Trauma can make people feel completely powerless. One of the ways in which we can start to heal from traumatic experiences is by taking effective action to make things better. The four actions listed below won’t solve the complex issue of gun violence in the United States, nor will they bring back any of the people who tragically lost their lives to it. You’ll find that each step, however, is also a step in the right direction of a long journey that can’t be completed alone.
Kids pick up on more than we realize. Talking with kids about violence isn’t easy, but avoiding these difficult conversations isn’t always the best approach, either. Below are some resources that you may find helpful when working with children and families impacted by trauma:
Let your elected representatives know the stance you expect them to take on gun safety. Check your national, state and local government websites for contact information.
The world is filled with good people, many of whom work tirelessly to prevent violence. Supporting the work of these individuals and foundations is another way that we can help. One example is our fellow Playmaker Jeremy Richman. Jeremy is a neurologist who has partnered with The Life is Good Kids Foundation to continue spreading the power of optimism – despite his everlasting grief. Jeremy lost his daughter during the Sandy Hook School shootings. In response, he and his wife started The Avielle Foundation in their little girl’s name and memory. Brain science is one of the least explored sciences and there is virtually NO financial support for research to understand what is happening in the brain that leads to violence. With your help, The Avielle Foundation is changing that.
After virtually all the mass tragedies in recent memory, people often say, “There was always something wrong with that guy.” Yet few took effective action to prevent a tragedy. AJ Heschel wrote, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” If you see troubling behavior, let that person know that you or someone else can help them. Tell a school administrator, talk to their parent or guardian, or alert law enforcement. Above all, make sure that something is done. We also must appropriately support parents, teachers, health care providers, and law enforcement on how to respond to troubling reports.
Know that we’re all in this together and, as optimists, we won’t stop doing what we can to grow the good and make things better for the world around us.
Love and peace,