Fireworks aren’t cause for celebration for veterans and gun violence survivors

The loud bangs fireworks create, similar to gunshots, can trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress

For many mass shooting survivors, Fourth of July fireworks are a challenge , not a sign of festivity. It is an issue that military veterans and survivors of everyday gun violence have dealt with for years: the loud bangs of America’s Independence Day fireworks can trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

This year it will be a new experience for the teens who survived school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, in the spring.

Experts from the National Center for PTSD recommend that Americans who want to be sensitive about their fireworks should have a conversation with their neighbors about how the audios might affect them, or at least give them a heads up about what time the fireworks will be set off.

Emma Gonzalez, the 18 -year-old activist from Parkland, Florida, shared a request for this kind of sensitivity earlier in June, with those in the area where her high school there, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was the scene of a mass shooting on Valentine’s Day that took 17 lives. She asked those in Parkland and nearby Coral Springs to be aware of the impact fireworks might have on their neighbors, including” nearly 3,500 students and faculty facing the short and long-term impacts” of the school shooting.

” Fireworks make noises much like gunshots, and unexpected fireworks can/ will cause physical and mental distress in those directly affected by the tragedy. Please be careful ,” an image Gonzalez shared on Twitter advised.

The post suggested that local Florida residents notify their neighbors of any plans to set off fireworks, consider alternate ways of celebrating, including using sparklers or decorating cakes, and allow for a “judgement-free zone” for people sensitive to loud noises.

Emma Gonzalez (@ Emma4Change)

Please be courteous and respectful every 4th of July [?]

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