If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings

If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings

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"The result is an important and horrifyingly thick anthology of mass murders...Highly difficult to read in one sitting, but we must not look away." —Kirkus Reviews

A harrowing collection of sixty narratives—covering over fifty years of shootings in America—written by those most directly affected by school shootings: the survivors.

“If I Don’t Make It, I Love You,” a text sent from inside the war zone like scene of a mass shooting, a text meant for Stacy Crescitelli, whose 15-year-old daughter, Sarah, was hiding in a closet fearing for her life in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, while a gunman sprayed her school with bullets, killing her friends, teachers, and coaches. This scene has become too familiar.

We see the images, the children with trauma on their faces leaving their school in ropes, connected to one another with hands on shoulders, shaking, crying, and screaming. We mourn the dead. We bury children. We demand change. But we are met with inaction. So, we move forward, sadder and more jaded. But what about those who cannot move on?

These are their stories.

If I Don’t Make It, I Love You collects more than sixty narratives from school shooting survivors, family members, and community leaders covering fifty years of shootings in America, from the 1966 UT-Austin Tower shooting through May 2018’s Santa Fe shooting.

Through this collection, editors Amye Archer and Loren Kleinman offer a vital contribution to the surging national dialogue on gun reform by elevating the voices of those most directly affected by school shootings: the survivors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510746497
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 542,873
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Amye Archer holds an MFA from Wilkes University. Her memoir, Fat Girl, Skinny, (Big Table Publishing) was published in 2016. Her co-edited collection with Loren Kleinman, My Body, My Words (Big Table Publishing), received praise from Bustle, BUST, and The Brooklyn Rail. Amye’s writing has appeared in PANK, Poem Memoir Story (PMS), the Citron Review, Brevity, and Longreads. She received a notable in Best American Essays, 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen. Follow Amye @amyearcher. 
Loren Kleinman's nonfiction has appeared in Ms.The New York Times, The New York Daily News, the Huffington Post,  Ploughshares, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Woman’s Day, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, BUST, USA TodayThe Rumpus and more. She is the editor of the anthology Indie Authors Naked, which was an Amazon Top 100 bestseller in Journalism in the UK and USA. Kleinman’s The Dark Cave Between My Ribs was named one of the best poetry books of 2014 by Entropy Magazine. Her co-edited collection with Amye Archer My Body, My Words (Big Table Publishing), was named  one of the “11 New Feminist Books That Could Totally Change Your Year” by BustleMy Body, My Wordsalso received praise from Hello Giggles, BUST, Pop Sugar, WOW! Women on Writing,The Brooklyn Rail and more. Her short film, Suffering Is the Easy Part, directed and produced by Jaime Ekkens, is distributed by Seed&Spark and Docademia. 

Table of Contents

Foreword Fred Guttenberg ix

Introduction Roger S. Friedman, PhD xiii

Chapter 1 Santa Fe High School / Santa Fe, Texas-May 18, 2018 1

Chapter 2 Great Mills High School / Great Mills, Maryland-March 20, 2018 13

Chapter 3 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School / Parkland, Florida-February 14, 2018 21

Chapter 4 Marshall County High School / Draffenville, Kentucky-January 23, 2018 59

Chapter 5 Umpqua Community College / Roseburg, Oregon-October 1, 2015 83

Chapter 6 University of California, Santa Barbara/ Isla Vista, California-May 23, 2014 107

Chapter 7 New River Community College at the New River Valley Mall / Christiansburg, Virginia-April 12, 2013 127

Chapter 8 Episcopal School of Jacksonville / Jacksonville, Florida-March 6, 2012 137

Chapter 9 Sandy Hook Elementary School / Newtown, Connecticut-December 14, 2012 147

Chapter 10 Northern Illinois University / DeKalb, Illinois-February 14, 2008 183

Chapter 11 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)/ Blacksburg, Virginia-April 16, 2007 199

Chapter 12 West Nickel Mines School / Bart Township, Pennsylvania-October 2, 2006 235

Chapter 13 North Valley Jewish Community Center / Granada Hills, California-August 10, 1999 251

Chapter 14 Columbine High School / Littleton, Colorado-April 20, 1999 269

Chapter 15 Thurston High School / Springfield, Oregon-May 21, 1998 301

Chapter 16 Heath High School / West Paducah, Kentucky-December 1, 1997 323

Chapter 17 Bethel Regional High School / Bethel, Alaska-February 19, 1997 345

Chapter 18 Bard College at Simon's Rock / Great Barrington. Massachusetts-December 14, 1992 353

Chapter 19 University of Iowa / Iowa City, Iowa-November 1, 1991 381

Chapter 20 Cleveland Elementary School / Stockton, California-January 17, 1989 417

Chapter 21 University of Texas at Austin / Austin, Texas-August 1, 1966 429

Coordinating Trauma: Activists and Survivor Coordinators Recount Their Paths to Supporting Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings 461

Acknowledgments 490

Notes 493

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