CNN and all the major news channels have the details. I won’t recap them here. Just over a year after the Pulse massacre, and after an unconscionable number of other mass shootings, we are again weeping for our dead after an act of terror. Everytown for Gun Safety tells us:
From 2009-2016 in the U.S., there have been 156 mass shootings—incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed, not including the shooter. These incidents resulted in 1,187 victims shot: 848 people were shot and killed, and 339 people were shot and injured. In addition, 66 perpetrators killed themselves after a mass shooting, and another 17 perpetrators were shot and killed by responding law enforcement….
25 percent of mass shooting fatalities (211) were children.
I have no profound words of advice right now, just a terrible sense of loss, and sympathy for all impacted by this tragedy. Spend some time on the Everytown site, Momsrising’s Gun Safety section, or those of other gun control organizations. Donate to their work if you can. Write to or call your members of Congress about restricting the sale and use of assault rifles and silencers, and enforcing stronger background checks.
And once again, here are some resources I’ve found that shed some light on discussing tragedy with children:
- “Helping Children Deal with Traumatic Events,” from Open Circle, the elementary-school social emotional learning (SEL) program at the Wellesley Centers for Women. The article was first posted in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. (I work at the Wellesley Centers for Women, though not in the Open Circle program. I post here as an individual, not on behalf of the organization.)
- “Helping Children Cope with Tragedy Related Anxiety,” from Mental Health America.
- School Library Journal’s list of “Books to Help Kids Cope with Tragedy.”
Hug your kids and loved ones extra hard today.