WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT... THE SUTHERLAND SPRINGS SHOOTING?
A small community in Sutherland Springs, Texas is facing the devastating tragedy after a mass shooting in a local church. 26 people have been killed, and many more injured. Victims, families, and the community are facing a long road towards recovery.
Our impact is critical in the immediate aftermath of such a senseless tragedy, so let’s take our role seriously to stand with victims.
What would you do if a shooting happened in your neighborhood, church, or school? Do you know how you’d react? Do you know how you would work with others around you? For most of us, the answer is “no” - because we haven’t gone through training for this.
Don't plug your ears to this reality: shootings can happen anywhere. And like practicing fire drills, we should all be prepared in the event of a sudden disaster.
Take a few minutes to get familiar with the basics.
Mark your calendar
Tragedies like this are devastating - especially the frequency at which they occur. What’s worse, we’ve become so used to this that many of us move on shortly afterwards.
Don’t become jaded. If you feel devastated or frustrated that this could happen, hold onto that.
Write down how this has impacted you. Then, mark your calendar for a few weeks from today. Come back to this issue and re-live how you felt. Then, visit this page or others to make a plan of how you can impact change.
Be like an extended family
Because this was in a family church, there have been some cases of multiple family members were killed in the attack. This has left surviving family members with little to no financial or emotional support in their absence.
Be that support for those victims who are left alone. Donate directly to the victims, families, and community as they work to rebuild their lives. The church's website is accepting donations directly that will go towards victims and their families.
Be careful about donating to unverified GoFundMe accounts - some are fake. Learn more with our tips below.
Pick up the phone
The next time you're waiting for the bus, get on the phone with your representatives to tell them how you feel about this issue. Gun control is an incredibly emotional and polarizing subject, so it's important that you decide for yourself where you stand on the issue. Start by learning the basics on the Second Amendment, federal gun laws, and gun laws in your state - and do some digging on your own.
Calling is quicker, more direct, and more impactful than writing a letter, although you can also put pen to paper as an alternative.
TIP: keep an eye out for scams
If you want to donate directly to the victims, that's awesome and incredibly empathetic of you. But sometimes, scammers take advantage of this. Follow some tips to know if it's legit.
If you see multiple fundraiser accounts for the same thing, or if anything else looks fishy, report it. It might be fraud, and you can help protect others from being scammed.
Consider waiting a bit as information unfolds before donating money. Verified accounts will appear soon.
It's not personal
Over half of America’s mass shootings are related to domestic violence, and this tragedy is one of them. Prior to the attack, the shooter had abused multiple members of his family.
What many people see as a personal issue is a national crisis. Learn more about about domestic and gender-based violence in our country, and how you can play a role in stopping it.
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