Nearly seven years have passed since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when a 20-year-old gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children. It was a dark day and one that Americans will never forget.
Lawmakers and power players responded to the shooting by pursuing a series of gun control measures. Others, like Sandy Hook Promise, a campaign "designed to train students and adults to know the signs of gun violence," started posting a series of PSA videos in the wake of the tragedy. They debuted the latest one on "TODAY," on Wednesday.
The ad, "Back to School Essentials," depicts a group of students preparing for their classes with their "perfect" new materials, when suddenly they hear the sound of gunshots. The students start running for their lives or take cover to escape the mass shooter. In one scene, a young girl is using her new socks as a tourniquet for her friend's bloody wound.
Most outlets have used the word "chilling" to describe the video.
The ad has many people wondering, is this the "new normal?"
Not everyone agrees with Sandy Hook Promise's approach, or even their campaign at large. That's including some of the young victims' surviving family members. JT Lewis, who lost a brother in Sandy Hook, said that the group does not speak for him, nor several other affected families.
Having lost a brother in the Sandy Hook shooting, I want it to be clear that the “Sandy Hook Promise” doesn’t speak for me!— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) September 18, 2019
The organization is run by 2 families of victims, but most of us stay far away. They don’t make that clear. We had to write a joint statement at one point
He also fears that Sandy Hook Promise's campaign will have the opposite intended effect.
Sandy Hook Promise should NOT use graphic images of a school shooting to get PR attention. Remember, that’s how the media creates copycat shooters! @sandyhook— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) September 18, 2019