The photo USAToday chose to accompany RF's editorial (courtesy usatoday.com)

The following editorial by TTAG’s publisher appears in today’s USA TODAY, as a response to the McPaper’s Op-Ed, Gun safety ads could save lives.

USA TODAY approves of the president’s plan to create and distribute TV, radio and print ads promoting gun safety. The editorial board believes these ads would save lives by reminding gun owners to store and handle firearms responsibly. What could possibly go wrong? . . .

Millions of gun owners believe the administration will use the public safety announcements (PSAs) as a launching pad for a campaign to make gun ownership socially unacceptable. Now where would they get that idea?

In January 1995, then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder called for an “informational campaign” to “change the way people think about guns … in the way we changed the way people think about cigarettes.” Holder, who is now attorney general, asserted that the government needs to “brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Aside from justifiable fears of an anti-gun bias, the ad campaign raises an important question: What business does the federal government have telling Americans what to eat, when to drink, or how to store and handle their guns? What experience does the Obama administration have with civilian firearms — other than running guns to Mexican murderers?

Relying on the same people who brought us Operation Fast and Furious to keep politics out of gun safety ads is like asking Lindsay Lohan to teach Driver’s Ed.

For example, a government PSA might depict a negligent discharge by a child (as per the recent tragedy in Kentucky) and then remind owners to “lock up their guns.” That ad would create a false and dangerous sense of security. Just as children figure out how to raid a locked liquor cabinet, they can defeat a gun safe.

Real gun safety is a matter of ongoing, age-appropriate firearms education. Not only is the federal government incapable of providing this kind of comprehensive instruction, it’s none of their business. Children’s gun safety is a parent’s responsibility. Period.

If the Obama administration wants to decrease the number of accidental firearms deaths among small children, they could arrange for the gun safety experts at the NRA to offer their time-tested Eddie the Eagle gun safety program to all of the nation’s public schools.

They won’t. They’d rather control the message on guns than save young lives, once again proving that the Obama administration places politics above practical solutions.

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41 Responses to RF’s USA TODAY Op-Ed: Gun safety is not government job

  1. I would mind PSAs that reinforce the 4 rules of firearm safety. Anything more than that is not safety but opinion.

    • Absolutely. All the gun safety the world has ever needed could be easily supplied by Jeff Cooper, and the simple and effective messages he pushed for half a century.
      I can’t think of a anything more effective. Every time we chronicle a IGOTD around here, is there anybody here that doesn’t mentally tick off which laws they broke?

  2. The NRA needs to put adds on every major network about gun safety etc. Honestly one of the most effective adds for gun ownership I have ever seen is this stupid Taurus Judge commercial with the woman and the exploding water melons.

    In that situation would you rather have the judge or a rape whistle and a cell phone?

    • Or sit around practicing peeing on ones self/vomiting on ones self…
      Not sure how one would have a menstrual cycle moment on demand.
      Or…I got it! A rape free zone!
      Yeah, that’s the ticket!

      • This is the technology age; Go to social media large and small, go to the MINOR networks, go to cable, Radio, Bill Boards, hit everything you can.

        The deck is stacked against us but you can’t just pretent this media war against gun ownership is not going on, you need to reach out towards the general public.

        I would be exploiting that poll that HALF of all non-gun owners would want a gun in the case of another Boston Bombing/Manhunt.

    • You are assuming that the media will accept ads from the NRA. They will not. Every single story, of which there were damned few, about the Houston convention was derogatory.

  3. I would be willing to let them make ads if they got NRA and GOA approval before releasing them to the public. Or if they’re squeamish about those two groups, how about a committee of respected firearms instructors and commentators to review the ads and get approval before releasing them. This way we make sure both the public and the politicians are educated on what is and what isn’t appropriate communications about gun safety.

      • RF is right about this one. You only have to look back to Joe Biden’s Task Farce to see why. Sure, they “consulted” with the NRA, but ignored their contribution and came to the same conclusions we all knew they would.

    • Good idea.

      Except they tried that already…. Uncle Joe was tasked with creating a team of gun experts to develop the post-Sandyhook plan. The team was (not surprisingly) short on experts who knew anything about guns.

  4. The government needs to run ads promoting public safety and violence control. Therefore they should focus on ads that encourage more people to buy guns and get professional training.

  5. If the AG cultists demand that we be safer if we *gasp!* want to own those evil guns, then why do they piss and moan about the fact that we, as adult gun owners and not necessarily as NRA members, want to teach our kids to be safe with guns from an early age?

    My children know more about gun safety than they do, I guarantee it.

    It boggles my mind to see their blatant hypocrisy.

  6. HEY~
    Be sure to go to the USA today page and vote your agreement to the article in the poll next to it!

    • Just took a look at the opinion poll on both Op-Eds.
      50% strongly Agree with the Pro Gun Safety Ad piece.
      80% Strongly Agree with Farago’s piece.

