May 27, 2022

The Parents Step In

Government isn’t doing much to prevent school shootings. So parents are jumping in: parents whose kids have died in mass shootings, in the wake of each shooting. They take practical, effective action — and they get results.

Lonnie and Sandy Phillips

Brennan Linsley / AP 

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.



There's a whole infrastructure that springs into action when a mass shooting occurs. There's the police and SWAT teams, the Red Cross, the Billy Graham prayer truck, therapy dogs. And then there’s a couple – Sandy and Lonnie Phillips – whose daughter died in a mass shooting. What they do seems to really help. (2 minutes)

Act One

Keep Breathing

Sandy and Lonnie’s daughter, Jessi, died back in 2012, when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Since then, they’ve organized their whole lives to be able to reach out to other parents like themselves. Producer Miki Meek traveled with them to Sante Fe, Texas, right after a school shooting. (23 minutes)