CHICAGO — The litany of mass shootings in recent years has changed how America talks, prays and prepares for trouble.
Today, the phrases “active shooter” and “shelter in place” need no explanation. A house of worship may have an armed guard. More schools are holding “lockdown drills” to prepare students for the possibility of a shooter. And some police and firefighters haunted by memories of carnage they’ve witnessed are seeking psychological help.
While support groups of survivors of mass shootings have formed, mayors, police, doctors and others who’ve endured these crises are paying it forward — offering comfort, advice and mentoring to the next town that has to wrestle with the nightmare. The National Center for PTSD estimates 28 percent of people who’ve witnessed a mass shooting develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
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