Statement by Cecilia Zalkind, ACNJ Pres/CEO on the tragedy in Uvalde, TX
My heart is breaking this morning for the families in Texas who are facing an unspeakable loss, one that no family should ever have to experience but, unfortunately, seems to have become far too common in our country.
For more than 40 years, Advocates for Children of New Jersey has been dedicated to giving every child the chance to grow up safe, healthy and educated. We have advocated for health care, quality education, and protection from abuse and neglect. We have never had to advocate for the right to simply grow up - a right which 19 children lost yesterday in Uvalde, Texas.
Enough is enough. ACNJ joins the chorus of voices advocating for an end to violence and – more importantly – the tools of that violence, not with platitudes but by controlling means of access. It is time to make it impossible for an 18-year-old to legally purchase a way to take 19 young lives in a matter of seconds.
It is time for Congress to act. ACNJ calls upon our congressional leaders to put children above party or power and enact gun control legislation now. Our state and congressional leaders must also act to address the causes and consequences of our culture of violence with better mental health services, but first things first - get guns off our streets.
Below are helpful resources to talk to children about the tragedy in Uvalde, TX.
- Child Mind Institute - Anxiety around School Shootings
- National Association of School Psychologists - Talking to Children about Violence
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network -Talking to Children about Shootings
- Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health - Ten Tips for Talking with Children about a Traumatic Event
- PBS for Children - Helping Children with Tragic Events in the News