School shooting-themed hoodies anger many online

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Emblazoned on the front of the hoodies are the names of places that have seen mass shootings - including Stoneman Douglas, Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook, according to South Florida Sun Sentinel.

In addition to the teen with the backpack, the PSA features cheery music and students showing off their new binders and headphones. The students start running for their lives or take cover to escape the mass shooter.

"These new sneakers are just what I need for the new year", he says to camera, as gun shots are heard and people start panicking behind him.

Other students extol the virtues of jackets (to help secure doors), skateboards (to break windows), socks (to use as a tourniquet) and scissors and colored pencils (to fight off attackers).

The most graphic shot of the minute-long video shows two students sitting behind a wall, one of whom is clutching at a bloody leg. A girl hides in a bathroom, clutching her sparkling pink phone.

Back-to-school can be an equally joyous or nervy time for kids.

Unsurprisingly with a topic as divisive as gun safety is in the United States, the response to the ad has been mixed across the millions of people who have watched it on Twitter, Instagram and/or YouTube.

"Survive the school year with these must-have back to school essentials", Sandy Hook Promise writes in a release promoting the PSA.

She commented: 'This is my professional illustrating 14 year old niece who was murdered in Parkland. "There is nothing normal about kids being shot, being hunted in their school".

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"We are making violent statements", Du told the Times.

"I hope that parents across the country will join me to make the promise to stop this epidemic", said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, in a press release.

Balloons hang on a sign at the entrance to Sandy Hook School on December 15, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.

"We don't want people to turn away from it, so pretending it doesn't exist is not going to solve it", Hockley said, explaining the group's motivation for choosing an ad that she says is hard to watch.

She adds that a universal background check bill that passed the House but is stalled in the Senate isn't controversial legislation.

As the debate surrounding gun reform legislation continues to whirl around Congress, activist groups are taking matters into their own hands, lobbying the American people directly.

"As a Sandy Hook family, what you are doing here is absolutely disgusting, hurtful, wrong and disrespectful".

As with its previous PSAs, including the award-winning "Evan" that was viewed over 100 million times and the Emmy-nominated "Point of View", SHP reinforces that there are proven preventative solutions, including its Know the Signs programs. "I know we can stem this tide".

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