“Nestled in the heart of Silver Lake on Hyperion Avenue is the shuttered MJ’s gay bar that sits next to a busy Trader Joe’s,” laist.com reports. “And over the weekend, local folks got punked into thinking that a new owner would be taking over the spot, namely the Silver Lake Gun Shop. Is this another Nathan Fielder prank?” Perhaps so. Only this one’s way better than the Dumb Starbucks deal . . .
A huge banner hung over the gray facade of the building, with clip-art quality pictures of the American flag, fireworks and guns, accompanying the text: “Coming Soon, Silver Lake Gun Shop, (844) 340-GUNS, www.silverlakegunshop.com.” If you went to the website, you’d get a barrage of 90s-style gifs of fluttering American flags and soaring eagles—like something you might find on an Angelfire or Geocities webpage.
Needless to say, there’s not going to be a gun store – a gun store! – in the ‘hood famous for its gay leather subculture (and the final resting place for Tom Mix’s Wonder Horse). More’s the pity (about the gun store, not the horse). If anyone needs a friendly neighborhood gun store, it’s the LGBT community. Or anyone who remembers Joe Gatto’s home invasion murder.
Anyway, I like it! The banner gets everyone thinking about guns and gun stores without a single person strolling into a store carrying an “assault rifle.” It’s not gun normalization per se, but it’s an awareness-raising device nonpareil. It would be even better if the web address linked to a family friendly pro-gun website like . . . I can’t think of any at the moment, but I wonder . . . time for a little guerrilla marketing?