Columbine students are on a mission to show the world the aftermath of gun violence with #MyLastShot
Our kids (and some of us parents) are part of the first school shooting generations. That is, those of us who grew up knowing all too well that gun violence and mass shootings at school are entirely possible. As these tragedies have played out in the news and across the country, there’s the overarching narrative that there’s a time and a place to discuss the horrors of gun violence in our schools and that right after a shooting, it’s “too soon” to talk about solutions or to fully acknowledge the reality of the situation.
That’s all changing thanks to a campaign headed up by Columbine High School students called #MyLastShot.
Gun violence prevention advocate and California Rep. Eric Swalwell called attention to the movement in a recent tweet, including a photo of a sticker on a high school student’s phone. It reads, “In the event that I die from gun violence please publicize the photo of my death. #MyLastShot.”
Swalwell tweeted the photo with the caption, “A high schooler showed me this sticker on her phone. I’m not in this to stand up to the @nra, I’m in it to knock them out of the ring.”
The #MyLastShot campaign started this year and its mission is simple. Let the world know, through graphic images if necessary, the reality of mass shooting. The stickers are available to download or order on their campaign’s website — and you can use them however you choose.
“When you sign up for a driver’s license you’re asked if you’d like to be an organ donor. #MyLastShot stickers work similarly. By ordering or printing a sticker from this website and adding it to a personal item, you’re letting the world know that you’d like to donate the photos of your death should you die from gun violence at the hands of another person,” their website explains.
“While IDs are one option for this sticker, you’re encouraged to put it on any item you keep on your person, such as a phone or student ID. By pledging to share your photo, and presenting the world with the harsh reality of gun violence, you have an opportunity to create change through opening up a new dialogue on this issue.”
After Swalwell brought attention to the campaign, reacts were swift and heart-wrenching. Absolutely no decent person wants to live in a world where kids (or anyone) is thinking this way. People are also realizing what just a few photos depicting the gory reality of gun violence could do to effect change — and they’re willing to release photos of themselves should they die by gun violence.
The fact that mass shootings are happening at an alarming rate every year (more mass shootings in 2019 so far than days in this still-young year) with no real action being taken to prevent them is beyond terrifying and disheartening. It’s time for all of us to grasp the fact that bringing an end to these horrific shootings might mean making people a little uncomfortable. Folks might become numb to the all-too-frequent news reports of mass shootings, but it would be tough to ignore photos of a person who died due to gun violence, moments after their death.
“What this project does is give the power to the individual to make that call whether or not they want graphic imagery of their body to be published in the event they die from gun-violence by another person,” they write. “Why? In the hope they can create change.”
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