Current Mental Health Challenges: STRESS, ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

Current Mental Health Challenges: STRESS, ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

by Toni Wellen, CAGV Chair Emeritus


Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that 110,000 people in California purchased a firearm in direct response to the coronavirus. About 47,000 of the buyers were first-time gun owners. Buyers cited concerns over civil unrest, economic downturns, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Those new buyers, as well as millions of gun owners, may think that keeping a gun at home will protect their family from an intruder. Unfortunately, a gun in the house is much more likely to hurt or kill a member of the household or a friend than an intruder. 22 times more likely.

So far this year, there have been more than 250 mass shootings. Consider: 59% of Americans say random acts of violence like mass shootings committed by Americans in the U.S. pose the biggest safety threat to them, causing fear and anxiety.

And then consider, approximately 60% of Americans fear getting COVID. In both cases fear can become chronic, causing anxiety and depression.

Although COVID affects all spheres of life and though the risk factors are unique, it is an illness, and in that sense, understandable. Fear of gun violence, although real, is a random act of unnecessary violence.

Losing a loved one for any reason is tragic, as thousands of families have experienced during COVID. However, an illness is understandable. But losing a loved one to gun violence is a shocking not understandable tragedy.

#IslaVista Seventh Anniversary. Seven years ago, on May 23rd six University of California Santa Barbara students’ lives were taken by gun violence. They were killed by a 22-year-old man who fatally stabbed three friends inside his Isla Vista apartment before going on a shooting spree, killing three more students with a handgun, wounding 14 others, and then killing himself.

California passed the first Extreme Risk Law in the nation in 2014 allowing a judge to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns when there is evidence that they pose a serious risk. It was authored by then Assemblyman Das Williams after the Isla Vista shooting killing 7 (including the perpetrator who shot himself and planned the shooting for over a year, all the while showing signs of extreme behavior) and injuring 14. U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal introduced the first Extreme Risk Law into Congress.

So far in 2021 there were at least 30 incidents of gunfire on school campuses, resulting in 9 deaths and 14 injuries. In 2021 there were at least 30 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 9 deaths and 14 injuries nationally.

Active shooter drills in schools correlated with a 42 percent increase in anxiety and stress and a 39 percent increase in depression among those in the school community, including students, teachers and parents.

Tragically, little children get shot it tends to happen at home and not at school. The best way to protect your child from being hurt or killed by a gun is to not keep guns at home and to avoid homes that do have guns. If you decide to keep a gun at home, proper storage can help keep your family safe. IT’S THE LAW IN CALIFORNIA: Guns must be stored unloaded, locked and separate from ammunition.

June 4-6, 2021 is WEAR ORANGE DAY/WEEKEND, the 7th National Gun Violence Awareness Day/Weekend. Survivors of gun violence and millions of Americans join in solidarity by wearing orange to show support for gun violence prevention. June 5-6 will feature virtual events in memory of 15-year old Hadiya Pendleton (shot and killed in Chicago) and thousands of other gun violence victims, by wearing orange, the color worn by hunters for safety, we can all be ORANGE to show our support. MORE INFO HERE:

RENEW YOUR CAGV 2021 MEMBERSHIP TODAY! $25 Payable to Coalition Against Gun Violence and MAIL:
7040 Shepard Mesa Dr.
Carpinteria, CA 93013-3132


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