Victims of these tragedies are not limited to those men, women, and children killed, injured, or present during these horrific events. The consequences of gun violence are more pervasive and affect entire communities, families, and children. With more than 25% of children witnessing an act of violence in their homes, schools, or community over the past year, and more than 5% witnessing a shooting, it becomes not just an issue of gun regulation, but also of addressing the impact on those who have been traumatized by such violence (Finkelhor et al., 2009).
…The consequences of exposure to violence on child development are very real. Youth exposed to chronic trauma can experience inhibited brain development, producing a lasting impact on life outcomes. Likely a result of such exposure, participants noted numerous skill deficits among the children and youth they serve who live in neighborhoods that have high rates of poverty and crime. …Much of this violence and aggression is further exacerbated by emotional overload from exposure to violence. Children and youth exposed to violence experience significant stress, and often struggle to identify and regulate their emotions, as a result of developmental impacts from their frequent exposure to trauma.
In terms of the impact of gun violence on children, families, and communities…
Focusing on the few who might reproduce the violence is akin to missing the forest for the trees here.