Fake back-to-school ads show kids in bulletproof vests

Dishing up satire for the fall

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (WESH/CNN/Gray News) – A Florida graphic designer is getting attention for images that look like back-to-school fashion ads.

The twist is they feature smiling kids in bulletproof gear.

Too soon? Not for Richard Johnson.

"These mock-up ads aren't that far-fetched," said Richard Johnson, who hopes they evoke real feelings, and reactions too.

"This is not pro-gun. This is not anti-gun. This is anti-children getting shot at school."

Johnson created the series in his studio, working to make his art look as commercial as possible.

"The lighting is meant to parody that and the whole feel of it," he said.

But the photos are personal, too. Some feature his own kids.

"I have three kids. Two of them are in school. They go through active shooter drills all the time, which is terrifying,” Johnson said. “When I grew up, that didn't happen."

The faux ads don't suggest any specific solutions but are meant to spark conversations.

"If you don't like them, do something about them,” Johnson said. “Make these photos irrelevant."

Copyright 2019 WESH via CNN and Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.