VIRAL VIDEO: Chilling “Sandy Hook Promise” PSA Alerts Students To Early Warning Signs Of Mass Shooters

Over 2.6 million views in the first 48 hours. reports:

The onset of this PSA from Sandy Hook Promise, an organization created in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, begins innocently enough. The video follows a boy, Evan (the same name as the video), exchanging messages on a desk in the school library with an unknown classmate.

The flirtatious messages are sent back and forth until the end of the school year, leaving a dissuaded Evan without a chance to learn the identity of his secret crush. However, in a last-ditch effort to learn who the person is, he exchanges yearbook signatures with classmates — one of which recognizes his handwriting from the desk.

While the two begin talking, however, an ominous figure emerges from the entrance of the building, taking out an assault rifle and cocks the gun as the screen fades to black. “While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting,” the corresponding text reads. “But no one noticed.”

Watch the clip until the end. The PSA has gotten wide praise on many sites, but of course they’ve had to disable comments on YouTube. AdWeek talks to the agency behind the video:

“Through ‘Evan,’ we sought to show how different your perspective can be when you’re aware of the signs,” says Greg Hahn, chief creative officer of BBDO New York. “We’ve been fortunate to work with the inspiring people at Sandy Hook Promise to help parents, students and teachers better identify these signs.”

“When you don’t know what to look for, or can’t recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant. That can lead to tragic consequences,” says Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, who lost her first-grade son Dylan in the Sandy Hook massacre.

“It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence—these acts are preventable when you know the signs. Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives.”

Sandy Hook Promise says 80 percent of school shooters and 70 percent of individuals who completed suicides told someone of their plans before taking action—but all too often, no one intervenes.

(Tipped by JMG reader Daddy Ray)

  • Lumpy Gaga

    What to look for:

    * White
    * Aggrieved right winger
    * Gun Lover

    Yeah, I think that covers it.


    • MonochromeMouse

      easiest warning sign: owns any kind of automatic or semi-automatic gun,

      There’s no reason to own one unless you are planning to shoot a lot of people in a short amount of time.

      • Ray Butlers

        Correct. That and whiteness and maleness.

        • Paladin SF

          According to mass shooting tracker its most likely to be black.

      • David Walker

        “Owns or has access to,” I think.

        • MonochromeMouse

          That too, no one who isn’t in the military and currently deployed in a dangerous area should ever be anywhere near a automatic or semi-automatic weapon that isn’t hanging in a museum after being made unusable.

          • Paladin SF

            So like police officers?

          • Jamie_Johnson

            Police officers need to be able to mow down

            dozens of people per second? What could possibly go wrong.

          • Paladin SF

            Dozens of people per second.

            Do you even know the difference between firearms or are you just some smug liberal to comments for social brownie points?

  • Lumpy Gaga

    “Remember, kids. Unpopular students are probably killers!”

    • Ray Butlers

      honey, you need to get out of the house

      • Lumpy Gaga


  • TK

    Oh course comments had to be disabled for the video…because people are savages.

    • Todd20036

      I’m glad they disabled comments.
      The tea baggers hate… well, everything.

    • Rich Morris

      yup….so theyou can censor the truth that sandy hook Is a hoax

  • Oikos
    • David Walker

      Also you can be more sure that the big guns won’t shoot blanks, unless you want them to.

  • Oikos
    • ColdCountry

      That is SO WRONG.

      • Todd20036

        Improves the scene, IMHO

        • Lumpy Gaga

          The hills WERE alive…

      • Oikos

        Just a commentary on the normalization of guns and gun violence.

        • David Walker

          So easy to use, even a novice nun can handle them.

          • Oikos

            The way the NRA wants it. Child friendly as well.

    • elvigy

      I hate myself for laughing at that.

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      • Man_in_the_mists

        At least you’re not a spammer like your other reply.

    • Snarky

      High on a hill is a lonely go…

      Well there WAS a lonely goatherd.

  • Todd

    Thanks NRA & GOP !!!

  • Lakeview Bob

    I am not sure why but I found this kind of upsetting. It was such a sweet scenario that ends abruptly with the shooter. It was very effective.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Actually shoulda used kids the real age of the Sandy Hook victims.

