Sandy Hook Promise releases powerful new back-to-school ad amid gun reform debate

Sandy Hook Promise released a new public service announcement Wednesday that begins with excited students showing off new school supplies but quickly morphs into a nightmarish hellscape where they are forced to use those same items to survive a school shooting.

The powerful video features a boy and girl holding up scissors and colored pencils to defend themselves against a shooter as well a girl ripping off her tube socks and using them as a tourniquet on a student’s bloody leg. The video ends with a girl hiding in a bathroom stall, texting her mom a final “I love you” goodbye on her pink glittery phone.

“I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom,” she says as tears stream down her face.

The video is the latest in a series made by the school safety advocacy group. While Sandy Hook Promise has made intense videos in the past, this is the first in which the viewer can hear gunshots and see blood.

“Our goal with this PSA is to wake up parents to the horrible reality that our children endure,” said Nicole Hockley, who co-founded Sandy Hook Promise after her son Dylan died in the Dec. 14, 2012 mass shooting. “Gone are the days of viewing back-to-school as just a carefree time, when school violence has become so prevalent. If we come together to know the signs, this doesn’t have to be the case. I hope that parents across the country will join me to make the promise to stop this epidemic.”

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, more than 400 people have been shot on school campuses in the country. Last year marked the deadliest on record – at least 83 people died or were injured in active shooter incidents.

In the absence of Congress failing to pass any meaningful gun control regulations, businesses have started to act. Earlier this month, Walmart said it will stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition and requested its customers not to openly carry firearms in its stores.

The National Rifle Association said in a Sept. 3 statement that Walmart’s actions “will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans.”

Last week, nearly 150 companies sent a letter to Senate leaders demanding stronger background checks.

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