Watch Sandy Hook Promise's 'school essentials' PSA, but prepare to be gutted by it

Someday, future Americans will look back on this era of school shootings in bafflement and disbelief—not only over the fact that it happened, but over how long it took us to enact significant legislation to try to stop it.

Five people die from vaping, and the government talks about banning vaping devices. Hundreds of American children have been shot to death in their classrooms, sometimes a dozen or so at a time, and the government has done practically nothing. It's unconscionable.


Death tolls aren't the only meaningful measure when it comes to school shootings. What about all of the kids who were shot but not killed? What about the trauma of the kids who witnessed their classmates, teachers, and friends get murdered in front of them? What about the kids who have had to hide in closets, under desks, behind barricade doors, listening to the carnage outside of their classrooms?

RELATED: Those killed aren't the only victims of school shootings. Read this survivor's story.

According to a report in the Washington Post, 228,000 children have experienced gun violence in school since Columbine. And the rest of America's children regularly drill for it—a reality that people in other countries rightfully see as insanity.

Some of that insane reality has been highlighted in a new PSA from Sandy Hook Promise, an organization that focuses on identifying early warning signs of potential school shooters.

In the video, students share how excited they are about some of their back-to-school "essentials," which quickly morphs into how those items might help them survive a school shooting.

Warning: The PSA includes imagery related to school shootings that is disturbing. That's the point, but be warned.

I something wonder if we've become too numb to school shootings, and then something like this comes along and leaves me shaken. Literally, physically shaken. I will never get used to this. This should never feel normal, because it's not. It is not normal for our children to rehearse mass murder in their classrooms. No other developed nation that is not at war subjects its children to active shooter drills. No other nation's children live in fear that someone with a gun might walk into their classroom at any moment and shoot them. That. Is. Not. Normal.

RELATED: A school custodian's description of 'Stop the Bleed' training shows where gun culture has led us

The United States is supposed to be a beacon of light and freedom. We are supposed to exemplify greatness. This is not greatness. This is not freedom. This is insanity. The question is when are we going to grow sick enough of it to demand that lawmakers do what needs to be done.

[Parents: We don't have to sit idly by and wait for the winds of change to blow. To join the fight for our children's freedom, check out ways to act from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.]


Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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