Gun Violence and Mental Health Are Connected—But Not in the Way You’d Think
A few weeks ago, Jeremiah P. was one of thousands of high school students across the nation to walk out of class in support of stricter gun laws. He was proud to be part of the protest at his small school in rural North Carolina, where many students have access to the guns their parents use for hunting or sport.
Later the same day, Jeremiah’s brother Jacob discovered graffiti written in a school bathroom stall that contained a threat to shoot up the school. Jacob is over six feet tall and plays on the football team, but was so scared to leave the bathroom that he texted his mom to ask for help. With the news of Parkland fresh in her mind, she called the school and demanded that the police officers—who were there to supervise the earlier protest—escort her sons to the office where she would pick them up immediately. Instead of being embarrassed by their mother’s public display of concern, they were just relieved to be going home—because at school, they don’t feel safe anymore.