(CBS) — A powerful public service announcement against gun violence hit the airwaves Wednesday, as members of Congress still discuss a way forward on possible gun legislation. The PSA titled “Back to School Essentials” is from Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun violence group founded by family members of Sandy Hook shooting victims.
Colorado has considerable history with school shootings, most notably incidents at Columbine High School (1999), at Arapahoe High School (2013), and most recently at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch earlier this year.
“Please note that this PSA contains graphic content related to school shootings that may be upsetting to some viewers,” the organization warns.
The ad mimics a typical back to school commercial, but it has a dark twist. The students are talking about how grateful they are for their new back to school items, then use them as survival tools during a school shooting.
One student uses his new skateboard to break a window to escape a classroom and another uses her new knee socks as a tourniquet for an injured classmate.
She says to the camera, “These new socks? They can be a real lifesaver.”
Another girl stands ready to defend herself with a pair of scissors. Shots can be heard in the background as students run by.
Mark Barden’s son Daniel was one of 26 children and educators killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“We hope that people who do watch it are inspired to action. It’s not easy, and it shouldn’t be. We’re talking about a school shooting, you can’t sanitize that,” said Barden.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill face increasing pressure to act after recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. President Trump has dispatched Attorney General William Barr to meet with Republicans on Capitol Hill on possible gun proposals.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump said, “The president’s been working on this every single day for seven or eight weeks now and very glad the Attorney General is engaged. We have to make sure that what we pass doesn’t make people feel better, it makes us all safer.”
A source familiar with the discussions told CBS News the White House considers universal background checks, as well as a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines off the table. Other measures the White House is looking at, according to sources, include actions on mental health, a mandatory death penalty for mass shooters, and the designation of domestic terrorism as a federal crime.