Since 1963, nearly 193,000 children and teens have been killed with guns on American soil—more than four times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in action in the Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars combined, according to Children’s Defense Fund.
According to the gun control advocacy group Change The Ref, last year alone 3,044 more students did not get the chance to graduate because they were killed by a gun.
I find it hard to write the next sentence after being obliterated by the devasting facts of life as revealed above.
In what kind of a world are children routinely murdered?
Change the Ref Is Changing the Score
Change the Ref was started by Manuel and Patricia Oliver in the memory of their son Joaquin who was a victim of the Parkland High School shooting.
Last night at the Clio Awards ceremony Manuel brought the house to tears with a powerful call to action for advertisers to use their influence to prevent gun violence, stating: “The advertising industry is the most powerful force because you can change the future by telling the truth.”
Duped Into Being Themselves
Last year, Change The Ref worked with Leo Burnett Chicago to invite former NRA president, David Keene, and prominent economist and gun advocate, John Lott, to speak at the graduation of James Madison Academy in Las Vegas, NV.
Ironically, if these men who dedicated their lives to opposing background checks had conducted one here, they would have learned that JMA was a fictional institution created by the team at Leo Burnett.
Lott later said this was his first graduation speech and he planned to speak about life advice, not politics, but the organizers insisted that he address gun rights. After appearing at the “rehearsal”, he received a call that the graduation was canceled, and never heard back from the organizers.
Lott told KSNV in Las Vegas that he didn’t realize the speech was fake until news sites started calling him for comments.
22 Trophies for the Brutal Truth
For their efforts, Leo Burnett Chicago took home four Grand Clios in Print, Direct, Experience/Activation, and Integrated campaign. In total, the work earned 22 trophies this cycle.
Seeing the empty chairs in a field where happy graduates would otherwise be is a such powerful demonstration of the core problem. We can only care so much about the original intent of the Second Amendment when kids are being shot and killed in our schools, in movie theaters, at concerts, and so on.