Editor’s Note, May 24, 2022: Yet again, our country has seen a slew of hateful acts that saw the loss of lives due to gun violence: Buffalo, New York, Laguna Woods, California and now another mass shooting today, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. It is currently reported that 15 people are dead; 14 children and one teacher. Others are in critical condition at the hospital.
Today is the 144th day of 2022.
The Uvalde shooting is the 212th mass shooting of 2022.
Gun violence is a public health crisis.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 24, 2022
If you are able, here are some resources to help victims, their families and communities of some of the recent shootings: Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund, which provides direct financial assistance to victims, the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund, which brings local philanthropic organizations together to address immediate community rebuilding needs, or the Victims Fund for SoCal Taiwanese Church Shooting, which benefits the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church and the families of the victims to aid in their journey of healing.
If you want to help to combat nation’s dire gun violence problem and join in the fight to stop mass shootings, here are a few ways you can make a difference:
Lobby your legislators to support sensible gun reform
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Urge legislators to fight for universal background checks, for national red-flag laws and to pass a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines:
- Here’s all you need to know about the best ways to tell Congress gun laws need to change.
- The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence suggests contacting Senator Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader and demand that he brings Congress back from summer recess to act. Text “EMERGENCY” to 877-877 to be connected to his office.
- Giffords will patch you through to your senators directly and you can use their calling script to make your voice heard.
- Look for your senator’s contact information here and your representative’s information here, and write to them.
- And, if you live in Illinois, here’s an easy way to reach your officials using a simple online form.
Help make our public spaces safer by joining the fight alongside one of these groups
- Every Town for Gun Safety represents more than 4 million mayors, moms, cops, teachers, survivors, gun owners, and everyday Americans who have come together to make their own communities safer by fighting for the changes that will save lives.
- The Courage To Fight Gun Violence was started by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others after she was shot during a visit with constituents at a mall in her district.
- San Francisco’s Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence offers legal assistance to people trying to make their communities safer from gun violence.
- Mom’s Demand Action For Gun Sense In America is similar to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), and was founded in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting by one mother and quickly spread. Chapters are now in every state.
Improve our mental health public safety net by supporting these organizations and initiatives
- NoStigmas: This is a global peer-to-peer support network committed to eliminating the stigma that surrounds mental illness and creating more sources of mental health support.
- The Rush Hospital West Side Total Health Collaborative: Rush and other medical institutions put mental health professionals in schools on Chicago’s underserved West Side.
- Text-A-Tip Hotline: Mental health professionals respond to anonymously sent tips within minutes of receipt to help anyone suffering with mental illness. Started in collaboration with schools, clergy, public safety officials, and parents in Lake Forest, this program has spread across the Chicago region and the country.
- San Francisco Mental Health Education Funds: The SFMHEF provides services throughout San Francisco to help people suffering from mental illness.
- Mental Health Association of San Francisco: The MHASF is a nonprofit that provides mental health education, advocacy, research and services for people in San Francisco.
Foster more opportunity for your city’s youth. Support or volunteer with one of the following organizations:
- Marin City Bridge the Gap, San Francisco Education Fund, Bay Area Mentoring, The SMART Program, YMCA of SF, Big Brothers Big Sisters Bay Area, First Exposures, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
If you or someone you know is struggling, help them find support:
- NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the U.S.’s largest grassroots mental health organization and provides many services, including a helpline and educational programs, to help people struggling with mental health in our nation.
- Know how to talk to kids about mass shootings.