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We're on a Mission

Our mission is rooted in the human concept that hurt people, hurt people. 

 

Common ground between shooters and victims can be found in trauma. The portrayal of that trauma and the result can be a powerful storytelling component of entertainment. 

 

This gives content creators the power to potentially produce a “FEAR-LESS” society, where communities can fear less that they’ll become victims of someone else’s trauma.

Join Us: 

Talking about the intersection of mental health, suicide risk, and firearms can be difficult. While these three distinct concepts carry much weight and meaning for different audiences, it’s worth the much-needed conversation.

Watch the webinar on demand.

 

Panelists

Nathan Monell,  National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Executive Director

As the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Executive Director overseeing America’s oldest and largest volunteer child advocacy association, Mr. Monell advances family engagement and public policy addressing the educational success and well-being of our nation’s children. This work is a continuation of his lifelong commitment to elevate the voice of consumers as partners in the design, delivery and evaluation of services.

Dr. Stephen Hargarten, Emergency Physician at the Medical College of Wisconsin

American emergency physician, gun violence researcher, and professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Hargarten is the founding president of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research. He also serves on the Violence and Injury Prevention Mentoring Committee of the World Health Organization.

Todd Adkins, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance

Mr. Adkins has held multiple positions with the National Rifle Association of America, including as a lobbyist, Director of Research, and as Managing Director of state and local affairs, supervising all of NRA’s political efforts in the states nationwide. He is an expert on firearm law and regulation, having worked on thousands of policies and statutes over 20+ years in the firearm advocacy community. While at NRA, Todd worked with Department of Defense personnel and numerous organizations to develop suicide reduction efforts at the local and national levels, including developing state suicide reduction policies that recognize Second Amendment rights. Todd holds a Master’s degree and PhD in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the University of Iowa. His research, publication record, and focus while in graduate school were on the media’s influence on politics, including individual opinions and behaviors.

Pamela Vona, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Center for Safe & Resilient Schools and Workplaces

Ms. Vona is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Center for Safe & Resilient Schools and Workplaces, Ms. Vona’s work focuses on how web-based platforms can support training in and the implementation of evidence-based practices in schools. Ms. Vona is currently the program manager the Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools. She also serves as a liaison to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) School Committee, founded by pre-eminent experts in school crisis and disaster recovery.

June 21, 2023 @ 1-2pm EST

Hollywood, Military Professionals, and Medical Community Unites to Discuss Mental Health, Suicide Risk, and Firearms.

Watch the webinar on demand.

Panelists

Michael Finan

Producer, Bonafina Films. Michael Finan is a three-time Emmy award-winning director/producer of corporate videos, television commercials, public service announcements, and documentaries. He has thirty years of producing and directing experience, managing projects that include product and drug launches, sales and marketing, interactive/web-based, personnel training, community affairs, and public relations programming. Michael’s inspiration, combined with his deep passion for children’s issues and child advocacy, has driven many creative media projects. Partnering with an award-winning team, including Sandy Hook Promise, and. David Cushing a PBS producer, Michael is pleased to announce the launch of an innovative new video and web-based project that will address the concerns of students around the issues of gun violence in their schools and communities.

Todd Adkins

Vice President of Government Affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance, a national organization founded in the 1970s to protect hunting, fishing, and trapping for future generations. Previously, Todd held multiple positions with the National Rifle Association of America, including as a lobbyist, Director of Research, and as Managing Director of state and local affairs, supervising all of NRA’s political efforts in the states nationwide. He is an expert on firearm law and regulation, having worked on thousands of policies and statutes over 20+ years in the firearm advocacy community. While at NRA, Todd worked with Department of Defense personnel and numerous organizations to develop suicide reduction efforts at the local and national levels, including developing state suicide reduction policies that recognize Second Amendment rights. Todd holds a Master’s degree and PhD in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the University of Iowa. His research, publication record, and focus while in graduate school were on the media’s influence on politics, including individual opinions and behaviors.

Tim Kennedy

active Special Forces master sergeant and sniper with combat deployments throughout the middle east as part of the most elite counter-terrorism and hostage rescue unit within the U.S. Army Green Berets. He is a former professional mixed martial arts fighter and two-time title challenger, Having fought for the largest organization in the world, including the UFC, Strikeforce, and the WEC. He has been featured on the HISTORY Channel’s show, ‘Hunting Hitler’, as well as the Discovery Channel’s series, ‘Hard To Kill.’

Here are a few highlights from our conversation about the intersection of firearms, mental health, and the entertainment industry and their collective impact on our culture: 

 

Time: 13:25 - Correct Terminology

“Where does the term assault-style weapon come from and what does it really mean?” 

 

Time: 20:12 - Evolution of Hollywood and Storytelling

“Building characters through people, not props.” 

 

Time: 25:12 - The Keyword is Responsibility 

“What actionable steps can the entertainment industry take to help portray safe firearm usage?”

 

Time: 31:03 - Intersection of Mass Shootings and Mental Health

“Grievance and vengeance are money-making machines - these narratives are extremely powerful and influential in how we portray dealing with our enemies.” 

 

Time: 38:55 - Avoiding the Perfect Storm

“There are more clever, creative ways to tell stories than defaulting to violence.” 

 

Time: 43:00 - Using Real Tools in Character Development 

“Have you seen The Quiet Man?! - a way to show mental health and conflict without firearms.”

Who do we work with? 

We identify the media as a partner and, therefore, engage with content creators regarding the use of assault firearms on screen and the consideration of replacing or removing them as a prop.

  • Writers

  • Directors

  • Producers

  • Production Designers

  • Prop Masters

  • Weapons/Firearms Specialists

 

Why the entertainment industry? 

  • Entertainment is the most pervasive mass media genre.  Whether it is a nation’s airwaves, or its popular magazines and newspapers, entertainment is everywhere.  

  • Entertainment tells us how to dress, speak, think, and behave (Browne, 1983; Piotrow, 1990).  

  • Thus we are “educated “ by the entertainment media, even though such education may be unintended by the source and unnoticed by the audience.  

  • The entertainment media have a high potential to educate the public about various social problems.

Be the Change

We encourage the entertainment community to consider production prop choices in light of the continuous mass shootings and deaths at schools and community gathering places. Please replace assault-style firearms in your productions with other props that don't compromise the integrity of your story. This may not be the complete answer to the more significant questions causing the killings, yet it could reduce the use of firearms designed for war that are used to kill innocent victims.

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