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National News

Friday, 20 July, 2012 6:01 PM

Mental Health America Joins Americans in Mourning Loss of Life in Aurora, Colorado, Shootings; Resources Available to Help Families, Community Respond to Tragic Events

Photo credit: PRNewswire

Emergency personnel responding to the deadly shooting at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colo. on July 20, 2012.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Statement of David Shern, Ph.D., President and CEO of Mental Health America:

Mental Health America joins Americans in mourning the loss of those killed in the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and everyone who is affected by this horrific event and express our hope for the full recovery of those who were injured.
At this point, we do not know the motivation behind this senseless act.

We do know that events like this will impact families, the Denver community and the nation. Many may feel at risk and may experience feelings of anxiety and fear. Parents may be groping with how to discuss these and similar events with their children.

Mental Health America has developed guidelines to help Americans respond and cope with tragic events, which can be found at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/coping-with-disaster.

To guide discussions about the shooting, Mental Health America offers the following suggestions for parents as they communicate with young people in the area and across the nation:

Children sense the anxiety and tension in adults around them. And, like adults, children experience the same feelings of helplessness and lack of control that tragedy-related stress can bring about. Unlike adults, however, children have little experience to help them place their current situation into perspective.

Each child responds differently to tragedy, depending on his or her understanding and maturity, but it's easy to see how an event like this can create a great deal of anxiety in children of all ages because they will interpret the tragedy as a personal danger to themselves and those they care about.
Whatever the child's age or relationship to the damage caused by tragedy, it's important that you be open about the consequences for your family, and that you encourage him or her to talk about it.

Mental Health America has prepared a fact sheet to help children cope with tragedy, which can be viewed at

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/coping-with-disaster/helping-children-handle-disaster-related-anxiety.

If you are worried about a young person's reaction or have ongoing concerns about his/her behavior or emotions, contact a mental health professional at their school or at your community mental health center. Your local Mental Health America Affiliate can direct you to resources in your community.

Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net) is the nation's largest and oldest community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our more than 300 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.

Source: Mental Health America

 

Aurora Shooting at Batman Showing Demands Action, Says The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

 

SAN FRANCISCO -- We are deeply saddened and outraged by the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado earlier today, and our thoughts are with all of those affected by this horrible tragedy.

Already, politicians around the country have begun to offer their condolences to the survivors of this terrible event, as they do every time a mass shooting happens in America. Inevitably, these statements are long on good intentions but short on action.

The American people deserve better. All of us should be free to live our lives without being affected by gun violence. Instead, across the country, too many Americans are murdered by guns every single day.

It's time to demand that our leaders go beyond offering condolences, and instead address these problems head-on. It is simply far too easy for dangerous people to access military-style weapons. Something has to change.

There are solutions to this epidemic. We know that smart gun laws save lives and we remain committed to fighting for safer communities.
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is available to answer questions about gun laws and gun violence in Colorado and across the country as well as strategies to reduce gun violence nationwide.

www.smartgunlaws.org

Source: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

 

Statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors President Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter on This Morning's Mass Shooting in Aurora

Logo credit: PRNewswire

 

PHILADELPHIA -- The following statement was issued today by U.S. Conference of Mayors President Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter after today's mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado:

"Once again our nation's attention is riveted on a single act of violence that has claimed a dozen lives and left dozens more injured.

"The nation's mayors express their shock at a mass shooting and send their condolences to the victims, their families, and their community. Our friend and colleague Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan is in our thoughts and prayers this morning as he helps his city cope with this tragedy.

"While we don't yet have all of the facts in the case, we do know that all evidence this morning points to a heavily armed assailant now in police custody. While questions about his motives and about how he obtained his weapons will be answered in the hours and days ahead, the fact remains that once again guns have been used in a mass killing of innocent people.

"The U.S. Conference of Mayors is repeating its call for reasonable changes in our gun laws and regulations that could help to prevent senseless tragedies such as the one that has rocked Aurora and the nation this morning."

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.

Source: The U.S. Conference of Mayors

 

Movie Theater Gunman Terrorizes Audience; Safety Expert Reveals Steps to Protect Yourself During a Shooting Rampage

 

CHICAGO -- A shooting early this morning at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado occurred with no warning as a gunman fired into the crowd of moviegoers killing several people and injuring many others. If you're faced with a shooter in a public place, can you take steps to protect yourself and your family?

Nationally acclaimed safety expert David Nance says that once a gunman begins firing, panic sets in and the dynamics of the crowd change instantly. Knowing what to do in those initial seconds can save your life. Invite Nance to reveal what you need to know to remain safe when violence erupts suddenly in a public place:

  • What is one thing you should do when entering any public place?
  • Why should you assume the worst when something seems out of the ordinary?
  • What can you do in advance to prevent yourself from freezing?
  • What's the one thing you must discuss before entering a public place with a group of people?

