On September 17, 2019 the Sandy Hook Promise organization uploaded their second school shooting awareness video. This upload shocked Americans just as much as the first one which featured a dramatic twist and advocated for gun violence awareness.
In this video titled “Back-To-School Essentials,” they start off like a typical back to school ad that one would see from Walmart or Target. The kids begin advertising how useful their new school supplies are. The twist begins when one student puts his headphones on in the library and students begin running around him. The next student advertises his new running shoes as he’s running, and gunshots can be heard from behind him. The viewer then realizes that the students are experiencing a school shooting while they continue to advertise how they use their new school supplies to save themselves.
The video ends with a haunting message that reads “It’s back to school time, and you know what that means.” This text plays on the reoccurring fear of thousands of kids who are returning to school this fall; the fear that they will be shot dead by a school shooter. These are kids who shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not they will survive the school year.
After its release, it became viral on twitter where lots of users shared their input on the contents of the video.
Sean Maguire, best known for his role as Robin Hood in ABC show Once Upon a Time tweeted,
He vocalizes a majority of the thoughts that may occur while watching the ad. A few people wonder if the ad is pandering to the left-wing liberals or to the idea that shootings are because of mental illnesses, not guns.
The video was made by an organization called the Sandy Hook Promise that was formed after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
On December 14, 2012 one of the deadliest school shootings of its time occurred in the town of Newtown, Connecticut at the Sandy Hook Elementary school.
It began when 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother with a rifle and then destroyed his computer so that evidence would be hard to find following his planned attack. He then took hundreds of rounds of ammunition and an AR-15 and drove to the elementary school where he began his mass shooting spree.
It was early in the morning that he shot through the security door and killed the principle and school psychologist before his attack was broadcasted to the entire school. Before all of the teachers could barricade their classrooms, he entered a classroom and killed the teacher and fourteen children before moving on to kill more. Several other children and staff members were shot and injured before he took his own life.
This is the first of many school shootings that have occurred in the past seven years. According to Time Magazine, 290 school shootings have occurred since Sandy Hook. This includes accidental discharge of firearms, suicides, and parking lot fights. Sixty-three of these were classified as school shootings; the most recent being at Parkland massacre in January of 2013.
Since then, the organization has made a promise to protect people from events like this happening by creating informative videos and a website with things people can do to prevent any more shootings.