and our team to try and put some actionable steps together that we can each do, as well as resources you can use when talking to your children about these things. If you know of any other valuable resources, please email us at [email protected]
Resources for Actionable Steps You Can Take
Call Your Local Senators:
- Here’s how to find their contact information: https://www.senate.gov/states/SC/intro.htm
- @jamiebgolden has a great script for calling senators and what to say, shown in the image below.
- Everytown for Gun Safety also has a helpful script you can use.
Sign the Sandy Hook Promise:
- The Sandy Hook Promise “envisions a future where children are free from shootings and acts of violence in their schools, homes, and communities.” This website is full of very helpful information, from facts about gun violence to recognizing the warning signs of it. There are a variety of ways to get involved, from financial donations to raising awareness through advocacy. Find out more here.
Everytown for Gun Safety:
- Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in America. Their website is full of educational materials, ways to take action, and even how to start a grassroots movement in your town. You can even search by state to see gun violence statistics specific to where you live, and the laws surrounding it.
Moms Demand Action:
- Part of Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. They have a chapter in every state and a variety of ways that you can get involved. They even have a Demand Action app you can download on your phone.
- Text ACT to 644-33 to join the millions of Americans who will not accept gun violence in our schools as the status quo.
- Check SCVotes for polling places, election dates, voter registration, and so much more.
- Remember that elected officials are put in office by us! Your voice and your vote matter!
Resources for Talking to Your Kids
Much as we’d like to shelter our children from these tragic events, we know that we’d rather them hear the information from us. Knowing where to start the conversation and how to help guide them through any anxiety or difficult feelings they may have can feel overwhelming. Here are some resources that may help in starting these conversations:
- What to Say to Kids When the News Is Scary
- How to Talk to Your Kids When Tragedy Strikes
- How to Help Uvalde Families Following Yesterday’s Elementary School Shooting
- Serving & Accrediting Independent Schools: Responding to School Violence (this website has tons of articles, from data and statistics to caring for students and crisis planning)
PBS resources to Help Families Cope During Challenging Times (there are so many great resources here)
*For those working in the mental health profession, this free continuing education class was recommended – How to Help in the Aftermath of a Tragedy
It is also just as important that we are taking care of ourselves and our mental health during times like this. Here are some ways you can do that so that you’re better equipped to deal with everything else that is going on.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but one that we hope will move the needle from feeling like we’re helpless to moving towards some hope. At this point, dear mamas, we don’t have a choice, it’s up to us.