While so many people across the nation have been heartsick about the recent wave of gun violence in the nation’s cities and towns, many others have expressed frustration with what can be done locally or at the state level to prevent the senseless murder of so many; from innocent school children to senior citizens out grocery shopping, to young people enjoying a night out. It can seem too big a problem to confront as an individual.
A simple program has been spreading across the U.S. called “Say Something.” While the words began with the Sandy Hook Promise, the latest shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have given wings to the urge of ordinary citizens to do something to stop gun violence. The fact that there have been more than 20 mass shootings in the few weeks since these massacres that made national headlines, makes the need more urgent.
This free Say Something Anonymous Reporting System allows school districts to enable students and adults to submit secure and anonymous safety concerns to help identify and intervene upon at-risk individuals before they hurt themselves or others. Users can report observed threats, behaviors, actions, and harassment like bullying or a student talking about planning an attack. Learn more at https://www.saysomething.net.
“Think of it as not ‘telling’ on your friends, but helping, ” said a national advocate for the program, who referred to herself as “just a mom who can’t take this anymore.”
There are three simple steps to “Say something:”
- Spot the warning signs — experts say that in the days, weeks, or months before a person actually does something violent, they are planning it, they are going over and over it in their heads, they may well be dropping comments that alone may not mean much, but taken together indicate intent.
- Act quickly and take the threat seriously — So many people tend to say ‘well, he didn’t mean that’, or ‘give him/her time, he/she/they’ll get over it.” Not necessarily. In this era, threats must be taken at face value.
- Tell a trusted adult or call the tip line above — this is not tattling, no matter what others may try to tell you. This is getting the person help who might ruin or end their own life, as well as many others.
The idea is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization before they can happen. This isn’t political — this is human intervention; preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. For more information, check out this website: