Gun control advocacy group States United to Prevent Gun Violence recently staged a gun shop on the Lower East Side for a PSA. With its twee signage and slanted font at 149 Orchard Street, the shop presented itself like any other LES boutique, but inside, it was full of rifles and revolvers. Potential gun buyers came in interested in acquiring some “protection,” but then they got a history lesson: these guns were used in tragic accidents and mass shootings.
The ad is an emotionally effective message that the guns we think are making us safer are not. While none of the curious shoppers seen in the video seem to be serious Second Amendment advocates, watching them squirm and then second guess their interest gets the message across: owning a firearm doesn’t make you safer. In fact, it increases your risk of injury and death.