Editor: Makini Chisolm-Straker
At first it may be shocking to see the online campaign launched by current Columbine high school students. In this campaign, the students would publicly show to the world their dead bodies, if they are killed by gun violence. Of course, when reading through their motivations and reasons, shocking is exactly the goal.
On their website www.mylastshot.org, they share what has inspired them to want to publicize potentially gruesome photos. They want to create change by showing the reality of death from gun violence. Their website cites famous images throughout history, like Emmett Till’s open casket. Such photos helped change public perception by showing the unadulterated horrors of hate crimes. The idea is simple: show the visual reality of gun violence deaths, and move public discourse beyond the statistics. Instead of partisan arguing, these photos would show the pain suffered, how victims lives are lost. Don’t flinch from the truth, they are saying.
We at AFFIRM are of the same mindset. We believe that we all need to honestly face the daily tragedies of gun violence across the country, in order to create solutions. We also believe that it is critical to view the gun violence epidemic through medical, surgical, and psychological frameworks.
We cannot learn more about the epidemic without well-funded research. With apt funding, scientific researchers will find evidence-based solutions, treatments, and preventative measures to decrease the number of deaths related to gun violence, and reduce the burden of living as a gunshot survivor.
For many, the #MyLastShot campaign may be shocking; at AFFIRM, we get it. We are in support of knowledge and facts, in all forms. Let’s stand together – #StandAFFIRM.