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Motivated by the continuous gun violence in Baltimore, local Illume Communications CEO James Evans coined a “Stop Shooting, Start Living” slogan created for Baltimore’s Safe Streets program that further inspired his company’s new anti-violence video campaign he hopes paints a picture that resonates with the city and we’ve partnered to help spread the word.

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His message: Your life matters, start living.

“We’re incentivizing kids not to become criminals in the first place. You could go from being a hardworking citizen, lose your temper, do the wrong thing and become a criminal in five seconds. When you’re 18, you’re living in an underserved community, you’re frightened all the time. People don’t understand how quickly these kids need to react,” he says. “That is what we’re trying to do: empathize with these young guys, and say, ‘We understand that your situation is challenging; don’t make it more so.’”

Evans did his research on policy, then gathered former drug dealers, mothers of shooting victims and people who lived in neighborhoods prone to violence to survey best methods and found that straight forward advertising would be most effective, according to Illume.

Baltimore Sun reports,

With a dearth of research on preventing gun violence and a homicide rate spiking towards record levels in a number of big cities, [Evans] believes in desperate — or at least novel — measures. The “scared straight” messages of past public service campaigns, he said, are ineffective when young men don’t care whether they live or die.

The video up top, one of many he plans to produce as he aims to reach the “unreachable,” shows a real life scenario of an innocent child being killed – a split-second mistake in pride that could’ve been avoided by the decision to walk away.

There’s so much more to life…

Watch the compelling video up top and share this story to help encourage more people to walk away and start living.

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