Columbine students want photos of their bodies shown if they die from gun violence
LITTLETON, Colo. - On April 20, 1999, two Columbine High School students gunned down 12 classmates and a teacher in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado.
Two decades later, a group of Columbine students have launched a campaign urging people to allow photos of their bodies to be publicized if they are killed as a result of gun violence.
The student-led project, called #MyLastShot, was launched on the 20th anniversary year of the Columbine shooting and encourages citizens to put a small sticker on their ID or cellphone and sign it.
The sticker reads: "In the event that I die from gun violence, please publicize the photo of my death."
"We hope this campaign will start a conversation around the realities of what gun violence truly looks like," Columbine student Kaylee Tyner said.
The campaign was inspired by the painful imagery of Emmett Till and his mother's decision to show the world what happened to her son by having an open casket at his funeral.
Till was beaten, shot and mutilated in 1955 while visiting family in Mississippi, four days after it was alleged that the 14-year-old African American boy from Chicago had flirted with a white woman.
The graphic images of his mutilated body showed the extent of racial hatred in the Deep South, and the case helped spark the county's civil rights movement.
"Our country has a history of photography affecting real change," Tyner said.
Tyner hopes the #MyLastShot images never have to be publicized, but instead can bring more attention to the country's gun violence epidemic and start a conversation about what gun violence truly looks like.
The campaign has picked up notable supporters, including Parkland high school shooting survivor David Hogg. The gun control activist posted a picture on Twitter last month showing the #MyLastShot sticker on the back of his ID.
Organizers of the student-led project say it is different from other gun violence prevention campaigns because #MyLastShot "will not focus on legislation and voting," but rather an opportunity to start conversations in America around the horrific realities of gun violence and change the perception of it.
"If I'm going to die in that way, I want to at least attempt to have my body used in a way that could benefit the country," Tyner told FOX 31 Denver.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.