In times like these it's easy to feel hopeless, and like there's not much you can do to help — but that couldn't be farther from the truth. If you want to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and try to prevent these types of attacks from happening again, here are four things you can do right now.
If you're in the state of Nevada and you're able to, donating blood is perhaps the most useful thing you can do to aid those injured in the shooting.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shared some information in a press release Monday morning.
“Anyone wishing to help is asked to donate blood for the injured victims of the Strip shooting,” the statement reads. “United Blood Services will start taking donations at 7 a.m. at two locations: 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson.”
It continues, "UMC will also be hosting a blood drive in conjunction with United Blood Services. It will be held at UMC’s Delta Point Building located at 901 N. Rancho Lane. There will be updates as to the exact time of the blood drive as more information is available.”
Support These Organizations
You can support organizations that are helping the victims of the shooting, such as the Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada, which provides free services to people who don't have health insurance; the American Red Cross Southern Nevada chapter; and the National Compassion Fund, which supports victims of mass crimes through direct donations.
One Las Vegas Victims' Fund created on GoFundMe, apparently backed by a local Las Vegas politician, has already raised more than $1 million toward its $2 million goal.
Call Congress & Your Local Elected Officials
If you care about stricter gun control laws and believe that we can do more to prevent mass shootings in the U.S., this is the time to call all your elected officials. (Here's a quick guide on how to call Congress; it can also be applied to your local representatives.)
For example, Nevada has some of the most lax gun laws in the country. And on the national level, the U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering passing two pieces of pro-gun legislation. One bill would relax restrictions on gun silencers, which critics say could make it even harder to figure out where gunfire is coming from during a mass shooting. The other would allow gun owners to carry their legally concealed weapons across state lines, even into jurisdictions with tight restrictions.
Share Mental-Health Resources
Victims, their families, those who have been affected by other mass shootings, as well as people who were not directly impacted can struggle after an incident such as this one.
First and foremost, remember to be kind. Secondly, share the mental-health resources below. You never know who might need them.
National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline: 1-800-826-3632