A powerful new video by the nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise shows just how easy it is to miss the signs of someone planning a shooting.
The PSA begins by telling a sweet story of two high schoolers making a connection through a shared desk in the library. The video eventually points out, though, that paying attention to them draws our focus away from another story going on in the background.
The spot powerfully illustrates how the signs of someone who is in danger of carrying out self-harm or violence can go unnoticed.
Here are signs to look out for that someone may be planning gun violence, according to Sandy Hook Promise.
- "A strong fascination or obsession with firearms can be a warning sign."
- "Exhibiting excessive overreaction or aggressive behavior seemingly minor reason can signal someone who cannot self-regulate their emotions or control their anger."
- "Perpetrators of self-harm or violence towards others may be victims of long-term bullying and may have real or perceived feelings of being picked on or persecuted by others"
- "Excessive study of firearms and mass shootings can mean a person is planning violence."
- "Unsupervised, illegal and/or easy access to firearms, or bragging about access to firearms, can be a warning sign."
- "Gestures of violence and low commitment or aspirations toward school, or a sudden change in academic performance can be a sign that someone needs help."
The Sandy Hook Promise notes that no one sign is a sure indication that someone is planning violence, "but when many connected or cumulative signs are observed over a period of time," it may be time to get help.
The nonprofit was founded by family members affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, when 20 first-graders and six educators were killed in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012.