Americans are again reeling from another mass shooting, this time at an Elementary School in small town Texas. Twenty children were murdered, two teachers and a Grandmother were killed and many more injured in the attack. As it has after similar tragedies in recent years, the nation is once again questioning what can be done to stop these shootings. There are ways to tackle gun violence as a nation and we must act with haste. The numbers are jarring: on average there is one shooting incident every single day in America. That’s nearly 11,000 incidents every year, killing more than 33,000 people and injuring more than 24,000 others — a number that continues to rise. The statistics related to gun violence are startling and reveal that guns remain the third leading cause of death for Americans age 10 or older (surpassing car accidents and suicide). In addition, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an average of 88 lives are taken by guns every day as a result of malicious intent or accident. These sobering statistics paint a bleak picture of the current state of gun violence in America. But do not despair! If you’re ready for change, here are some tips about what you can do right now to help end gun violence in America once and for all.
Stay informed and get involved
Keeping up with the news and current events can help you stay informed. Be sure to follow news outlets that you trust, but also be sure to follow those that you do not typically read or listen to. You can also get involved in your community and attend events or rallies that support ending gun violence. Additionally, you can use your vote to elect officials that support gun reform.
Advocate for gun control
Beyond the basics of owning and operating a firearm safely and responsibly, you can get involved in the fight for gun control in many ways. You can contact your representatives and senators, sign petitions, and join or support organizations that advocate for gun reform. You can also talk to others in your community and spread awareness through social media and personal communication. In short, there are several
ways that you can get involved and advocate for gun control.
Advocate for mental health support
Keep in mind that there are various factors that lead to gun violence, not just gun ownership. You can help advocate for more mental health support and resources by donating to organizations that support mental health, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Help build, grow, and support small businesses
One of the best ways to end gun violence is to support small and local businesses. By purchasing items from small businesses (like a vintage shirt from a local vintage shop or a handcrafted piece of jewelry from a small jewelry maker), you are not only supporting small businesses but you are also decreasing your carbon footprint. Additionally, you can help end gun violence by using your purchasing power for good. You can make sure that the products you use and buy come from companies and brands that support gun control.
While these steps are a good start, they are by no means an exhaustive list of what we can do to help end gun violence in America. To truly end gun violence, we must take action on all levels: government, community, and individual. Not only that but we must work together to make our voices heard: to be brave, to be bold, and to be fierce.