We're on a Mission
We hear the term ‘active shooters’ too often in schools and public venues. The Fear-Less campaign addresses the intersection of mass murders and firearms through a series of webinars with industry experts.
EIC provides resources focusing on proper weapons terminology, media engagement, and how the entertainment industry can help reduce the appeal of certain weapons through prop substitution and creative storytelling.
June 21, 2023 - Watch Now
Hollywood, Military Professionals, and Medical Community Unites to Discuss Mental Health, Suicide Risk, and Firearms.
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.
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.
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.’
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.”
July 26, 2023 - Watch Now
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.
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.
Time: 13:00 - Words Always Matter
“What is the right language when referring to various firearms and weapons?”
Time: 20:00 - Bullets Kill People
“What are we seeing in our nation’s emergency rooms regarding gunshot wounds and fatalities based on the type of firearms?”
Time: 28:00 - Essential Media Literacy Skills
“What is the current state of how shows and movies influence kids?”
Time: 35:00 - Gun Violence in Our Community & Schools
“How can the entertainment industry portray healthy environments with protective factors - create that imagery instead of violent reactions.”
Time: 43:00 - Entertainment x Mental Health x Firearms
“A movie theater is one of the few places where our political guard is down.”
Time: 48:00 - Swapping Props
“Can swapping props be a small change that can go a long way without jeopardizing storytelling integrity?”
Time: 52:00 - Let’s Tell These Stories
“How can we tell the stories of those directly impacted by gun violence and the lasting impact beyond how communities come together?”
November 8, 2023 - Watch Now
The Intersection of Journalism & the Gun Violence Crisis
Tony Montalto, Founder of Stand With Parkland
a national organization representing American families. Stand with Parkland is committed to advocating for practical public safety reforms focused on the safety of our children and staff at school, improved mental health support, and responsible firearms ownership. He is a captain with a major U.S. airline where he has flown for over 30 years. He has also held numerous committee positions in the Air Line Pilots Association helping other pilots.
Ben Kessling: Covers the Midwest in The Wall Street Journal's Chicago bureau
where he also writes about national security and veterans’ issues. A graduate of Wabash College, Ben also has a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and the Middlebury Language School for Arabic. He is also a two-day Jeopardy! champion. Ben has won journalism awards from the New York Press Club and the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Trish Glowacki, Executive Director and Founder of the Glowmedia Project
a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that produces unique, free of charge, educational films addressing mental wellness and behavioral health issues facing teens today. The short films, and corresponding educational guides for Students, Parents/Guardians, and Educators provide a fresh approach to mental health education.
19:35 - The "Dos and Don'ts" when reporting on firearms
21:35 - Focus on the tragedy of who was taken from us, not the perpetrator
24:20 - Bullets don't discriminate
25:50 - Looking for solutions to solve problems instead of only discussing the obstacles
29:00 - "Active Shooter Drill Day" at schools across the country
31:20 - As filmmakers and journalists, we have a huge responsibility to get it right
33:00 - Engage with people who have had an authentic experience and actually listen to them without assuming you know what they've been through
46:25 - Film and television can empower kids to trust their gut and speak up, even when it feels like tattling.
48:10 - Provide the correct language for kids to speak up, express their concerns, and ask for help through film and television portrayals.
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.
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.
Suicide and Homicide Firearm Deaths by type of Firearm, National Violent Death Reporting System States 2020, NVDRS: National Violent Death Reporting System [Internet]. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2002 [cited 2023 Sept 11].
Detroit Children’s Choir: A Media Campaign to Address Gun Violence in Schools with the Power of Music
Dateline: West Orange, NJ. We are launching 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. Since 2020, gun violence has surpassed all other causes of child mortality, including cancer, auto accidents and poisoning. “The airwaves and internet are filled with adult voices weighing in on all sides of this issue,” Michael confirmed, “But our project is different in two important ways. First, are capturing the diverse voices of America’s young people via selfies that they themselves will directly upload to us. And second, we have taken their concerns and literally set them to music in collaboration with America’s Got Talent finalists the Detroit Youth Choir.”
Stand with Parkland: Resource K-12 School Safety & Security Resource Guide, Stand with Parkland is committed to advocating for practical public safety reforms focused on the safety of our children and staff at school, improved mental health support, and responsible firearms ownership. Teachers, administrators, law enforcement, lawmakers, and concerned citizens all have a role to play to make sure solutions are implemented in our schools.
The Glowmedia Project: Today’s teens live in a fast-paced environment with new and different pressures. While parents may not want to think about preparing teens for mental wellness, it needs to be part of every child’s education. Since 2016, the glowmedia project has offered free films and resources to help young people develop the emotional agility necessary to thrive.
New Rules: Hollywood’s Culture of Violence | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO): Hollywood is the wokest place on earth in every other area of social responsibility, but when it comes to the unbridled romanticization of gun violence – crickets.
The Center for Safe and Resilient Schools and Workplaces: Launched by leading experts in the field of trauma-informed schools, The Center has pioneered national practices for threat assessment, crisis response, and trauma-responsive strategies. The Center provides multi-tier prevention, response, and recovery trainings and consultations, with a proven track record of strengthening and restoring communities. Our work involves close collaborations with schools to develop and deliver customizable interventions. Through these partnerships, we continually adapt and expand our offerings to meet current needs.
PTA - Calling for Action on Gun Violence Prevention: PTA has been the conscience of this country on issues affecting children and youth for over 125 years, and we're never going to stop advocating for every child with one united voice. Our association has challenged Congress over and over again to address this issue. We urge you to join us in demanding change—and to take care of yourself and your family, too.
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.