A Bay Area photographer and mother fed up with U.S. gun violence has produced a powerful video using children to carry her message.
The three-and-a-half-minute video — shot in black and white by Dana Spaeth-Williams — features photos of 78 children, each holding a flash card that reveals a letter addressed to parents.
"Dear Mom and Dad," the letter begins. "You slather me with sunscreen, buckle my seatbelt and enforce my curfew. You protect me from pesticides, second-hand smoke and germs. You tell me to look both ways, wear my helmet and eat my vegetables. Yet every day you leave me in danger that no other developed nation would tolerate."
According to the video, children in the United States are 17 times more likely to be killed by a gun than children in the next 25 developed countries combined.
"My country is turning a blind eye on my right to live," the letter continues. "And it's time to do something about it."
The video calls on parents to use their voice, vote and "buying power" to support "businesses with gun sense."
The video, released in July, is getting a second look online in light of last week's shooting in Bell, Fla., where a 51-year-old man gunned down his daughter and six grandchildren before killing himself.
“Once again, a senseless act of gun violence has destroyed a family and children’s lives," Capt. Mark Kelly, co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, said in a statement released in the wake of the killings. "And once again, the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation led to a deadly and sad outcome. While we still have not learned all of the details, we know that under our laws, the individual who committed this monstrous crime should not have had access to a gun."
Kelly and his wife, former Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, have become prominent activists for gun law reform since her recovery from deadly 2011 shootings in Tucson. Giffords was shot in the head by gunman Jared Loughner. Six people were killed and 12 others were wounded in the shootings. Loughner was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
"Gabby and I can only pray for the victims and ask how this might have been prevented," Kelly said. "Like so many other Americans tonight, our hearts are in Bell, Florida.”
Every day in America, 52 children are shot and eight are killed, Spaeth-Williams' video states.
"Guns kill more children under 5 than law officers in the line of duty," the letter continues. "A gun at home does not protect me. A gun at home makes me 3 times as likely to be murdered, 3-5 times as likely to commit suicide and 4 times as likely to cause my own accidental death. How many statistics do you need?"