Angela Green, PhD, RN, CPHQ, FAAN
Maybe this time it was not your child, your grandchild, your niece or nephew, or your community. But our children are telling us that they aren’t surprised by school shootings anymore. On the day of the shooting in her school, Paige Curry, a Santa Fe High School student, told a reporter, “I’ve always kind of felt like it was eventually going to happen here, too.”
This is real. Every day, more than 7 children or teens die from gun violence. In 2018, there have been 22 school shootings in which someone was hurt or killed. This translates to a school shooting, on average, every 6 days.
If you have not been personally affected by gun violence, unless we do something, the risk is real that you one day will be. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch children dying in our schools, in our churches, in our theaters and concert halls, and on our city streets.
Many are looking for ways that they can be part of the solution, I among them. If you are looking for ways to be involved, the list below is only a start.
- Become part of a professional organization’s gun violence prevention work.
- American Academy of Pediatrics https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/federal-advocacy/Pages/AAPFederalGunViolencePreventionRecommendationstoWhiteHouse.aspx
- American College of Surgeons https://www.facs.org/quality-programs/trauma/violence-prevention
- American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/advocacy/gun-violence/index.aspx
- American Public Health Association https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/gun-violence
- Join the work of community activists and non-profits.
- Join Robin Cogan and I in conversation about engaging nurses in gun violence prevention. https://relentlessschoolnurse.com/
- Support students hosting voter registration drives in high schools.
- Use your voice on social media, in op eds, etc. Create opportunities to talk about ending gun violence.
- Use your vote.
Those who serve children can no longer sit on the sidelines. Rather than wait until we are personally affected, we can personally affect change. We must change the story. I challenge each of us to find our place of service.