      Actually shoulda used a shooter who didn’t even go to the school.
      Like Sandy Hook.

      • Lakeview Bob

        The same thing went through my mind.

      • Snarky

        Sadly there are lots of examples of kids who did shoot up their own school. Not least of which were Columbine, Virginia Tech, Santana, Red Lake, etc. etc. etc. The point is, we should be looking for signs of people heading down this path. It’s not meant to be a documentary about Sandy Hook.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Look for signs… and do what? Take away the kid’s guns?

  • Lumpy Gaga

    “Remember, when you’re part of a random massive slaughter… it was your fault.”

    • bkmn

      …for not buying more guns, says the NRA.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Those libtard 6-year-olds at Sandy Hook shoulda been armed.

  • Oikos
    • Lumpy Gaga

      Mr. Woodcock!

      • Todd20036

        Cock! Bab… cock!!

    • Sam_Handwich

      from that look on his face, i think he has a few splinters

    • ColdCountry

      That is a very disturbing pic. His expression (among other things) creeps me right out.

      • Todd20036

        Very accurate, too

        • ColdCountry

          An accurate warning, perhaps. Who is that?

    • Robincho

      Both things were in his pocket, yet for some reason he doesn’t appear glad to see you…

      • Oikos

        I’m good with that: angry and compensating is not my type.

    • MonochromeMouse

      That wooden dildo explains why he’s so angry. He can’t fuck himself with his penis substitute without getting splinters.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Total Student Awareness.

  • bkmn

    It wouldn’t hurt to have more parental responsibility for what the kids do with the guns mom and dad purchased.

    • Oikos

      Why do you hate murica?

    • another_steve

      Or for society to not assist in the desensitization of young people to violence.

      The gun and violence-filled video games out there are a scourge upon society. So too the shoot-em-up movies that, sadly, Hollywood finds so profitable.

      • greenmanTN

        Someone here told an anecdote about being in a movie theater watching a very violent movie (Deadpool?) and there was a woman there with several children. She made them cover their eyes during the sex scenes, but not for the many scenes of violence.

        That’s just how America rolls, I guess- sex is dirty but guns and violence are cool.

      • David Walker

        For many, many years we were warned about TV cop shows and westerns would desensitize young people to violence. Westerns died out, but shoot-’em-up cops shows still get good ratings. We were told that watching violent movies would desensitize young people to violence. We wound up with a rating system that tends to give violent movies a PG-13 and movies with sexual content an R. We were told violent video games would desensitize young people toward violence, especially when the highest body count won. We wound up parents playing along or waiting until the parents are not around, “experts” telling us video games had no effect, adult aficionados reassuring us that games were rated. They fail to mention how easy it is to get the games, particularly from older friends or from merchants who never bother to ask for ID.

        For way too long I was told by well-meaning people and by flame-throwers on Facebook and other sites I was over-reacting or over-thinking it, and that violence in movies and games did not have an adverse effect on young people. I was compared to old church ladies. Old? Yes. Church lady? I think not. I can’t see how violence put in front of kids, violence with the explosions and gunfire and gore and great sound effects are not countered, violence in which the winner has the highest body count won’t effect kids. But what the fuck do I know?

        • Dicky

          I actually would be fine with more exposure to violence in the same way as you find it on some foreign newscasts: actually seeing the complete aftermaths of violent events rather than the sterile recounting and sterilized processed scenes. I do not think that would go for Americans though, with “respect for the surviving” as the secondary reason and the remarkably effective “respect for the dead” as the primary.
          As much as America has a relationship with death by violence, it is sorely disconnected between means and consequences.

          • David Walker

            We have become very adept at not accepting that actions have consequences, that real actions produce real consequences. Perhaps a bit of Drumpf might convince some.

        • another_steve

          Obviously we can and should totally discount every word that any “expert” who’s at all associated with the video game or movie industry — associated in any way, subtle or overt — has to say re the “no effect on actual behavior” issue.

