Columbine Students Campaign To Use Photos Of People Killed

AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

When we talk about gun control, we often argue that anti-gun activists operate on pure emotion. They can’t argue with facts because far too often for their liking the facts work against them.

So, they use emotion. They want an emotional response because it’s their best hope for ginning up popular support for gun control.

Now, a campaign is underway designed to help elicit such an emotional response.

There’s been a national push in recent years to erase the names of gunmen who commit mass shootings from the public sphere. But now a group of Columbine High School students are leading an effort to spread photos of their horrific acts to influence the conversation around gun control.

The #MyLastShot campaign, launched this week, asks school students to sign a pledge asking that if they are ever killed in a mass shooting, the graphic photo of their death be shared across social media.

“We hope to spark conversation around the truly horrific realities around gun violence,” said Kaylee Tyner, a 17-year-old senior at Columbine. “This project is a pretty controversial one, but that’s because it truly makes people uncomfortable with the realities of gun violence. And that’s our goal. Gun violence in this country has been very normalized and people have become very comfortable with it.”

Here’s how it works: Students can log onto the campaign’s website and either order or print out a small sticker that says “In the event that I die from gun violence please publicize the photo of my death.” The idea is that the request would be tacked onto an ID or some other personal item after the student has a conversation with his or her parents, or someone else close to them, about their intentions.

“We hope that it never gets to that point,” said Tyner, who has been active in other Colorado gun-control efforts. “We don’t want the images to ever have to be used.”

That’s all fine and well, but we all know what this is about.

Gun fatalities are rarely pretty. They don’t look like the bodies we see on television. They’re messy and horrific.

The goal here is to share these images widely in hopes that it’ll trigger an emotional reaction. They want that emotional reaction because they know that’s the best hope gun control has.

Understand, this coming from students at Columbine isn’t going to be lost on the anti-gun media. They’ll likely play up the fact that this is a school that supposedly understands mass shootings at a deeper level than most of us will.

Nevermind the fact that these students weren’t even alive when that shooting took place. Nevermind that the odds of another mass shooting at the school being so astronomical that I have a better chance of winning the lottery and an Academy Award on the same day. Nevermind any of that.

All of this is banking on emotion. Anti-gunners don’t want to discuss facts. They don’t want logic or reason. What they want are knee-jerk reactions.

Don’t give them the satisfaction.

May 27, 2022 1:15 PM ET