One of the most horrible things that anyone can do is capitalize on tragedies and the suffering of others. New-York based fashion brand Bstroy provoked waves of outrage after it showed that profit and attention are far more important for it than common decency.

The brand Bstroy recently introduced its 2020 spring clothing collection at a fashion show. Among the clothes presented there were hoodies featuring the names of schools of infamous shootings, as well as bullet holes. This move, which has been described as ‘tasteless’ and ‘disgusting,’ created a backlash among internet users, as well as school shooting survivors.

Scroll down for Bored Panda’s powerful in-depth interview with 19-year-old Angelina Lazo, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, about her thoughts on the fashion brand’s controversial hoodies. Angelina also shared what happened to her and her friends during the shooting that took place in 2018.

A clothing brand presented school shooting hoodies at a fashion show and caused massive outrage

Image credits: Bstroy.us

Image credits: Bstroy.us

The hoodies had the names ‘Sandy Hook,’ ‘Columbine,’ ‘Virginia Tech,’ and ‘Marjory Stoneman Douglas,’ sewed on their fronts. 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook, 13 people at Columbine High School, 32 at Virginia Tech, and 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Most internet users thought that what the fashion brand did was ‘unethical’ and ‘wrong,’ however, some individuals rushed to the brand’s defense by stating that it _meant_ to create outrage and generate publicity for the gun problem in the United States.

Bstroy co-founder and designer Brick Owens posted a statement about the clothing line on Instagram: “Sometimes life can be painfully ironic. Like the irony of dying violently in a place you considered to be a safe, controlled environment, like school. We are reminded all the time of life’s fragility, shortness, and unpredictability yet we are also reminded of its infinite potential.”

The brand was criticized for being insensitive about the subject of school shootings

Image credits: Bstroy.us

Image credits: brickowens

Mass shootings happen regularly in the United States, and so far little has been done to curb them. According to CNN, the deadliest shooting happened In Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, when a shooter killed 58 people after firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The second deadliest incident happened in Orlando on June 12, 2016, when an attacker killed 49 people at a gay nightclub. While the third deadliest US shooting happened on April 16, 2007, when a student killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. ABC News writes that there have been 19 mass shooting in the US since the start of 2019.

Image credits: brickowens

Angelina, a school shooting survivor, shared her anger at what the fashion brand did

Bored Panda spoke to Angelina from Parkland, Florida, who survived a shooting, to hear her thoughts about the clothing brand’s insensitive hoodies. “My first thoughts when I saw these hoodies was: “This must be a sick joke.” I first saw a little article on Facebook with a hoodie that said Columbine on it and my heart sank.”

“I searched this brand on Instagram, and sure enough I saw my school’s name. It’s extremely insensitive. I was sad but just enraged at the fact that they are possibly making a profit from these. From a tragedy that thousands of us now have lifelong trauma, whether it’s a mass shooting or everyday gun violence that happens in communities we don’t hear about. It made me so sad that whatever this ‘brand’ is could have the nerve to do something like this without thinking about the victims and survivors. My friend did die in a hoodie and it hurts my heart.”

Angelina stated that what the fashion brand did “eraged” her entire community in South Florida to the point that the comment she posted was in the news. 

“I think that they should take them down,” she said about the hoodie photos. “If they already made profit, send the money back to the communities who were affected. Donate the money to the families of the victims. They need to directly apologize to the communities.”

“There are so many ways to portray the point they’re trying to make, and they portrayed it in the most insensitive way possible. It’s disgusting and no one should defend their lack of judgment. I’ve had friends who reported their posts because it’s not something we as survivors, need to be seeing. It’s hard enough to see school shooting memes all over the internet, but for some ‘brand’ to directly put the names of the schools on hoodies with what is supposed to be bullet holes, is beyond disgusting and needs to be reported and taken down on the internet.’

She also expressed her opinion about gun violence in the US

Furthermore, Angelina shared her opinion about what could be done to stop gun violence in the United States. “The first step to stopping these mass shootings is banning assault weapons for citizens to use. The gun used in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting was an AR-15. These guns are made to kill.”

