Child with sign at a gun violence protest in California in June 2022

Elise Schering, 7, displays a simple message during a National Gun Violence Awareness Day rally at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday, June 2, 2022.

After 19 students and two teachers were gunned down in a classroom in Uvalde, Texas, the chorus rose: “Enough!” It came with a sad refrain: “It will happen again.”

And it did. As many as 15 mass shootings in the U.S. (defined as a single incident in which four people are killed and/or injured, not counting the gunman) over Memorial Day weekend, and then four at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This week President Biden all but begged Congress to do something to restrict access to assault weapons. I logged my own frustration  in a newsletter, now available on the Storyboard site. It is mostly a meditation on our public fatigue, and thus inaction.

Because gun violence did and will happen again, and likely again, it’s crucial that the press keep the spotlight on bright. Not everyone in the profession is cut out to do that work — and there needs to be no shame in saying “Not me.” But some will get that inevitable assignment. If you do, make sure you get support — from colleagues, editors, family, friends, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

You can also reach out to other journalists who have done this work before. It may feel like an imposition — and we’re not especially good, as a culture, at sharing our emotions. But I’ve never known a fellow traveler who won’t step up. It might help them, too.

Most of the larger press sites have collected lists of resources for covering gun violence, as has For our part, we offer examples of journalism that has approached this toughest of assignments with clarity and compassion. I was heartsick to see how often gun violence has been the focus of featured Storyboard pieces. Read at your own discretion, of course, but sometimes it helps to see that it can be done.

Further Reading