Coe College - Center for Community Engagement


7 Action-Oriented Ways to Respond to the Las Vegas Shooting

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, you may find yourself wondering what you can do or feeling that ‘thoughts and prayers’ are not enough. Here are some suggestions of action-oriented ways to respond to this tragedy.

– Contact your legislators. If change is what you seek, contacting your Senators and Representatives is a good first step. This is their job after all. If you need help figuring out who represents you, check out this link which explains and connects you to anyone in Congress. Everytown will help you draft a tweet to your Congressperson if social media is more your speed.

– Educate yourself on gun safety and regulation. Having the facts right in this day and age is of utmost importance. If you want to have better dialogues and help enact change, educating yourself about the topic is critical. Don’t rely on memes, tweets, or even news reports. Fake news abounds, which you can learn more about in this article (scroll down for a nifty graphic). Look for well-researched data from impartial sources. Just Facts has an excellent section on gun control here. For more Nevada specific laws, check out

– Read about the victims. As the politics and controversy begin to fly, it is important to remember the nearly 60 lives lost and the loved ones who are suffering through this tragedy. At this time, names are slowly being released, which you can read about here.

– Donate blood. A call has been put out to donate blood to assist the 500+ wounded in the shooting. You can find blood donation centers in the Cedar Rapids area here. Blood donations—  specifically platelets—  are also requested in the wake of the hurricanes ravaging the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Ocean.

– Sign a petition. Petitions are popping up already, demanding gun control laws. One such petition can be signed via this link. You could also draft a petition of your own on any of a number of websites, including,, and

– Practice self-care. As Audre Lorde famously said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, but self-preservation.” It is important to remember to take care of yourself through difficult times, especially if you are actively engaging with responses to this tragedy. Self-care takes many forms. Go for a run and get your heart pumping. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Dance around your room to your favorite song. Cook a tasty dinner from scratch. Taking time to treat your mind, body, and soul with kindness will not only improve your life, but sustain you so that you may continue with the good work.

– Connect with loved ones. In times of distress and loss, it helps to reach out to those we love —  in person. Get off the Internet, close your Facebook app, and go talk with a friend. Call your family and tell them you love them. Talk about the emotions or don’t. What matters is the person-to-person connection. We all need support, especially in difficult times, and your loved one will appreciate the time spent with you as much as you appreciate the time with them!

While these suggestions may help, if you’re feeling significantly impacted by the events in Las Vegas please know there are resources available right here at Coe College. The following folks, located in the Student Development Suite in Upper Gage, are ready to speak with you should you need more support:

Emily Barnard, 319-399-8843, [email protected]

Melea White, 319-399-8843, [email protected]

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