As I write this it’s been over a week. Life keeps moving forward, but for so many the tradegy in Las Vegas is still raw. In December 2012, I was ready to give birth any day to the Twins when Sandy Hook happened. I remember thinking, what kind of world am I about to bring two little babies into?
Before Sandy Hook, which seemed all the more shocking because young children were involved, there was Virginia Tech. Before that there was Columbine. And those are just the ones we remember instantly. Interspersed between those landmark dates there are others mass shootings, other smaller shootings, and consistent violence everyday to young people in places as close as downtown Chicago.
It’s beyond overwhelming. In times of crisis we turn to prayer to help make sense of the senseless but there’s more than prayers we can offer. This is not just a gun issue this is a human issue. Because of this reality, we have to address both the suffering of the victims and the perpetrators, as there seems to be a strong correlation between mental health awareness and access to firearms.
We no longer feel safe participating in our day to day routines. Sending our children to school, going to work, enjoying a family night at the movies. I know I feel uncomfortale in large crowds or certain situations make my mind wonder to places our parents would have never thought of. It could happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere, in any family, even your family. So what can we do?
We can help support victims as well as act preventatively to oppose unchecked, pro-gun legislation (like the Dickey Amendment that severely restricts federal funding for gun violence research):
Mental health concerns are often brought up around mass shootings. But the conversation should not start and end there. Together we stop the stigma and spread awareness about mental health issues. We all know of someone in our lives whether it be a family member, friend, or acquintance. Seek out, befriend, and encourage those with mental health issues to seek help:
The good news is, people out there are doing something. Many whose lives have been forever changed by these senseless acts are giving their pain a purpose. And we can too. Our children will grow up in a world that knows what resilience is, because they’ve seen it cause change.
Image by The Happy Candle
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God bless the 58 people who lost their lives and the 489 wounded in Las Vegas.
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