Change the Ref’s unsettling postcards highlight the need for gun reform

The non-profit’s new campaign, Shamecards, plays on the notoriety of US towns and cities that have been the home of mass shootings to create a series of souvenir-inspired postcards

Change the Ref is well known for adopting creativity in its fight to accelerate the change in gun laws in the US. The organisation was featured in CR’s 2018 Annual awards for its Posts Into Letters campaign, which allowed people to turn their social media posts about stricter gun controls into handwritten letters to send to Congress.

The non-profit’s latest campaign, Shamecards, pays tribute to the towns and cities that are now best remembered as the locations of some of the deadliest mass shootings in history.

Playing on the nostalgic aesthetic of traditional holiday postcards, each design depicts the horrifying scenes of mass shootings and what they leave in their wake: murdered school children, workers, concert-goers, religious worshippers and families and friends.

The digital postcards have been illustrated by 30 artists from 25 countries across the world. Each one tells the story of a mass shooting through an artist’s eyes, capturing visceral scenes on the front and featuring a description of each shooting on the back.

The team behind Change the Ref are asking members of the public to visit the Shamecards website and send a postcard to lawmakers to ask for action on gun reform. Their goal is to flood the inboxes and mailboxes of Congress, and ultimately compel lawmakers to enact change for the towns and cities that they represent.

In addition to the website and virtual postcards, a Shamecard mural will be on display in Parkland, Florida, with pop-up postcard stands appearing in Los Angeles, Houston, New York and Seattle.

“America is known for mass shootings that happen over and over and over again. It’s time to turn this shameful reputation to a message of bravery, vindication and common sense,” said Change the Ref co-founder, Manny Oliver.

“Shamecards were created to embolden lawmakers who wouldn’t budge on gun control to stand up to the NRA and to challenge the representatives and senators who promised us they were on our side, to keep their promise.”

Find out more about the campaign at


Milton Keynes