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I’m currently in big sky country, the beautiful state of Montana at the headwaters of the Missouri river. One of the perks of the job is that sometimes a company in the industry – in this case, BLACKHAWK! – will invite you to tour their operation, show you some of their newest products and let you use them while sending large quantities of lead downrange, hopefully at some steel and paper targets. Yesterday I got to tour their manufacturing facility in Manhattan (but more on that later). On my way up here though, I was trudging toward the security line in the St. Louis airport early Monday morning when this sign caused me to do a double-take . . .

Yes, that’s a firearms-related ad. In an airport. I’m happy to report that no TSA agents attempted to wrestle me to the ground for actually stopping to stare at it, though that may have had something to do with the early hour.

If you’re not familiar with Project Child Safe, that’s the less well-known (than Eddie Eagle) safety program sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to promote responsible, safe gun ownership and storage. While Eddie’s message — STOP!, Don’t touch, Leave the area, Tell an adult — is aimed at kids, Project Child Safe is directed at their parents.



A little while later, still dazed from being deprived of my normal ration of much-needed beauty sleep, I stood near my gate waiting for the Delta agent to call my group to board that big ol’ jet airliner when I noticed the banner sign that was cycling six or eight ads just above the entrance to the concourse. Another Project Child Safe spot.

As you probably know, the NSSF is the trade association for the firearms and ammo industry. Or as our friends in the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex like the put it with their usual aplomb and subtlety, they’re the focus of all that is evil (along with the NRA) in American society today. While Project Child Safe has been around since 1999, the org’s been pushing their relatively new Own It? Respect It. Secure It. campaign, recently distributing PSAs on gun safety to radio stations in advance of hunting season. Now they’re apparently reaching out to an even more mainstream audience.

Not that the industry group is likely to get much credit for the effort. As far as the hoplophobic community is concerned, the NSSF and the gun makers they represent are the problem, not the solution. The trade org is the shadowy face of the nefarious Gun Lobby, advancing the industry’s dangerous and greedy agenda. Never mind that an unambiguous safety-oriented message like this one just might accomplish something gun grabbers often claim is their goal with each new restriction on Second Amendment rights they propose (“if it saves even one life…”).

So the industry appears to be putting its money where its mouth is. And the St. Louis airport can’t be the only venue where the ads I noticed are running. Messaging like this certainly can’t hurt the larger cause of normalizing firearms in the society. And who could be against gun safety?

But if he really gave a damn about “gun violence” and saving lives, just think what someone like Michael Bloomberg – or some of his billionaire friends in Washington State – could do to advance the cause of gun safety and responsible ownership with just a fraction of the $50 million he’s set aside to advance the cause of rolling back Americans’ natural, civil, Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Or what do you think would happen if his designated telegenic sock puppet, Shannon Watts, dropped her “gun bully” schtick and started talking to women with firearms in their homes about how to use and store them safely? Whoa. I really am sleep deprived.

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  1. Shannon would be out of work if that happened. You expect Daddy Warbucks to keep her around long? She might actually end up as a real stay at home mom to her 2 (naturally birthed) kids. . .you are sleep deprived

  2. I’d be curious to know how many, and which, airports this is appearing in. Ferguson notwithstanding, St. Louis is a pretty gun friendly town.

  3. I made the mistake of reading the linked anti-NSSF article you linked. I almost suffered a stroke. How can anti-gun idiots be so narrow and gullible? Do they like to be that way.

  4. Neutral firearm-safety messages imply that owning them is a normal thing to do, one just needs to pay attention to safety. Since normalization of gun ownership is not something the anti-gun forces are interested in, they would be unlikely to contribute to neutral safety campaigns.

  5. “At least one of the DC airports refused the signs.” Yet, if they could just save one life… ! Why in the world would they refuse to put up the signs if someone is paying for them and they promote gun saftey? Makes NO sense to me. Some politician thought they were inappropriate or what? I just don’t get it. Maybe they don’t think anyone should own a gun so why promote gun safety ? Anyone have a better explanation?

  6. It’s an appropriate message. I’m OK with it so long as they present their message in a serious, authentic, and authoritative manner. Safe and secure handling of firearms is in everyone’s interest: owners, retailers, manufacturers, law enforcement, and children, too.

    Contrast that with the cell phone companies’ anti-texting while driving campaign, or the fast food chains’ healthy alternatives menu options. To me, those two efforts come off forced and self-serving, as though they’re just trying not to get sued or to be government-regulated into oblivion.

  7. I spent a lot of money on gun safes. I felt pretty stupid about wasting my money when I learned that some of my friends have stored their “assault weapons” at the bottom of the ocean.

  8. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of the auto play ads…oh here comes another one while I am typing this message. While trying to watch a video about the NSSF, I had three ads start running interrupting what I was trying to watch about the NSSF. Really finging annoying. Fix it.

  9. Dan,

    “big ol’ jet airliner”

    A point for the Steve Miller reference.

    As far as the ads go, it couldn’t hurt the image of we PotG.

  10. My firearms are “responsibly” stored. There is a loaded firearm in each room of my house, where my wife and son can access them. Don’t like that? F**k you

  11. Great….now they will have to pull handguns out of that potted plant in addition to pocket knives.

    That sign looks like it is an arrow pointing down to the plant.

  12. Smart move by the NSSF. The more “responsible, rational, safe gun-owner” messaging out there, the more recognition of “the common-sense” that the majority of the middle already applies without the Elites Who Know Whats Best For the Rest Of Us coming up with more laws and regulations, and the less the gun-grabbers have to hysterically play upon, to stir the nitwits out of their back room deals in the state and national congresses, otherwise.

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