NEWTOWN, Conn. — Who can forget the images of Sandy Hook Elementary school from four years ago? Certainly not the families most affected by the mass shooting.
"Knowing that my son's death was preventable, that's part of what drives me,” Nicole Hockley said.
Now, out of the depths of despair, comes hope.
A gun violence public service announcement was just released by a non-profit in Newtown, Connecticut. It tells a powerful story about the evolution of a teenage school shooter.
"Gun violence is preventable when you know the signs,” Hockley said.
The two and a half minute video begins with two awkward teens flirting with each other by leaving messages on a desk. They're preoccupied with their budding relationship, and so is the viewer. It's easy to miss the student in the background showing anger and isolation. He's researching weapons, making threatening posts. All warning signs.
"Signs are quite often right in front of our eyes," Hockley said.
Basically, the student in the background is hiding in plain sight.
Hockley's 6-year-old son was one of 20 children and six adults who fell victim to a lone gunman at Sandy Hook. Now she's managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, the organization started just days after the tragedy. Members hope, through educational and mental health programs, they can spare other parents the agony of losing a child. Prevent another Sandy Hook and another Columbine.
"Kids need to be trained on what to look for and how to tell a trusted adult."
The chilling PSA already has more than a million views. It was released just in time for the holidays, when violence spikes. Think of it as a present, so there won`t be a repeat of the past.