          Intuitively, thinking adults know that constant exposure to violence deadens the soul to it. I’ve experienced it myself. After the report of the 100th terrorist bombing that killed 50 party-goers at a wedding somewhere in Iraq, the next day’s bombing becomes just another ho-hum event.

          This is common sense stuff. Constant exposure to violence deadens the soul.

          Makes it usual, routine and expected.

        • greenmanTN

          I like horror movies, mainly older ones but new things too. One thing I cannot stand is movies like Hostel, which I believe are legitimately called “torture porn.” Ideally, IMO, what works best is to create characters you care about and like then put them in a dangerous situation, which creates suspense. But some films are more about lovingly depicted cruelty, with special effects that are all too realistic.

          It’s not like I’m a total wuss about it since I like the films of Dario Argento, an Italian director whose films can be very graphic and bloody, but the difference is the violence is highly stylized and not lingered on for its own sake. I mean there are scenes in his film “Suspiria,” a film I like a lot, that are impressively shocking and gruesome but I never felt like I was having my nose rubbed it, that it was lingered on, plus the cinematography was quite beautiful.

          • David Walker

            Jack was the horror/terror/slasher viewer in the family. I never really got the point, probably from a production viewpoint. For the last however many decades, I haven’t been able to watch a movie without thinking about the people standing behind the camera, the poor boom stick holder, where the lights are, and so on. Same for pre-computer generated effects. Jack claimed that “Psycho” was the first slasher movie. We both held that in highest regard. Before DVDs, it was one of those movies that we’d watch, make a note it would be on tonight, take the phone off the hook…it is one of the truly great, mesmerizing movies.

            When I was in my late single digits and early double digits in age, a bunch of us would convince the mom of one of us to take us to the Grand Theater to see the latest atomic critter movie, or what that tall stalk of asparagus that fell from the sky was up to, what monster we would encounter, and enjoy the prevues (it’s what they were called Back Then) to see what terrors lay in our future. One of the scariest moments I remember is when the giant octopus, through Ray Harryhausen’s flawless stop-action animation. And, of course, Vincent Price. When movies found there was appeal in heads being chopped off and blood spurting everywhere, I bowed out. We both shared an appreciation for Godzilla, however.

          • greenmanTN

            I threw a fucking fit when my parents wouldn’t let me go see the movie Halloween, such a seriously epic fucking fit they broke and took me and a friend to a neighboring city (it had already closed in our town) bought tickets for that movie, my friend and I bought tickets to a PG movie, then went to opposite theaters.

            I almost wish there had been footage of me in that theater because I started talking back to the screen, “He’s not dead, stab him again!” “Don’t you put down that knife! Take it with you, you idiot!”

            But if there had been a video I’d probably be hiding somewhere under a different name because is that bad. But it was a lot of fun really.

            That night my brother, who had already seen it, showed up in my bedroom with a sheet over him but with glasses on, like the killer in the movie did in one scene.

            “I know it’s you, but if get any closer I will fucking kill you!”


            We weren’t the Waltons.

          • David Walker

            That is hilarious. Thank you.

          • greenmanTN

            I threw a fit a couple years earlier because they wouldn’t let me go see the movie Carrie. I didn’t win that one. So I bought the book, then later told everyone in my class, with great authority, that the girl who was rushed to the hospital with abdominal pains had just gotten her first period and the first one is alway the worst.

            It was appendicitis, but it was a good story while it lasted.

  • SoCalGal20

    OT but this should make some RWNJ heads explode.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Wants to know whether to size her shoe line a half step up or down.

    • we’re still here

      Paris Hilton will also be holding a meeting to see what can be done about ISIS.

    • Bj Lincoln

      Doesn’t Al think it’s BS too?
      Why don’t people believe in science?

    • Texndoc

      I read on Chris Hayes Twitter feed that it’s come out when Ivanka sat in on her father’s meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister her company had negotiations going with Japan’s biggest retailer for her goods. She probably got what she wanted. I don’t like this shady woman.

    • Todd20036

      Actually, it makes my head explode a little too.

      What the fuck is daddy’s little sex toy doing pretending to be a fucking politician?

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Has there been a single boundary they haven’t crossed ?

  • Bj Lincoln

    This is better than most and a good try to get attention. Most of the shooters are white christian males who may or may not be unpopular. While this may work to get our high school aged kids to pay attention, it is not going to work for middle school or grade school kids. It’s a damn shame we have to teach our kids how to be safe from a gun freak at school but then I was on the floor under my desk ready to kiss my ass because of possible nukes from Cuba.
    Parents MUST play a bigger part in their kids lives AFTER grade school! Most figure their kids don’t need them as much when they are older and that is the WORST thing they can do. Middle school is hell for everyone with hormones raging that doesn’t stop for years. Frankly, the nerds find an outlet and often band together but the not so bright kid no one pays attention to become loners. If they are pumped full of ‘good christian values’, they are full of hate for many of their classmates to start with. Girls don’t pay attention so there is more anger. Parents HAVE to spend time no matter how much the kid hates it. They will thank you later. Kudos to the parents of the 15 year old last week for seeing the signs and stopping a mass killing.

  • greenmanTN

    Despite that fact that he clearly showed MANY signs of being mentally disturbed/ill, Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy (who according to some reports was a’prepper’) bought many firearms and took him to the shooting often.

    She was the first person he killed.!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/large-lanza-guns-29-school.jpg

    • Todd20036

      Which is why when you see something like this, it’s not just the actual shooter who is at fault.

      It’s the shooter’s parents.

      • Ray Taylor

        He was developmentally disabled which complicates everything.

        • Bj Lincoln

          That explains a lot of what I see in this crappy photo of him. If mom couldn’t put down the crack pipe or he ate lead paint chips can do it.

    • Bj Lincoln

      He looks like he was suffering from malnutrition which does cause depression, reasoning and learning difficulties, and stunted growth. Not that this is an excuse in any way.

      • greenmanTN

        In every photo of him he always has those strange wide-open eyes. As I recall (not bothering to look it up) he was severely socially awkward, and was perhaps somewhere on the autism spectrum, though I don’t mean to imply that people with autism are dangerous. I just think he had a fucked up mom who contributed to his problems, not least giving him access to many guns.

        • Bj Lincoln

          There is something wrong including a mother who didn’t do her job.

    • SandyH

      Adam Lanza was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Autism is a neurological disorder (not a mental illness) and one of the common features is social awkwardness and inability to read/interpret social cues. While it is true that persons with autism (like persons without) can have a mental illness, I have yet to read (a) that he was diagnosed with any mental illness or (b) exhibited behaviors other than those commonly associated with autism.

      The vast majority of murders/gun violence are committed by persons with no mental illness.

      • greenmanTN

        I do not disagree with you in the least, though I am less informed than you about autism. I would argue however that anyone who kills his mother then goes into an elementary school and shoots 20 children and 7 teachers obviously has a few mental problems. While I don’t blame autism in any way for the Sandy Hook shooting, I think it’s possible that his social awkwardness and subsequent rejection and bullying by his peers due to it may have been one source of the rage that led to the shooting.

        I was extremely socially awkward as a child through my mid 20s and still have those moments now. There is an old joke about two Englishmen who were stranded together on an island for 20 years but never spoke because they hadn’t been introduced. That was me.

        I know online tests aren’t really a great diagnostic tool, but I took one LONG questionaire from a university website and my response was “What do you MEAN I don’t have Aspergers?!” (I believe that term/diagnosis has been removed from the DSM now.) I guess that just means I’m a bit oddly socialized, sometimes inappropriate, and more than occasionally a dipshit.

  • Natty Enquirer


    P.S. Always be afraid and keep looking over your shoulder. Report anyone who doesn’t act like everyone else.

  • Paladin SF

    Look at all these possible mass shooters. View a club photo, get labeled a mass shooter.
    Same with a shotgun or skeet magazine.

    If I saw a student reading the Koran, according to this videos logic they could be a terrorist.

  • Xiao Ai

    Because everyone knows that it has nothing to do with the easy accessibility to guns, and it is the children’s fault for being unprepared.

  • Brian in Valdosta

    Wow. That is a powerful message.