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America is now trying to tackle its school shooting problem with intense advert

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Sam Diss
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Bored at school, Evan draws on his desk. “Hi Bored, nice to meet you,” someone writes back in a pretty, chick-lit cursive.  

And from then on it plays out pretty much as expected. Evan gets more and more excited, sitting at the same desk in the library to continue this flirting via medium of destruction of school property thing he’s got going on until the end of the year, before they go off for summer break, and a pretty girl spots his kinda serial killer-y scrawl and they fall in love… And then a dude with a duffel bag and a gun comes in. 

The video was created by an ad firm on behalf of Sandy Hook Promise, a gun violence initiative created in the wake of the Sandy Hook primary school shooting in Connecticut. In the 2012 tragedy, a single shooter killed twenty children aged between six and seven as well as six adult teaching staff, and this initiative aims to educate viewers on the signs that someone might need help and intervention may be needed. 

The video is a clever piece of diversion, lulling you into a cutesy tale of adolescent love while rage bubbles to potency in the background, but for non-American viewers it is a subject that continues to mystify. As a headline in The Onion put a few years ago: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.

Sadly, with President-Elect Donald Trump’s stance on gun control clear – choice quotes: “Gun violence is inevitable; regulations won't help”, “gun-free zones are target practice for sickos” and “[guns] save lives” – it looks like initiatives like this are all people can do. 

“When you don’t know what to look for, or can’t recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant. That can lead to tragic consequences,” Nicole Hockley, the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise, told Adweek.

“It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence—these acts are preventable when you know the signs. Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives.”

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Sam Diss

The Associate Editor of New Projects at ShortList, Sam enjoys making up words to annoy editors, writing features about sports, music, weird things, and cool people, and listening to Mark Morrison's 'Return Of The Mack'. He's also a fairly capable centreback. Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamDiss

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