The past week has been rough. Two mass shootings have left communities in Colorado and California torn asunder, and debate concerning gun violence the cause of these heinous acts has reached a new fever pitch.

In Colorado Springs, the single shooter involved in the incident expressed anger over the widely discredited anti-Planned Parenthood videos upon his arrest. “No more baby parts,” Robert Dear – the alleged shooter – told the arresting officers.

Reports out today indicate that Tashfeen Malik – one of the two suspects in the San Bernardino shooting – had pledged loyalty to ISIS, the murderous terror group responsible for the recent attacks in Paris and the bombing of a Russian commercial jet in Egypt.

Whatever the differences, there is one thing in common between the two shootings: both occurred at nonprofit centers that offer social services. While the target of the San Bernardino shooting was a holiday party for county officials, the building it took place in also houses welfare offices that assist people with disabilities. The target in Colorado was Planned Parenthood, which offers a variety of medical services to disadvantaged women.

Following the Colorado shooting, people rallied around Planned Parenthood on social media and reaffirmed their support for women’s health. But there could be other unforeseen consequences from these events. As mass public shootings enter various spheres of our nation’s rich social life, feelings of insecurity may grow. Nonprofit professionals and and the beneficiaries of basic needs assistance don’t need this fear. What they need is more support.

Acts of terror cannot win out over the philanthropy inherent to the human spirit. The boldest way to stand-up against this violence is to stand in the name of humanity, equality, and good will.


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