Religious centers, schools, and family homes—these are supposed to be our safe spaces, but with our country’s high record of gun violence, no space is truly safe anymore.
Gun Violence and the Las Vegas Shooting
Just one month after the Las Vegas shooting, where nearly 500 people were injured and 58 people were killed, another massacre has shocked the nation. On November 5th, a gunman opened fire on parishioners of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Current reports state that at least 26 people were killed, making the attack the deadliest shooting in Texas history.
People generally associate gun violence with stereotypical locations, like a dark alleyway in a large city, so horrific attacks such as the Texas shooting seem particularly jarring. The truth is gun violence often occurs within our personal havens—from schools (like Columbine and Sandy Hook) to churches (like the 2015 mass shooting/hate crime at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church). Our family homes aren’t even safe—studies show that most mass shootings are related to domestic or family violence.
Mindful Tips After the Las Vegas Shooting
As our nation mourns yet again for innocent lives needlessly slain, let’s do more than just send our prayers to Texas. Listed below are a few Mindful tips.
- Donate to the victims. Financial relief funds have already been set up for the victims of the attack. One example is the Hardest Hit Family Relief Fund (HHFRF), which has started the Sutherland Springs Shooting Fund. They are listed as “Certified” by GoFundMe and their goal is to raise $200,000. If you choose to donate to HHFRF or any other fund be sure to do your research in order to avoid scammers.
- Donate to organizations. If you want to help end gun violence consider donating funds to organizations that work to do just that. One example is Everytown for Gun Safety. They advocate for closing loopholes in background checks and ending gun trafficking.
- Give your local officials a call. It will take all of our voices combined to end gun violence. So, even if you don’t live in Texas, be sure to give your local senator or House representative a call. Let them know that you are concerned about all of these mass shootings. It’s their job to get something done.
After national shootings, people tend to experience fatigue and despair, but there is hope. Eighty-three percent of Americans see gun violence as a moderate to a very big problem in their local communities. This mass shooting could be the last straw for us as a nation if we work together.