Press Release

RELEASE: Student Activists Team Up with Giffords and Change the Ref to Bring “Last Lockdown Statue” to 10 Congressional Districts Ahead of 2018 Midterm Election

3D-Printed Statues of Student Hiding Under Desk – “The Last Lockdown” – Serves as a Stark Reminder of the Impact Gun Violence Has on Kids 

September 13, 2018 — As the new school year kicks off and active shooter drills once again become a routine part of students’ lives, on Saturday, September 15youth activists will lead events urging voters to elect leaders committed to protecting kids from gun violence. Teaming up with Giffords, Change the Ref, the National School Walk Out and 50 Miles More, the students activists will bring 3D-printed statues — The Last Lockdown Statue — to ten congressional districts where elected officials have long prioritized the gun lobby’s agenda over taking action to reduce gun violence and protect public safety.

“Too many students have to reckon with the unspeakable trauma of gun violence. They are tired of gunshots, they are tired of funerals, they are tired of loved ones no longer being around,” said former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, founder of the gun safety group, Giffords. “Young people took this frustration and tapped into the proud American tradition of raising our voices. Now they are demanding action. I am proud of them for making it clear to the gun lobby and the NRA that we will no longer tolerate a world where politicians vote against the public safety of the communities they represent. Together we are organizing to bring gun safety champions to Congress this November so we can make real, meaningful changes to save lives.”

Driven by the need to speak up and demand action to address gun violence in the wake of recent mass shootings, Daniel Crumrine and Sean Leonard, two advertising creative directors based in Texas, volunteered to design a life-size statue of a child hiding under a school desk during a lockdown procedure, with the goal of forcing people to face the reality of the toll gun violence exacts in America. In collaboration with Parkland-based artist and activist Manuel Oliver, and Giffords, the gun safety organization launched by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, the Texas ad veterans created The Last Lockdown Statue.

“It’s too late for us to save Joaquin from gun violence, but through art my family and I are making sure that we protect the rest of the kids out there,” said Parkland-based artist and founder of Change The RefManuel Oliver, whose 17-year-old son, Joaquin Oliver, was killed when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Once the statue’s design was finalized, student activists from across the nation volunteered to organize events, creating opportunities for the statue to visit their community and spark a conversation about the reality of gun violence and its impact on the youngest generation. Etched on top of the statue’s desk is a collection of stats about the impact of gun violence on children, including the fact that every day 22 children in America are shot with a gun. The desk also includes a text chain, prompting those who visit the statue to register to vote. Many of the student organizers are pairing their statue events with voter registration drives, driving home the importance of turning outrage into action and electing leaders determined to fight for safer gun laws.

“This country’s gun violence epidemic has awoken young people politically and civically like never before. There are so many kids involved in this movement who are eager to make change,” said Katie EderGiffords Courage Fellow, executive director of 50 Miles More, and a recent high school graduate from Shorewood, WI. “As a generation, we are going to continue to march, to walk out, and to raise our voices until kids are safe in their homes, communities, and schools. The Last Lockdown is a great way to show this country that young people will continue working and fighting until visible change is made.”

Even the method used to create the statue, 3D printing, will remind Americans of the debate we’re having around guns in America. Recently, the Trump administration sparked national outrage around a ruling that would have allowed anyone to 3D print their own guns, including people unable to pass a background check, like terrorists, convicted felons, and domestic abusers.

The statues will be displayed in the following congressional districts:

  • Parkland, Florida (FL-22) — Organizers will unveil the statue and host a voter registration drive for students aged 16–18. The organizers are inviting local elected leaders and Diane Wolk-Rogers, a Stoneman Douglas teacher, to speak during the press conference portion of the drive.

  • Las Vegas, Nevada (NV-03) — Karl Catarata, a March for Our Lives Las Vegas leader, Organizing for America community organizer, and UNLV student, will organize a voter registration drive and press conference in conjunction with the statue unveiling at the Center for Social Justice on the UNLV campus. In Southern Nevada, the gun safety movement is fighting to keep Nevada’s 3rd and 4th Congressional districts in the hands of gun violence prevention champions. Susie Lee is running to fill the seat vacated by  Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, who is running for the US Senate, and Steve Horsford is running to return to Congress in the seat currently held by retiring Representative Ruben Kihuen. Lee, Rosen, and Horsford all support important efforts like passing laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and closing loopholes in our background check system.

