Families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre released a powerful video this week, urging parents and teachers to help prevent another school shooting by taking action now.
The PSA, dubbed “Tomorrow’s News,” features a mock reporter interviewing police officers, classmates, school officials and parents about a school shooting expected to take place the next day and how they will react to it.
In one haunting scene, the reporter asks a “witness” how she will explain the shooting to her daughter. The woman responds: “Actually, I won’t get to explain it to her because she won’t make it.”
Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization focused on preventing gun violence and led by several family members of those killed in the 2012 shooting, created the video to raise awareness about the warning signs exhibited by many school shooters.
The video also highlights the predictability of how mass shooting news coverage unfolds, given the similarities of many shooters’ backgrounds.
In one scene, a mock police officer tells the reporter that someone is expected to tell law enforcement that the shooter had been “posting on social media” about attacking the school “for weeks.”
In another, a classmate says he expects to feel regret over never telling anyone about the shooter’s desire to shoot “people that bullied him.”
“He told some of us that his dad kept a gun in his closet and he always talked about using it on, you know, the people that bullied him,” one of the mock shooter’s classmates said in the video. “Tomorrow, I’ll probably say I wish I told someone.”
Mark Barden, managing director and co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise, said the video helps show “how easy it is to miss the signs” of someone at risk and how important it is to take those signs seriously if recognized.
“‘Tomorrow’s News’ is a powerful reminder that everyone can prevent a tragedy when they know the signs,” Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son in the Sandy Hook shooting, said in a press release.
Most mass shooters take 6-12 months to plan their attacks, Sandy Hook Promise said.
“In almost every documented case, warning signs were given off that were not understood, were not acted upon quickly or was not shared with someone who could help,” the organization’s website reads.
The video’s release came just days before the five-year anniversary of the horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty students between ages 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members, were killed when 20-year-old Adam Lanza stormed Sandy Hook Elementary school and opened fire on Dec. 14, 2012.