When 20 children and six educators were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, people across the US said: “Never again.”
Instead, family members of victims have watched as a series of increasingly deadly mass shooting attacks have occurred at schools, churches, baseball practices and concerts. Each time, the grieving families have waited for the reports showing that the shooter had not simply snapped: that there were warning signs missed, red flags that got no response.
To mark the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, a nonprofit founded by some of the family members of victims is releasing a new video with the message that it is possible to see the signs of a potential act of violence ahead of time – and that it is crucial to act on them.
The new video ad follows Evan, a viral video released last year by Sandy Hook Promise, which said it received more than 150 million views.
The new ad “does have an emotional gut punch”, said Nicole Hockley, one of the co-founders of Sandy Hook Promise, who lost her six-year-old son Dylan in the shooting.
“We don’t want people to be comfortable around the subject of gun violence,” she said.
Sandy Hook Promise has trained more than 2.5 million students and adults across the country in its “Know the Signs” programs, which it offers free of cost to local school districts.
The programs are designed to help kids and adults recognize the signs of someone who might be at risk of harming themselves or others, and know how to report them to someone who will take action.
The programs are continuing to expand to school districts across the country, and the new video is designed to raise money to continuing to fund the expansion of the trainings.
Sandy Hook Promise, which does not represent all 26 families, also advocates for mental health reform and has endorsed a slate of local and federal gun control laws.
New national gun control laws have been blocked by Republicans in Congress, and are now opposed by Donald Trump, who sees himself as a close ally of the National Rifle Association, the nation’s leading gun rights group.