In New PSA Weber Shandwick and Sandy Hook Promise Warn that Threats Aren’t ‘Just Jokes’

11 October 2023


As the U.S. surpasses more than 240 school shootings in 2023, setting the stage for a record-breaking year of gun violence in schools, the urgency to protect children in the U.S. is stronger than ever. To drive awareness around the warning signs of gun violence, and to underscore the importance of taking threats of violence seriously, Weber Shandwick and Sandy Hook Promise, the national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, released a new public service announcement titled “Just Joking.”

About 80% of school shooters tell someone before they carry out an act of violence, but people often don’t take them seriously – they think they’re “just joking.” Featuring celebrity comedians Billy Eichner, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho, Jay Pharoah, Roy Wood Jr., Caitlin Reilly, David Cross, Iliza Shlesinger and Rachel Bloom, the PSA focuses on recognizing and reporting threats and the critical warning signs of gun violence. The chilling PSA shows comedians delivering real threats made by previous school shooters to wake viewers up to an important realization – we must take threats of violence seriously.

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