  7. it is are responsibility to teach are children

    starts at a young age even if it volunteering

    • “Are” is a verb; “our” a possessive noun. “OUR children”, not “are children.

      As for, “starts at a young age even if it volunteering,” I don’t know what that means, honestly. I’m not even sure what language it is.

  8. I am surprised USA Today accepted and actually printed your Op-Ed. Congratulations!

    Any PSA Ads on “Gun Safety” the current Federal Government allows to be broadcast would be suspect in my book unless the NRA and GOA (at least) endorsed them one-by-one. Otherwise, they will just be Propaganda pieces aimed at subtly placing anti Gun Rights messages in the minds of The People to set the stage for Civilian Disarmament and declaring the NRA, GOA et al as “terrorist groups” to be outlawed.

  9. My objection is a legal one — this type of PSA propaganda exceeds the authority of the Federal government under the Constitution. The exploitation of the Commerce Clause at the expense of state and local police powers is number one the reason why we have a Federal octopus strangling America and everything else within its reach.

    • Purchasing ad space is nothing unconstitutional, and I imagine they can find a way to fund it.

      However, the potential content of he ds worries me.

      • Purchasing ad space is nothing unconstitutional

        I disagree. The Feds have enumerated powers. When they spend my money on anything that exceeds its powers, it is violating the Constitution.

        • +1000

          Just think if this weird idea got around… you know, the Federal Government only performing and/or spending money on activities that fall within its very limited enumerated powers. We might even have a constitutional republic! And of course, we wouldn’t need a website like TTAG (except for maybe that link to the Texas Bikini Team).

  10. Lets forget the fact that millions of guns are stored safely and millions of people practice weapons safety because you never hear about that in the MSN, you only hear about the very few who have that tragic mental lapse. Lets forget about the fact all tobacco products cause cancer and still tobacco is not even close to being demonized like firearms, even though
    more death is caused by smoking.
    Lets ask ourselves this, who pays for all this? We, as a nation of huge debt, can’t even afford to make sure all children are fed, clothed, and properly schooled.

  11. Results are showing 50% “strongly disagree…
    Gee, Looks like our side is starting to speak up. Have they awoken the sleeping giant?
    All these years. Standing my ground, throwing money about. Is this possibly a turning point?

    • I am hopeful that the “progressives” have over-reached this time and suffer the backlash. Children are usually taught to leave the car keys and the knives alone. They can and should be taught that firearms are adult-only tools as they used to be and many still are.

  12. obama gun safety= we take your guns & the criminals are safe, I’m not buying the voluntary giving up of guns. I’ll bet the Colorado pot heads are impressed though, “wow man that daddy o sure kicked some terrorist ass”. I guess o had his fingers crossed when he was sworn in to uphold the constitution. Who has who here? lol, Randy

  13. I completely agree with RF on this. Gun safety ads or PSAs are not the goverment’s job. Because the executive branch will be responsible for implementing the campaign/ads I am even more against it. This administration, being Obama, Biden and Holder, have shown their huge bias in the gun issue. Nope, I don’t trust them.

  14. Whatever happened to the idea of privatizing stuff?

    Privatize the Federally sponsored ads to a civilian contractor.

    Might I humbly suggest that the NRA be that contractor…?

  15. Why doe we need PSAs when the public schools drive home the message that guns are evil and only evil people own them?

  16. Maybe he should consider doing some other social engineering ads as well. Start with his own culture of guys who think “love em and leave em” is a good idea. Then we could stigmatize women who have children solely for the purpose of welfare money. Hold up personal responsibility as the foundation of our country. I could go on and on. Whoops, I think I hear my alarm going off. Time to wake up.

  17. While I agree with gun safety being “a matter of ongoing, age-appropriate firearms education”, saying that securing your rifle or hand gun in a gun safe won’t do anything is not entirely accurate. For most safes, even budget safes, we’re not talking about a simple lock and key setup that you would have in your liquor cabinet. Yes there even needs to be education for gun owners to inform them not to use regular passwords/combinations that you may use for daily life that your children may know. If you lock up your rifle in a solid steel, combination/biometric/electronic lockgun safe or gun cabinet, your child is most likely not going to manage to get into it.

    Storing guns securely is not the only measure of being a responsible gun owner, but it is part of that responsibility. Ongoing training, other accessories to prevent firearms from going off prematurely, and dozens of other steps all contribute to gun safety.

    Just do proper gun safe research and make sure you are buying the best option for your situation.

  18. When i hear of gun safety and educating children i dont see a point why it should not be done at homes without guns..it is a collective responsibility..just as it is collective right by constitution to own guns..In fact it can be made a course in classes in schools like that of sex education..etc

  19. Great Post – I agree that we need to start doing a better job of educating our kids on proper gun safety – it all starts with us as parents!

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