Depending on how you count, there have been at least 27 gun violence incidents in or near American schools in 2022; beyond those, there have been over 200 mass shootings at community events in the United States this year.

And it's only May.

"Gun violence and gun mass casualty events feel more frequent, especially right now. We have been dealing with cascading traumas over the past few years," Dr. E. Alison Holman of UC Irvine, health psychologist and professor of nursing and psychological sciences, told Salon.  "Mass casualty gun violence events are overwhelming people emotionally and making it difficult to cope," she said.
But it's not just the shootings that are dragging us down. It's the particular way that they're filtered into our consciousness through the internet and through each other that is having a profound psychological effect on all of us.

According to Dr. Sandra Graham-Bermann, director at the University of Michigan Child Resilience and Trauma Lab; and Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, there are both short and long-term impact as the brain reacts to traumatic events. "It operates on three levels," Graham-Bermann said. "At first, there is the fight, flight or freeze response.  The body goes on high alert, blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, in preparation for reacting to the threat."  

She continued: "The second level of functioning is the limbic system — here the chemicals in the brain moderate the emotional reactions. The fear center in the brain is the amygdala. It becomes activated in threatening situations. The third, and highest level, is the neocortex. Here, thinking comes into play so we can evaluate the threat and we make reasoned decisions about the extent of threat, the best course of action, etc." 

Read the full article at Salon.