Gina Warren

Teen Makes Graduation Cap That Directs People To List Of School Shooting Victims

Mass shootings — more specifically, mass shootings on school campuses — are an unfortunate reality in 21st century America.

While the causes, and possible solutions, are endlessly debated, one aspect that's often forgotten is the lives lost in these tragedies. One high school student wanted to recognize the people behind the death tolls.

Guns have long been a thorny issue in the United States.

Unsplash | CMDR Shane

The Second Amendment ensures the rights of U.S. citizens to bear arms. But this provision can wind up with powerful weapons ending up in the wrong hands.

When this happens, tragedy strikes.

Columbine was a turning point.

Wikimedia Commons

There have been hundreds of school shootings since the Columbine shooting in April of 1999.

Eleven of these shootings are classified as "mass" shootings, meaning more than four people, not including the shooter, were killed.

This is Gina Warren.

Twitter | @Gi10eight

Warren, 18, lives in Ashville, Ohio and frequently tweets about gun violence. It's clearly an issue that's affected her. For her upcoming high school graduation, she decided to make a unique statement.

It's all about the graduation cap.

Whether you call them mortarboards or just...caps, these weird square caps provide plenty of real estate up top for grads to put the message of their choice.

Usually, said message is a joke or prank of some kind.

Warren did something different.

Twitter | @Gi10eight

A recent tweet captioned, "I decorated my graduation cap", contained a video showing what she did with her grad cap. It isn't a message in and of itself, but it leads to something powerful.

It's all about the QR code.

Twitter | @Gi10eight

These boxy codes are basically a fancier version of the traditional bar code. You've probably dealt with them before — just scan them with your phone and they'll direct you to a certain website or app.

Here's where the code leads.

Twitter | @Gi10eight

Warren created a QR code that led to a list of school shooting victims since Columbine. She didn't just pull the list from Wikipedia, either — she personally compiled the name of every victim.

It struck a chord.

Twitter | @lottalove

Graduation is a time for reflection. For a graduating senior who's seen numerous school shootings take place in their country since their freshman year, it's a potent reminder that others never got the chance to graduate.

It's a way to remember the victims.

Twitter | @TamaraSzekely

When it comes to school shootings, most people just remember how many people died. But each victim had a family that's been profoundly effected. The media coverage may die down with time, but the pain remains.

No victim was forgotten.

Twitter | @Gi10eight

Doing the research on school shootings as a means to pay tribute to the victims is a grim task, but one that Gina Warren was willing to take on. Victims' families clearly appreciated the gesture.

Here's that code...

Twitter | @Gi10eight

Just in case anybody wants to see the fruits of her labor (or get a preview of what Gina's classmates will see when they scan her cap at graduation), here it is — just scan it with your phone's camera.

It's a powerful tribute.

Gina Warren

Remembering the names of the victims, rather than just the numbers, almost forces an emotional reaction. What do you think? Share your thoughts on this story in the comments!

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