David Nance is a nationally acclaimed safety expert who works with police departments around the world. His training program for law enforcement has certified over 3,000 law enforcement instructors on the use of force, defensive tactics, and the right way to use pepper spray. Nance is a repeat guest on WFLD-TV Fox News in Chicago and has been featured by The History Channel, Spike TV, The Doctors, Philadelphia Daily News, the National Rifle Association's self defense video series, and many other media outlets nationwide.

Source: David Nance

 

American Humane Association Offers Tips to Help Children Deal with Concerns Following the Shootings in Aurora, CO

Logo credit: PRNewswire

 

DENVER -- Following the shooting of dozens of people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, American Humane Association issued these tips for parents and other caregivers to help children cope with the fear and uncertainty caused by this tragedy:

  • Keep an eye on children's emotional reactions. Talk to children – and just as important – listen to them. Encourage kids to express how they feel and ask if anything is worrying them.
  • Regardless of age, reassure them frequently of their safety and security, and reinforce that you, local officials, and their communities are working to keep them safe. Older children may seem more capable, but can also be affected.
  • Keep your descriptions to children simple and limit their exposure to graphic information. Keep to the basic facts that something bad happened but that they are safe. Use words they can understand and avoid technical details and terms such as "smoke grenades" and "sniper."
  • Limit their access to television and radio news reports since young children may have trouble processing the enormity of the experience, and sometimes believe that each news report may be a new attack.
  • Be prepared for children to ask if such violence can occur to them. Do not lie but repeat that it is very unlikely and that you are there to keep them safe.
  • Watch for symptoms of stress, including clinginess, stomachaches, headaches, nightmares, trouble eating or sleeping, or changes in behavior. If you are concerned about the way your children are responding, consult your doctor, school counselor or local mental health professional.

"Children are especially vulnerable at a time like this," noted Dr. Robin Ganzert, president & CEO of American Humane Association, which for many decades has been working in the Denver area. "Parents, teachers, and other caregivers need to be especially sensitive to how children are reacting and help them cope with their fears and feelings. The best thing is to talk to children now and in the weeks to come to ensure they receive the attention they need in dealing with this tragedy."

About American Humane Association

Since 1877 the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation's voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

Source: American Humane Association

 

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Statements on Aurora Shooting

 

NEW YORK -- The following is being released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns:

Statement of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

"Your heart shatters when you think of the family members who were given the worst news imaginable, and we pray for the recovery of the dozens who were injured. Now there will be many expressions of support and condolences from politicians in the coming days, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country. There are so many murders with guns every day – it's just got to stop. And instead of the two people – President Obama and Governor Romney – talking in broad terms about they want to do to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how. And this is a real problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities – specifically what are they going to do about guns? I can tell you what we do here in New York. The State Legislature passed the toughest gun laws – some other states may say no. That's okay, what do you want to do? And maybe every Governor should stand up. But in the end, it is really the leadership at a national level, which is whoever is going to be President of the United States – what are they going to do about guns?"

Statement of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino

"My condolences and prayers go out to the victims and families of victims who were affected by this random and senseless act. While we still don't know much about how this happened, we do know that we have laws in this country that allow people who have no business ever possessing a firearm to get their hands on guns. We have a Columbine, a Virginia Tech, a Tucson, an Aurora theater every day in America. 34 people are killed with guns every single day in America. And yet – we will see a few weeks of media attention that forces politicians to express their condolences, but then no action is taken in Washington to fix the problem. The fixes are easy and they are common sense. It's about enforcing existing Federal laws and making sure we don't let criminals buy weapons. We need to put a background check on all sales and require states to step up their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make sure we have a check that works. Maybe this will finally wake up Washington. We are going to keep the pressure on because this just has to stop."

Source: Mayors Against Illegal Guns

 

National League of Cities Reaches Out to Aurora

Logo credit: PRNewswire

 

WASHINGTON -- Ted Ellis, president of the National League of Cities and mayor, Bluffton, IN, communicated to the Mayor and City Council of Aurora, CO. The letter is below.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents.

July 20, 2012
The Honorable Mayor Steve Hogan and the Aurora City Council
City Hall
15151 E. Alameda Pkwy
Aurora, Colorado 80012

Dear Mayor Hogan and Aurora Council Members,

It is with shock and sadness that I write to express my condolences for the tragedy the City of Aurora experienced this morning. I speak on behalf of all of us at the National League of Cities in sending our thoughts and prayers to you, the victims, and the families of those who lost their lives.
The role of local elected officials is full of tough duties. However, the type of horrible event you woke up to today, and the role you will be playing as leaders guiding a community through a healing process, is one that we should never have to face. Please know that we stand behind you, ready to offer our support and counsel over the coming days and weeks.

While it is difficult to see any good in such horrific events, may we remember the best parts of humanity that were exhibited: the quick thinking theater goers who helped one another as the tragedy unfolded, the first responders of your community who moved quickly to the scene, and the heartfelt support exhibited across the nation.

We hope and pray that the community of Aurora will be able to quickly find peace in the coming days and weeks.

With great sadness,

Ted Ellis
Mayor, Bluffton, IN
President Ted Ellis

Source: National League of Cities

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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