How to Help After the Nashville School Shooting
The Nashville School Shooting Is 1 of 130 Mass Shootings in 2023 — Here's How to Help
Three children and three adults were killed in a mass shooting on March 27 at a Nashville elementary school called The Covenant School, AP News reports. This marks the 130th mass shooting in the US in 2023 alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
President Joe Biden echoed many people's thoughts when he called the shooting "heartbreaking, a family's worst nightmare" while speaking at an unrelated event at the White House on March 27.
It's impossible to write about this horrific event without mentioning the other recent school shootings in the US: The May 24, 2022, shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, which left 21 dead, including 19 children, and represented the largest loss of life in a mass elementary-school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012. The 6-year-old child who shot his teacher in January. The shooting at a Denver high school earlier in March that wounded two.
This is not to mention the other mass shootings that took place in the US this year off school grounds. These include the Monterey Park shooting and the Half Moon Bay shooting, which occurred within days of each other in January.
It seems clear to everyone but US lawmakers that the need for gun reform is critical in the United States.
The shooter in the Nashville school shooting was armed with two "assault-style" rifles and a pistol. As USA Today reports, mass shooters are increasingly using semiautomatic (or comparable) weapons, often bought illegally. Restricting them could prevent mass-shooting deaths. In fact, during Biden's impromptu address on the day of the shooting, the president urged Congress to pass a ban on certain semiautomatic weapons, which it has yet to do.
Gun reform requires government action, and we must continue putting pressure on lawmakers to take action to protect citizens from gun violence. But there are also actions we can all take to support the cause and make the country a safer place. While these steps may not feel world-shaking in the moment, small acts can lead to greater progress over time.
For example, you can directly support those affected by the Covenant School shooting by donating to fundraisers created for victims and their loved ones. You can research your local representatives' stances on gun reform and vote for candidates who support common-sense gun-safety laws, like banning assault rifles and requiring universal background checks. You can also donate to gun-reform organizations working to enact this change at local and federal levels.
It's clear that thoughts and prayers are not preventing gun violence from occurring every day in the US. If this moment is moving you to take action, see below for a selection of organizations pushing for gun reform that you can donate to today.
Sandy Hook Promise
Sandy Hook Promise is led by the family members who had loved ones killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. This organization's mission is "to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children," and it promotes educational programs to identify the signs of a potential shooter as well as "sensible, bipartisan school and gun safety legislation."
Donate to Sandy Hook Promise here.
Giffords is a gun-violence-prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot at a local event for constituents in January 2012. The organization "is fighting to end the gun lobby's stranglehold on our political system" through three separate paths: Giffords, which mobilizes voters and pushes for legislative change at the grassroots level; Giffords Law Center, which helps "draft, implement, and defend" the laws and programs designed to prevent gun violence; and Giffords PAC, which aims to be a counter to the gun lobby.
Johns Hopkins Center For Gun Violence Solutions
Two gun-violence-prevention organizations — the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence — recently merged to form the Johns Hopkins Center For Gun Violence Solutions. The organization combines research with advocacy and policymaking. "We use a public health approach to conduct rigorous scientific research to identify a range of innovative solutions to gun violence," the org's website says.
Donate to Johns Hopkins Center For Gun Violence Solutions here.
Everytown For Gun Safety
Everytown For Gun Safety was started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2014 to counter the influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Everytown advocates for a legislative plan that includes more thorough background checks and mandates for safer gun storage, while opposing ideas like arming teachers. Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America is affiliated with Everytown.
Donate to Everytown For Gun Safety here.
The Brady Campaign
The Brady Campaign has been around since 1974 and was renamed in 2001 to honor Jim Brady, the White House press secretary under Ronald Reagan who sustained a major head injury during an assassination attempt on Reagan. The organization lays out a 12-step plan to preventing gun violence at the state and federal level, while offering local chapters and events to get involved.
Donate to the Brady Campaign here.
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
States United to Prevent Gun Violence works with 33 different state organizations across the country, each of which is committed to ending gun violence through local advocacy, the org says. "Legislators are predominately moved by hearing from constituents and leaders in their home states," States United explains on its site. "Our state affiliates provide a critically important voice to counter the gun lobby." The organization aims to "amplify that voice and elevate state leaders."
Donate to States United to Prevent Gun Violence here.
— Additional reporting by Sara Youngblood Gregory, Melanie Whyte, and Mirel Zaman