In the world of organizations that look to stop gun violence, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the tactics they use to ‘convince’ people that guns are bad. The video above, produced and sent out to the masses by States United to Prevent Gun Violence, is the very definition of scare tactics. It plays on the emotions of those who listen to the story, and of course the stories are sad. But is it really the gun that’s doing the killing?
Here’s what they did: they set up a fake gun shop in NYC (of all places) and had a nice sign on the window that said “FIRST TIME GUN BUYER? We are here to help you.” It should have read “We are here to help scare the s**t out of you.”
The first person to walk in says that she’s looking for a self-defense firearm. The shop employee pulls out a revolver and says, “It’s the easiest gun we have to use, it’s our most popular one. It’s a .22 caliber, 6″ revolver. It’s also a gun that a 5-year-old found in his parents bedroom, went down and shot his 9-month-old baby brother with it.”
For other customers, he references the Walmart incident where a 2-year-old got a hold of his mother’s firearm in her purse, and of course the tragic events in Newtown. When these were mentioned, coupled with showing the same firearms that were used in each, everyone got very quiet and agreed that each event was indeed tragic. But to blame the guns themselves? To make people afraid of guns? What happened to teaching safety and responsibility?
The employee fails to mention that thousands of people use guns in self-defense each and every day. But you know, that statistic doesn’t matter.