How Does America Move Forward From the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting?
For the past 48 hours, we have thought of little else besides the victims of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and their families. Through tears and confusion and anger, we are asking the same question as countless people in homes and workplaces and schools across the U.S.: How did they get there—and how can they make this stop?
School shoots are an epidemic in the United States. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus. Teachers and first responders have been heroic and students are remarkably resilient, but none of this is acceptable. None of it.
Yesterday was a day of mourning for the 17 victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but it's also a moment for action. Thoughts and prayers must be the beginning—not the end—of our efforts.
Below, please find a list of resources for how you can help, both in the short term by donating blood or supporting fundraisers for the victims and their families, and in the long-term, by funding organizations working to end violence. Because unless we do something now, nothing will change.
How You Can Help
In an emergency situation such as the one in Parkland, Florida, blood is an urgent need. To find the nearest drive to you, simply go to Redcross.org, and type in your zip code.
Give to the Stoneman Douglas Victims' fund.
Funds raised will be used to support the victims and the families of the shooting.
Give your money and time to organizations fighting to prevent gun deaths in America. Here are just a few that are worth your consideration.
The Brady Campaign is a non-partisan organization dedicated to preventing gun violence in America. The legacy of Jim Brady, White House Press Secretary under Ronald Reagan, who was shot when John Hinckley attempted to assassinate the president in March of 1981, the non-profit is currently working toward a goal of cutting gun deaths in half by 2025 by holding elected officials and the gun industry accountable, and changing the culture surrounding guns in the home.
In 2013, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America joined together to become Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group working to end gun violence in America by supporting background checks and laws that keep guns away from domestic abusers, educating the public about responsible gun ownership, and pushing for stronger gun trafficking legislation.
The guiding principle of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is simple and straightforward: "We believe that all Americans have a right to live in communities free from gun violence," and they go about achieving that mission by "drafting, passing, and implementing evidence-based legislation."
Get in touch with your congressperson, and let them know your thoughts.
After the mass shootings in Las Vegas in October of 2017 and the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas in November of 2017, bi-partisan legislation was presented in the Senate that supported strengthened background checks, and in the House regarding the regulation of bump stocks. Neither advanced.
Locate your Senator and Representative's contact information by typing in your zip code here.
Use your voice, your wallet, and your vote to support candidates that support meaningful measures to end gun violence.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.