The massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has led to a shift in parenting as mass shootings persist in places once assumed to be safe, and federal action to prevent future attacks stalls.
The Uvalde tragedy, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, happened in the same month as shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, a hair salon in Dallas and a church in Laguna Woods, California.
More mass shootings, including one at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have occurred since, yet hopes for passing new gun measures are dim, even after Congress heard harrowing testimony from a young Uvalde survivor who told lawmakers, “I don’t want it to happen again.”
The alarming nature and the frequency of the shootings have led some parents to feel as though the onus is on them to make changes to protect their children in the absence of a guarantee that their state or federal government will take immediate steps to prevent gun violence.
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As worrying as it is to raise children in an era of mass shootings, try not to transfer your anxiety to them, said Marc Zimmerman, co-director of the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention at the University of Michigan and co-director of the National Center for School Safety.
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“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “If we’re living an afraid life, that just creates anxiety, and anxiety creates all sorts of other problems.”