What a world.
Back-to-back massacres in California. A country repeatedly stained by gun violence in the first month of this new year. And a 6-year-old boy who brought a gun to school — telling people he had one, with the warning discounted by the school’s administration until he shot his elementary school teacher.
With the staggering numbers of new survivors, we know that the need for help is ballooning. Here are some resources to share:
Survivors Toolkit: survivorsempowered.org/toolkit
Sources for trauma therapists: survivorsempowered.org/trauma-therapy
Parent Guidelines to Help Youth after Shootings: nmvvrc.org/.../parents_guidelines_for_helping
Coping in the Aftermath of a Shooting: counseling.org/.../coping-in-the-aftermath-of
We started the year in Mexico but are returning to the States soon. We’ll be joining Gabby Giffords on February 8 at a Town Hall in Denver, Colorado, to discuss the “Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice and Firearms Industry Accountability Act."
This bill would repeal the state’s version of the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which gives firearms manufacturers and sellers general immunity from lawsuits, including those by victims. Because of PLCCA, we were ordered to pay the legal fees of the online dealer that sold the high-velocity bullets that tore through movie theater seats in Aurora, Colorado, and killed our daughter.
Other speakers and panelists at the town hall will include public officials and community members, and the agenda will address what activists can do to overcome this uniquely industry-protecting, survivor-harming law. If you can attend, RSVP HERE
We’ll stay in the States for about six weeks, and then we’ll return to Mexico, where we are working on creating an inviting space for other survivors to come for retreats and mindfulness meditation. We continue collaborating with our partners at the University of California, San Diego. The mindfulness courses we offered with them last year have equipped so many with the tools they need to meet pain and overwhelming PTSD. If you missed it, learn here about what one of our participants had to say about her experience.
Our profile this month is of a family whose only daughter Ryanne was murdered in a mass shooting at her college on February 14, 2008. Mary Kay and Eric Mace have established a scholarship in her name. We include a wrap-up of the news and quotes from survivors. Our hearts go out to all the many people joining our “club” of the injured, shocked or bereaved.
Our travels will continue throughout 2023, and we’re thrilled to offer a talk at the renowned Garrison Institute in New York this coming June. That’s about the time the new book we co-edited will be released.
In these difficult times, remember that it is okay to put away social media, take a break from the news and make sure that you are practicing mindfulness, meditation or other methods you are using for self care. Remember what Jessi said: "Every second of every day is a gift."
Sandy and Lonnie