MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A public awareness ad for back-to-school is creating quite the discussion across the country about mass school shootings.
The Sandy Hook Promise organization put out the PSA to raise awareness for signs of violence in children.
One local parent shares his reaction to such a gut-punching ad sending a powerful message.
For the first time, Greg Kohn watched the ad capturing the emotional, heartbreaking consequences gun violence has on our youth, in places they consider to be a safe place. It’s a very difficult, yet harsh, reality many parents are faced with in explaining such devastating topics to their children.
“It’s sad,” Kohn said.
A father of two, Kohn says he can’t help but to think about his children.
“I got one in seventh grade at Dunbar Magnet School, and I got one at Taylor White Elementary,” Kohn said.
He says he tries to teach them what to do in active shooter situations, but it’s all about what they comprehend. It’s a lesson, he says, children should not have to bear.
“It’s not the weapon, it’s the people,” Kohn said. “Me, personally, I know what to do. Do I know what my son, daughter, wife know what to do? I don’t know.”
Watching the PSA brought nothing but tears.
“These kids, they go to school to learn. Why go to school to learn, but yet you’re in fear?” Kohn said.
Firearms are the second leading cause of death among American children and adolescents, after car crashes. Although there’s no definitive answer to curve such horrific actions, Kohn says it’s a deeper issue that can possibly start at home.
“Some of it is, kids that don’t have the parenting that needs the parenting that is causing the problems that we’re having today,” Kohn said.
In a tweet, Sandy Hook Promise calls this ad the must-have #-back-to-school essentials to survive another school year.
The U.S. has had 1,316 school shootings since 1970, and these numbers are increasing. Eighteen percent of school shootings have taken place since 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, according to SandyHook Promise.org.