INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Two teens opened fire inside Columbine High School (CHS) 20 years ago, paving an uncomfortable road to the school shootings we see all too often today. The same horror that came over CHS then continues to haunt people in Indianapolis.
Whether it be shootings incidents at Noblesville and Richmond High Schools or on the streets of Indianapolis, youth gun violence remains a fear for children and teens.
Two decades later, students in Colorado are starting a worldwide movement to show the reality of these tragedies. “It will never be the way it was before the shooting happened,” Columbine High student Rachel Hill said. “Through tragedy we’ve become stronger, and we’ve shifted the focus of that day into something positive.”
Hill is one of the founders of the #MyLastShot movement. Their push is similar to having an organ donor symbol on your license or ID card. They are giving out stickers to say if I die from gun violence, I want my body shown in social and mainstream media.” Recently the picture of a sea turtle went around, and people stopped using straws, so we thought we should use this concept to hopefully end gun violence,” Hill said.
“You hear 13 names [of those who died in the Columbine shooting], you hear these names said, see pictures of them when they are alive, but when you contrast those stats and those pictures of them living with pictures of them dead, I think people will wake up.”
“It’s the same issue that we are dealing with today,” said Brandon Warren the founder of We LIVE, an Indy youth organization against gun violence. “It’s pretty demoralizing thinking about that. I’ve been living in a box almost thinking my generation was the first to deal with something, until you learn more on Columbine.”
We LIVE put on a homicide re-enactment on Martin Luther King Day. Warren likened the experience to #MyLastShot, and said youth today need a reality check to what the consequences of gun violence truly looks like. “It’s sad to say people my age consider this to not be something surprising, be like, ‘Wow, that’s another one,’ but back then that’s a surprise,” Warren said.
#MyLastShot is backed by numerous organizations, and has the support of Colorado state representative Tom Sullivan who lost his son in the Aurora Movie Theatre shooting. If you’re interested in getting a sticker, you can get one here on their website. So far, they have distributed 10,000 worldwide.