“According to a study by the RAND Corporation using statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.4 million homes have firearms stored in a way that makes them accessible to the wrong hands – children, at-risk youth, potential thieves, and those who intend to harm themselves or others.” Even if that’s true, 62 children under the age of 14 died from negligent discharges in 2010. How many of these involved unlocked guns? Not known. And as I’ve said before, there’s an implied message here: lock-up your guns and you’re done. The kids can’t get them. Tell that to Adam Lanza’s mom. Oh wait. Anyway . . .
The McGruff the Crime Dog people launched the Public Service Announcement above before Evolve’s dildo-themed ad. Uh, is unsafe firearms storage a crime? Yes! In Massachusetts’ residents must store their firearms in a secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device. California, Connecticut and New York have a similar requirement under certain conditions (e.g., convicted felon on board).
The Gun Owners of America reckons safe storage laws are A First Step to Surrendering Our Gun Rights. Does that make safe storage commercials a first step to safe storage laws?
The key point for me: the National Crime Prevention Council PSA doesn’t tell gun owners to lock-up their guns unloaded with ammunition stored separately. The press release [below] goes there, but not the ad. So, fair enough? One wonders how many TV outlets will run it.
New PSA Campaign
Washington, DC, June 19, 2014 – Launching today, the Safe Firearms Storage campaign encourages firearms owners to make safe firearms storage a priority. According to a study by the RAND Corporation using statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.4 million homes have firearms stored in a way that makes them accessible to the wrong hands – children, at-risk youth, potential thieves, and those who intend to harm themselves or others.
To encourage current and prospective firearm owners to safely lock up their weapons when they’re not in use, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) announced a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign developed in partnership with the Ad Council and funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
“We teach all drivers to buckle up in case of accidents and to lock their cars. The same logic applies to this campaign; we want owners to lock up their firearms to prevent accidents and keep them out of the wrong hands. Safe storage ensures that owners are doing their part to increase public safety,” said Ann M. Harkins, President and CEO, National Crime Prevention Council.
The TV, radio, print, outdoor and online PSAs feature community voices calling on firearms owners to safely store their firearms. The campaign ads were created pro bono by the New York City-based ad agency, Merkley+Partners. The PSAs end with the call-to-action: “Remember, Always… Lock It Up” and direct firearms owners to ncpc.org to determine the best safety solution to fit their households, including:
- Clearing the firearm before storing it.
- Using firearms safety devices, such as trigger locks and cable locks.
- Storing ammunition separately in a locked container.
“For more than thirty years, we’ve worked with NCPC to produce ads designed to prevent crime including gun-related violence. Through iconic McGruff the Crime Dog® we have helped communities “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.” This campaign represents a powerful new extension of our efforts, and one that fosters a critical dialogue between adults about safe firearms storage,” said Ad Council President and CEO Peggy Conlon.
The “Safe Firearms Storage campaign” website features a step-by-step, visual Snapguide and graphics that illustrate options for properly storing a firearm in your household. The website also offers resources to help firearms owners talk with their children about firearm safety in the home.
The PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide today and per the Ad Council’s model, the ads will air in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media and other partners.