  • Denver, Colorado (CO-6) —Youth organizer Krista Choate will host a voter registration drive during the unveiling of the Last Lackdown statue. Krista’s representative, Congressman Mike Coffman, has positioned himself against any form of gun violence prevention. Rep. Coffman has the enthusiastic backing of the NRA for his support of concealed carry reciprocity and the loosening of restrictions on interstate gun sales. Congressman Coffman is running for re-election against gun safety champion Jason Crow.

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota (MN-03) — Student activist and Giffords Courage Fellow Sydney Lewis has been an outspoken advocate for gun violence prevention in the state of Minnesota through the Eden Prairie chapter of Students Demand Action. To accompany The Last Lockdown Statue, Sydney will be organizing a voter registration drive. The event will feature a rally portion with local gun safety champion candidates and student activists. Congressman Erik Paulsen, who represents Minneapolis, has received $20,000 from the NRA and has been a barrier to congressional efforts to take action to save lives. Dean Phillips has been running a strong campaign in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. When he gets elected to Congress, Dean Phillips will be a gun safety champion who fights to enact universal background checks, put an end to the gun show loophole, and keep people on the no-fly list from buying guns.
  • Irvine, California (CA-45) — Local youth organizer Skye Wagoner is organizing a voter registration drive and statue unveiling in Irvine, CA. The first portion of the event will take place in CA-48, in front of Dana Rohrabacher’s office in Huntington Beach where 22 desks, including the statue, will be on display to symbolize the 22 children shot in America each day. The event will then move to the office of Congresswoman Mimi Walters for a voter registration drive and art installation. Lastly, the event will move to the office of CA-42 Representative Ken Calvert, a congressman who has longed accepted NRA contributions.

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin (WI-01) — Giffords Courage Fellow and 50 Miles More Executive Director Katie Eder and 50 Miles More Outreach Director Tatiana Washington, will host a Last Lockdown statue unveiling and voter registration drive in Milwaukee to remind the community that voting in the midterms can save lives.

  • Houston, Texas (TX-07) — Giffords Courage Fellow Megan McGuire and local youth organizer, Marcel McClinton from Orange Generation will unveil The Last Lockdown statue in front of Houston City Hall. In addition to hosting a voter registration drive, Megan and Marcel will be joined by additional speakers for a press conference, where they’ll call on voters to elect new leaders dedicated to keeping kids safe from gun violence. The Texas seventh district is currently represented by Rep. John Culberson, a champion of NRA-backed policies.

  • Sarasota, Florida (FL-16) — Local Sarasota youth organizer Hailey Landry will unveil The Last Lockdown statue and host a voter registration drive and press conference about gun violence in her community. Student speakers, teachers, and local leaders have been invited to speak. Congressman Vern Buchanan has proven himself an ineffective leader in Congress since being elected. Buchanan has repeatedly taken NRA money and has done the gun lobby’s bidding. This year candidate David Shapiro, a local businessman, has pledged to be a gun safety champion.

  • Spokane, Washington (WA-05) — Youth organizer Brooke Bennett will host The Last Lockdown statue unveiling to bring attention to the gun violence epidemic in our country. Spokane students and teachers are invited to discuss the impact of gun violence in Spokane and organizers will register voters. Spokane is represented by Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of Republican leadership and a barrier to effective gun safety legislation. Vying to replace McMorris Rodgers is Lisa Brown, former Chancellor of Washington State Spokane and a supporter of banning bump stucks, closing background check loopholes, and addressing gun violence as a public health crisis.

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA-05 + PA-06) — Youth organizers Sophia Qureshi and Julia Spoor will organize a voter registration drive at Philadelphia Museum of Art that features The Last Lockdown statue. Katie Kendrick, a junior at the George school and gun violence survivor, and Saira Salyani, chair of High School Democrats of Pennsylvania, will speak.

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