The student survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting were organizing a March For Our Lives in Washington DC on March 24, 2018. I woke up that day knowing there was going to be a companion march in Saint Paul, MN, and I wanted to be there to support Minnesota's students. Our students wanted to march with their peers, friends and families, and requested supporters to gather in front of the state capital to meet them. My plan was to be amongst the supporters with a bold poster. As I was pondering what to create, I thought about:
- How impassioned, truthful and inspiring the student survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting were
- The many ways adults failed to protect these students
- Enduring active shooter drills as a normal part of school education
- Their call to pass strong common sense gun control laws
- The grief and loss each of them are feeling
- How Valentines Day will never be the same for them
- All the other victims of gun violence in schools, theaters, malls, workplaces, homes, and on streets—everyday throughout the U.S.
- How military weaponry ought to be used only by the military
- Law enforcement officers so afraid during public encounters they have their guns at the ready, and too often shoot to kill people seemingly as if it were a reflex
- The amount of tears and blood spilled because of gun violence
- All the broken families, bodies and hearts torn apart because of gun violence
The image of a heart torn apart (with the negative space being the shape of an assault rifle) came to me in a flash as I was getting dressed that morning. I went to my desk and made this poster. Like past protest posters, I wanted mine to be raw and bold to show the anger and sadness I felt.