Sandy Hook Promise releases chilling PSA on gun violence prevention
The onset of this PSA from Sandy Hook Promise, an organization created in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, begins innocently enough. The video follows a boy, Evan (the same name as the video), exchanging messages on a desk in the school library with an unknown classmate.
The flirtatious messages are sent back and forth until the end of the school year, leaving a dissuaded Evan without a chance to learn the identity of his secret crush. However, in a last-ditch effort to learn who the person is, he exchanges yearbook signatures with classmates — one of which recognizes his handwriting from the desk.
While the two begin talking, however, an ominous figure emerges from the entrance of the building, taking out an assault rifle and cocks the gun as the screen fades to black.
"While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting," the corresponding text reads. "But no one noticed."
The PSA then relays the scenes of Evan at school, and in the background are several alarming signs of another student looking at gun videos on YouTube, being bullied by classmates, sharing photos with a gun on Instagram and reading a gun enthusiast magazine.
"It's important to know that one warning sign on its own does not mean a person is planning an act of violence," the Sandy Hook Promise website reads under the "Know the Signs" program. "But when many connected or cumulative signs are observed over a period of time, it could mean that the person is heading down a pathway towards violence or self-harm. By knowing the signs, you have the power to intervene and get help for that person. Your actions can save lives."
The organization was founded by several family members whose children were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012. The nonprofit's goal is to protect children from gun violence.
Watch the powerful PSA from Sandy Hook Promise below: