Hidden Signs

One aspect of unnecessary gun violence can be seen in school shootings. Sine Columbine shook high school children and families across the United States, the prevalence of school shootings has only increased. Many feel that the increasing occurrence of these tragedies serve as a stark sign for the necessity to allocate more resources to mental health and mental illness. The following advertisement created by the Sandy Hook Project (stemming from the 2012 elementary school massacre) depicts how easy it is for signs of potential aggressors to go unnoticed in today’s society.

The video takes a sinister turn towards the end where the audience is caught off guard by the entrance of a shooter at the high school. Cycling back through the chain of events leading up to the shooting, it is evident that multiple clear signs of aggression and potential danger were present in the shooter, but that the audience was too distracted by the budding love between the high school boy and girl to recognize the signs. This advertisement begs the question: What are the signs of mental illness and potential aggression, and are they recognizable in a way that could ultimately lead to prevention?



  1. This was a powerful video, and I think it did a good job of raising awareness for the problem. Although I think signs of mental illness and aggression are important, I think preventative measures can be taken without noticing the signals or matching them with a specific person. There are many types of mental illness and it is entirely possible for them to have know outward, visible symptoms. Because of this, I think creating a safe environment where students (or anyone) can feel safe about voicing their issues or concerns is a good first step to preventing rash action. Beyond this, gun control laws and parental education can really help prevent tragedies like these. Parents should know their students better than teachers, and be able to recognize signs of distress before anyone else. Educating parents on how to recognize these signs, and then address them, or even just to foster better relationships with there children is a good start to improving this issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your feedback! I agree- there are definitely more broad preventative measures that can be applied without noticing specific signs or profiling certain people as potential murderers. I think your point about creating safe environments for students or anyone to feel safe is very insightful- they say that 4/5 times another person has knowledge of a mass murder event before it happens and either doesn’t take it seriously or doesn’t know what to do with this knowledge. Having such places would create designated places for people with this knowledge to voice their concerns and get help. I also agree that parents need to pay more focused attention to their children, and become more attentive to looking for potential signs of mental illness, as well as better at creating open conversation relationships with their children. Thank you for visiting my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

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