“Our law enforcement and military are trained, keyword trained, to use these killing machines. Some say it’s for hunting. If used in hunting, it ruins the meat and hide of the animal, making it worthless. Some say it’s for protection. From what exactly? What possibly can an average citizen come across in their everyday life that you need a semi-automatic assault rifle? In 1994, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was put into place. In the ten years that the ban was active, 12 incidents took place with 89 deaths. From 2004 to 2014, ten years after the ban expired, deaths rose up to 302. We need background checks and longer waiting periods.”

“There’s no reason you need a gun right then and there when you buy it as if you were buying groceries. All states need the red flag law, which is a gun control law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves,” Angelina expressed her feelings. “In what I experienced, the shooter was reported to the school and law enforcement many times. Yet no one did anything.”

“If we had the red flag law, the shooter’s guns would have been taken away from many reports of them being a threat way before the shooting ever occurred. This also helps everyday gun violence. So many people own guns who shouldn’t. Who are either a threat to people around them or to themselves. I’m not the type of person to say, take away all guns. No. We have a 2nd amendment for a reason. I just think you everyday citizen doesn’t need a military-grade weapon that was designed to kill in the fastest way possible.”

Angelina revealed what happened on the day of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

Angelina also told Bored Panda about a shooting that took place in her school on February 14, 2018: “I did not want to go to school. It was Valentine’s Day and I knew I wouldn’t be getting anything from anyone. I woke up late and went into school late during my lunchtime. After that, I went to my AP government class where we were preparing for our test about Interest Groups. Specifically, also learning about the NRA.”

“I was told that the school had a fire drill early that morning. I asked my teacher to use the bathroom but it was getting close to the end of the school day and they normally don’t allow it 10 minutes before the bell rings. Now that I look back, I would have crossed paths with the shooter as they were running. The fire alarm went off and I grabbed my bags, then we all evacuated as we normally do for a fire drill. I was on the other side of campus, so we didn’t know or hear what was going on. As we evacuated, I saw kids running towards us and teachers telling us to run.”

“I didn’t know what was going on until my mom called me crying saying that there’s an active shooter. I was taken by surprise because I thought, how does my mom who’s in the car line know that and not me? After we got off the phone, I looked around and saw other kids on their phones with loved ones telling them the same thing. I felt the crowd tense up and get frantic all at once.”

“We heard helicopters and saw SWAT everywhere. We were running towards the Walmart down the street and we had to hold onto a chain-link fence, going one by one, so we wouldn’t fall into the canal next to us,” Angelina continued the harrowing story. “I got a call from my dad who saw on the news who the shooter was so I can tell my friends since the shooter wasn’t caught yet and could possibly be running with us in the crowd and may or may not still be armed. Law enforcement was told the shooter was in the area and didn’t want any movement, so my friends and I, along with hundreds of others had to sit on the grass in front of the Walmart where the street was.”

“Almost two hours later, the shooter was caught and we were able to go home after giving our information to law enforcement. I was in shock and didn’t know that this could be real. It wasn’t until I got home and turned on the news that I started feeling emotions other than being in shock. My brother came home from middle school and was looking for me to make sure I was there. I’ll never forget the look of relief on his face when he saw me at home.”

“That night, my friend was still missing, it wasn’t until the next morning that he was confirmed one of the victims. I remember dropping the remote and just crying. I remember the day back to school after the shooting about two weeks later and seeing his empty desk. I remember the feeling of adrenaline and shock when we evacuated and not knowing what’s going on. I remember the hurt in my chest when I went to my friend’s funeral. I remember the numbness I felt when I saw all 17 victims faces on the news. The anger I felt towards people who thought it was a conspiracy or fake. No one understands until a loved one dies in a horrific way. Gun violence happens every day and it needs to come to an end.”

What do you think about what the brand did? What do you think of the gun problem in the US? Let us know in the comments below.

School shooting survivors and family members who lost loved ones were livid