David Becker/Getty Images News/Getty Images

How To Help The Las Vegas Shooting Victims, Because Public Support Will Be Critical

Ad failed to load

On Sunday evening, a gunman opened fire on attendees of a country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. More than 50 people are dead and more than are 400 hospitalized in what police are now calling the deadliest shooting in United States history. Police have said they are not investigating the incident as terrorism, despite the fact that the mass shooting qualifies as terrorism under Nevada law, according to The Independent. The shooter reportedly used a high-caliber assault weapon and had more weapons stored in his room at the resort, according to Reuters. Still, placing all of these frustrating and terrifying facts aside, it's critical that we turn to helping the Las Vegas shooting victims; they and their families are in need of support and will continue to need it for months to come.

Update: As of 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Oct. 2, CNN reports that 59 people have died and over 500 people were injured. Authorities say the suspect had 18 additional firearms, explosives and several thousand rounds of ammo at his home in Mesquite, NV.

The shooter — who I will not name in this article because it is not about him — was a longtime resident of Mesquite, Nevada, according to Reuters. After firing what eyewitnesses have described as hundreds of rounds into the crowd, the shooter was shot and killed by police. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said police are still trying to identify his motive, but that they "have no idea what his belief system was," in a tone-deaf statement that implies that only certain religious beliefs could drive someone to commit an atrocity of this size.

Ad failed to load

For anyone who has social media, both Twitter and Facebook are covered with graphic images and videos of the dead and wounded lying in the streets of Las Vegas. Some are being held by the people they love. These are the people who we need to turn to now. Here are a variety of ways you can help the Las Vegas victims, including those who were killed, the wounded, the survivors, and their families.

Give Blood If You Live Near The Area

Ad failed to load

Giving blood after a tragedy of this size is critical, because often it can mean life or death for the wounded. Hospitals in the area will be strained because of the size of this attack, and blood will be needed in the weeks and even months after to help those with severe injuries.

Do Not Share Graphic Photos & Videos Of The Crime Scene

Ad failed to load

Sharing graphic photos and videos of the scene of a terror attack or mass shooting does two things: first, it legitimizes the attacker, and can inspire copycat attacks, according to NBC News. A 2015 study found that mass shootings and school attacks inspire copycat killings, particularly in the weeks following the shooting, when people are sharing a lot of videos of the attack and information about the shooter is often the first thing you see on TV every day. The way that we treat mass shootings, particularly in the media, can glorify the killer and erase the victims. It's important not to contribute to that culture, and to instead share information about the victims as it comes out in the coming days.

Donate To The Local Red Cross Chapter

Ad failed to load

The Southern Nevada Red Cross will help provide medical support for victims and ongoing support for the families and communities affected by Sunday's attack. To donate, go to this link. Also, the Red Cross is helping people locate their missing loved ones. Share the telephone number 1-866-535-5654 on social media if you have any connections to Nevada or the Las Vegas area or could know someone affected.

Donate To Victims' & Their Families' GoFundMe Pages

Ad failed to load

After mass attacks or tragedies, friends and family of those affected often set up crowdfunding accounts on the verified site GoFundMe. Here is the GoFundMe homepage, where fundraising pages for recent mass tragedies are often featured once they are up and running.

Update: Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak and County Sheriff Joe Lombardo set up a GoFundMe to help victims and their families, according to TIME Money. To see and donate to the fund, go to this link. As of 6 p.m. Eastern Time Monday, the fund had already raised $1.2 million of its $2 million goal.

Going Forward: Support Gun Safety Legislation

Ad failed to load

No, I am not advocating that someone take away everyone's weapons. There's a constitutional right that prevents that. Instead, I'm saying that we need to change the state of gun safety legislation in this country. First, there is no gun registration in the entire state of Nevada, according to state website Nevada Carry. Also, The Independent correspondent Jon Stone reported that it is legal to carry an assault rifle in Nevada while intoxicated, and there is also no maximum magazine capacity. Though firearms can be carried openly on public school properties in the state, they are not permitted to be carried openly in legislative buildings. Federal law prohibits firearms in any federal facility, meaning lawmakers would like to feel safer than they would like our children to feel at school.

If you want to support common sense gun safety legislation, like the majority of the population and like most of gun owners — despite what the NRA would like us all to think — call your representatives and senators ASAP to demand that they support gun safety legislation. Most gun policy happens at the state level. Take, for instance, this recently-introduced Wisconsin bill that would allow felons to have "antique firearms," after felons said it wasn't fair that they couldn't use firearms to hunt, according to The Sacramento Bee. To find your elected officials, visit this link.

Ad failed to load

Still, as the result of NRA lobbying efforts and NRA support of Republican officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot spend funds on any research that could "advocate or promote gun control," according to the Los Angeles Times. The NRA lobbied for the bill, called the Dickey Amendment, after the CDC released research that found that having firearms in a home could greatly increase the risk of homicide, and thus the CDC has not been able to further study the issue.

We can do better than this. We can provide support to the victims of Las Vegas, but we also need to take action so that we don't have to provide similar support — maybe to more people, because mass shootings in the U.S. are only getting bigger — in the future.

This post will be updated with donation and volunteer information as more becomes available.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik