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The National Rifle Association went ahead with its gun industry convention over the Memorial Day weekend as more grim details emerged about the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Texas police agencies sought to defend against public fury over their delay in confronting the gunman—and the young lives it may have cost—with a series of sometimes contradictory explanations. These included that local police believed the assailant was barricaded alone—despite 911 calls from children begging for help from the classroom. Across the state in Houston, the NRA convention went on amid protests, though the company that made the rifle used in the massacre bowed out, as did other speakers and entertainers. For now, the national debate continues regarding the cause of the mass shooting epidemic – Is it a mental health issue or is it a gun safety issue? Reality suggests it is Both!!!

We crave action to stop mass shootings, but it seems we no longer believe things can change. Have we given up on protecting our children?

The Texas school gunman, Salvador Ramos, allegedly purchased two assault rifles just days after turning 18. When he was growing up he had a speech impediment and was bullied as a child in elementary school. It doesn’t take a genius to make a connection between the trauma of the two elementary schools. As a community of mental health specialists in anger management, crisis intervention and domestic violence, NAMA can help find new ways to apply our many effective tools, strategies, concepts, and techniques to enhance public safety.  We can add our balanced voice to both the mental health and gun safety issues. Each of us individually can consider new ways to contribute toward solving the cycle of violence plaguing our culture. We have a lot of work to do…
Rich Pfeiffer, President of NAMA

June 2022