The signs were there, but we missed them.
The latest video called Know The Signs released by Sandy Hook Promise this morning, is part of their new campaign to help people recognize the warning signs that indicate possible gun violence. Sandy Hook Promise is a national gun violence prevention organization led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a talented staff of seasoned professionals. Their mission is to honor those killed and “Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.”
In the video, a teenage boy is featured, bored with school, anxiously awaiting summer break, and pondering a romance with an unknown ‘pen pal.’
Watch below and see if you see the signs.
Did you see the teenager in the background exhibiting many of the warning signs of violent behavior, or were you focussed on the story playing out right before your eyes?
It was easy to miss, and that’s the point of the video – just how easy it is to miss the warning signs if you don’t know what they are.
Nicole Hockley, the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise sat down on Good Morning America today to share a shortened version of the video. Her son Dylan, was only six years old, and in first grade when he was killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School during the December 14, 2012 shooting.
She tells people to look for flags, or signs of possible issues such as “extreme changes including excessive anger or aggression, anti-social behavior, excessive isolation, or overt threats of violence.”
The student exhibiting signs in the video can be seen in the library studying a gun magazine, being bullied in the hallway, and researching shootings online and how to use the weapons. Of course, not every person who reads a gun magazine is a threat, but if that’s one of a number of signs, it should be taken seriously.
When asked what parents should do, Hockley says, “Parents should take it seriously, and get help immediately. Don’t ignore these signs and signals. Get your child help. Talk to the school. Talk to local law enforcement. Talk to a mental health professional, but don’t just think it’s going to go away. If you’re concerned about a behavior you’re seeing. Get help.”
It gets a more difficult if you see these types of behaviors in someone else’s child, but Hockley stresses that it is critical to speak up.
For more information about the Know The Signs prevention program, visit: http://www.sandyhookpromise.org/prevention_programs
“I want parents to know that gun violence and violence is preventable when you know the signs,” Hockley said this morning during her interview, “My son’s death was preventable. Other deaths are preventable as well.”