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'My Last Will' by teens tackles gun violence 'epidemic'

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'My Last Will' by teens tackles gun violence 'epidemic' by Tree Elven on 19/08/2021
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What appears to be a selection of teenagers and young people setting up a regular selfie video message turns out to be their last will and testament recording. The hard-hitting 2'30" campaign highlights the horror of such young people stating their legacy wishes at an age when we'd expect to see them talking about their dreams and plans for the future instead. Behind the drive to urge US senators to bring in stricter gun regulation is youth empowerment organisation Change The Ref, which was set up by Manuel and Patricia Oliver after their teenage son Joaquin was killed along with 16 others in the 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida. More than 38,000 people in the USA are estimated to have been killed by firearms in 2019, some 14,400 of those as a result of homicide. "Our only hope is to make a final call based on the young people’s right to a safe future," says Manuel Oliver. He also expresses dismay at having to become "more radical and graphic with our disruptive message" in the ongoing drive for action on legislation. His wife Patricia says: "I wish to see that significant changes are made to make our nation one where no one has to live in fear, thinking that they can lose their loved ones through this epidemic.” The testimonies - some provided by survivors of gun incidents - are housed on mylastwill.us and are being forwarded to the appropriate, different members of Congress to heighten the impact. What do you think of the campaign? We definitely need to see more of this kind of awareness-building for an epidemic that kills about 100 people a day in the USA? Praiseworthy, but going against interests that are too powerful and ingrained? High time we took action on this, and seeing such young people making their last will has to spur us all into action?

Keywords: Change the Ref My Last Will, gun violence in USA, gun deaths USA, gun regulation activism US, gun licensing, shooting victims, guns, US youth, school shootings, AREA 23

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