As desperation over America's gun-violence crisis continues to escalate in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, some have attempted to resort to shock value to inspire change by showing graphic autopsy photos of mass-shooting victims.
One family member of a victim of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre is speaking out on the issue, begging people to stop asking for such disturbing and private content.
Erin Lafferty is the daughter of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, site of the deadliest school shooting in American history.
In the wake of Uvalde, Lafferty says she has been bombarded with media requests for autopsy photos of her mother by gun-control activists—and she's had enough.
She took to Twitter recently with a pointed message for those showing what she considers a shocking lack of respect for victims' families' grief and privacy.
See her tweet below.
"STOP ASKING ME FOR AUTOPSY PHOTOS."
"The audacity of those who are asking and demanding Sandy Hook crime scene photos to be released is unfathomable."
"I envy those who don’t and can’t understand the weight of this ask."
Lafferty went on to rail against the media, legislators and activists demanding families of the dead do more than they have.
"It is not my job to step up and do more..."
"...It is the job of our elected leaders to protect us and time and time again, they fail us."
"'Release the photos'..."
"...To what end?"
"Because our decimated loved ones will persuade lawmakers who have shown no willingness to be persuaded?"
Lafferty added she believes releasing such photos will have no impact other than traumatizing families of the dead and the public because, she says, "gun lobby-backed lawmakers have seen plenty of grief and horror and have not been moved."
Speaking to HuffPost, Lafferty said her Twitter thread was a desperate attempt to get people, especially the media, to respect the grief and anger of shooting victims' families.
She told HuffPost:
"I needed an outlet for my anger. And I needed journalists specifically to pay attention to what the hell I had to say."
"...[W]e have trusted you and given you our tears and our stories, and our family members and their stories."
"And now, [reporters] have the audacity to ask for more from us, not from people who actually make a difference, but from people who are still grieving something that happened 10 years ago."
On Twitter, many shared Lafferty's outrage.
Lafferty has been a tireless activist for gun safety since her mother's murder, working as a program manager for the gun violence prevention nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, founded in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
She credits survivors from other mass shootings for getting her through the first two years following Sandy Hook, and says her focus now is doing the same for those in Uvalde.
"Now it’s Sandy Hook’s turn, it is my turn to fight for these families. So that they don’t have to."
Twenty children and six adults were murdered at Sandy Hook, the deadliest school shooting in American history.