Sandy Hook victim's father doesn't care for new PSA

September 19, 2019 07:00 PM

The beginning of the public service announcement portrays the optimism of a new year. It looks like a commercial for a retailer selling school supplies.

Smiling kids show off new back-to-school merchandise.

However, we quickly learn that the kids are in the middle of an active shooter situation, and they're using their new gear to stay alive or slow down the shooter


The minute-long PSA ends with a girl crying and texting her mother that she loves her, just before we hear footsteps of the shooter.

It was produced by Sandy Hook Promise, a group started by parents of children killed in the December 2012 massacre.

However, Neil Heslin, who lost his son, 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, in the shooting, says Sandy Hook Promise doesn't represent his feelings and he doesn't care for the commercial.

"I think it's in poor judgment. I don't think it's in good taste," Heslin said via FaceTime Thursday afternoon.


Heslin has owned property in Saratoga and Warren counties for 40 years, and says Jesse used to come here with him.

He fears that the PSA will encourage copycats, and calls it hard to watch.

"It's difficult to see the video. It opens the wounds up for what I went through and many other people I'm sure it does too," he said.

"I just don't see how this public service announcement is really beneficial to preventing gun violence or the school shootings and at the end of the day I think all it is, is encouraging individuals to carry out a threat."


Mark Mulholland

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