Gun Violence and Our Youth
Updated: May 26
Yesterday's school shooting reminds the rest of the world of something we already know: that individuals who are invalidated, and marginalized; and are not offered opportunities for change and intervention, can be unpredictable.
There are few absolutes in the field of human behavior, but it seems pretty obvious that you cannot repeatedly abuse people and not expect some reaction. Couple that with systems that contribute to the motive, and provide the means, and it simply creates a breeding ground for acting out.
Gun violence in schools is at an all-time high, with 136 incidents this year alone. And that's just the ones being reported and tracked by Homeland Security. Here's a graphic:
The solutions, of course, are complex and involve changes across multiple individuals and systems. We can do our part by continuing to educate ourselves and others on the effects of trauma, abuse and neglect, and the warning signs of people who are hurting, and struggling. We can also provide our opinions on the need for changes in the systems that contribute to a culture of violence.
Finally, here is a link with multiple resources in regards to helping children and families deal with crisis and disasters.
Schools remain the safest place a kid can be. Even with these numbers, children are way less likely to experience violence or harm there compared to home or in the community. Keep that in mind as you discuss with your kids and families their anxiety about school violence.
I encourage everyone to be a part of the discussion and advocate for more services for children, and more accountability to the educational, legal, and political systems involved in the process. These episodes are preventable and do come with warning signs.
Chief Executive Officer
New Horizons Mental Health Services
Schedule an appointment or visit during our walk-in hours: https://www.newhorizonsmentalhealth.org/schedule-an-appointment