Activist organization March for Our Lives released a PSA campaign last week to address the epidemic of school shootings in the U.S.
Little did the organization and its agency, McCann New York, know that the next week, the country would be grappling with yet another tragic mass school shooting.
On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 21 people, including 19 children. It was the 27th school shooting this year.
The video, directed by J.J. Augustavo of Missing Pieces and developed by McCann, serves as a stark and newly relevant reminder of the thousands of innocent lives lost to mass shootings in America’s primary schools. It also aims to call out politicians who have failed to pass any legislation around gun control, despite these continued atrocities in schools.
The film opens on scenes of protest after the deadly 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkville, Florida, which sparked the largest youth-led protests since the Vietnam War.
The video is interspersed with clips of interviews with frustrated students who are tired of lawmakers who won’t make a change.
“We keep seeing so many young people asking, begging, politicians to just give a f**ck – to just care, to just talk about it a little bit,” one girl says.
The film then zooms out to body bags lining the National Mall in Washington D.C., representing 150 lives lost to gun violence in schools. The bags are lined up to spell out the common phrase used by politicians after mass shootings: “Thoughts and prayers.”
“How many thoughts and prayers are you going to give us until we start acknowledging the fact that thoughts and prayers in this country have become deadly?” a boy asks.
The campaign ends with a plea for viewers to sign a petition demanding Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer bring a law requiring universal background checks for gun owners to the Senate floor for a vote.
The organization’s website reads: “It's time for politicians to stop talking and start acting.”
This story first appeared on campaignlive.com.