NASW again implores lawmakers to enact sensible gun laws in aftermath of Texas elementary shooting
WASHINGTON, DC—The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is shocked and saddened by the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and again implores lawmakers to take immediate action to address the epidemic of gun violence in our nation.
“As a nation, we keep saying enough is enough and then nothing happens. This moment must be the tipping point, the moment when the aggravating frustration and heartache spurs policy change, new procedures, and proactive measures that protect life, including our children and youth.” NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, said.
NASW offers its condolences to the families and friends of the victims, as well as the entire community. Every child has the right to safely attend school and every teacher has the right to do their job without fear of, or anxiety over becoming a victim of gun violence.
The epidemic of gun violence is unrelenting. We are hardly a week removed from the tragic, racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, and there have been more instances of gun violence than days in 2022. Such a truth should compel those at the highest levels of government to take immediate steps to enact meaningful gun violence prevention measures. NASW calls on Congress to take immediate action to pass gun violence prevention legislation that will prevent these horrific acts from occurring in the future. Some of the measures that would represent important steps towards ending the gun violence epidemic include the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 8) and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R.1446), which would expand and strengthen background checks. The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021 (S.1819/H.R.3480) should also be passed and would restrict access to firearms by individuals who are a risk to themselves or others.
The tragedy that took place at Robb Elementary School cannot be normalized, instead we must underscore the need for urgent action, not platitudes, on the part of state and federal lawmakers to enact policies that promote and protect public safety. "A Texas shooting leaving innocent children and a teacher dead," NASW President Mildred "Mit" Joyner, DPS, MSW, LCSW, said. "Thoughts and prayers are wonderful but social workers must translate into action. Ask every candidate if they support gun control and vote for those that do. Do not vote for red or blue state candidates, vote for those that will take action to save our children from being shot while at school."
Take Action & Contact Your Lawmakers: Expand & Strengthen Brady Background Checks!
Visit the NASW School Safety Resources page for more tools and ways to get involved
Resources for Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Events
NEA's School Crisis Guide Knowing what to do in a crisis can be the difference between stability and upheaval. This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for union leaders, school district administrators, and principals to keep schools safe — before, during, and after a crisis.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network NCTSN has several pdfs and other resources for helping parents and children deal with catastrophic mass violence events, including parent tips for helping school-age children after disasters, which lists children’s reactions with examples of how parents should respond and what they should say.
Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, child care providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with.
Helping Children with Tragic Events in the News It's normal for both adults and kids to feel anxious after such a publicly devastating event, but there are things you can do to minimize the stress and maintain a sense of normalcy.
Incidents of Mass Violence Learn about who is most at risk for emotional distress from incidents of mass violence and where to find disaster-related resources.