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How You Can Help The Jacksonville Shooting Victims & Their Families

by Vanessa Taylor

On Sunday, Aug. 26, a gunman opened fire at the Madden 19 Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. As details continue to unfold and the world continues to grapple with the news of yet another senseless tragedy, you may be wondering how you can help the Jacksonville shooting victims and their families now and in the days to come.

According to CNN and a tweet from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the shooting — which occurred at a video game tournament held at GLHF Game Bar that's located within a large dining and shopping center, The New York Times reported — has left "multiple" people dead and a number more were taken to nearby hospitals. On Sunday evening, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams confirmed to reporters, according to CNN, that two people were "fatally shot." As the BBC reported, 11 others were injured.

In the aftermath of such a tragedy, many are understandably left in shock and horror, wondering how this has happened again. The shooting in Jacksonville adds to the more than 154 mass shootings in the United States this year alone, according to a June report Business Insider. It's easy to feel helpless and hopeless in a time like this, but there are things you can do to assist victims of Sunday's shooting in Florida and be proactive in helping invoke change.

Donate Blood If You Can

One very important thing that people nearby can do is donate blood.

And if you are unable to donate today, that's fine. Hospitals will need blood in the weeks and months following a shooting such as this in order to fully keep up with severe injuries.

Do NOT Share Any Graphic Photos Or Videos On Social Media

Currently, there is video going around of the game's livestream at the moment the shooting occurred. Often, people get caught up in sharing news after tragic events without pausing to think about what exactly they're sharing and the impact it has.

It's important to respect the victims and their families at this time, by not further spreading any graphic, traumatizing, or triggering images or audio that hit Twitter or Facebook in the coming hours or days..

Donate To The Victims & Their Families If You Can

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One way to help ease the burden facing victims and their families is by donating to online campaigns. In the following days, there will be many opportunities to donate towards medical bills and any other unforeseeable expenses.

Just ensure that, when you donate, the money is going towards a legitimate fundraiser.

Become An Advocate For Change

Over 150 mass shootings in the span of a year is far too many to continue ignoring the need for severe changes around how our society approaches guns. And the solution is not to continue wishing that more people were armed in order to prevent these kinds of attacks. After all, the more guns there are, the more mass shootings, as Mother Jones reported.

Debates around gun violence have dominated the media, but it's clear that there is a problem here and something needs to change — now.

Contact Your Elected Officials & Demand Change

Part of becoming an advocate for change is getting in contact with your elected officials.

Call your representatives and demand action, demand safer and stricter gun legislation.

Though they may feel far too common today, mass shootings do not occur in a vacuum; they are a product of the society they take place in, so it is up to us to demand real accountability and change. Hopefully, by doing so, future tragedies like this can be prevented.