In mid-December, San Francisco director Rejina Sincic released a bizarre “Stop Gun Violence” public service announcement that quickly went viral, but perhaps not for the reasons she intended. The PSA opens on a boy stealing his mother’s handgun from a drawer and placing it in his backpack as his mother sits peacefully on the couch reading a book. The student proceeds to bring the handgun to school, and while alone with his teacher, suddenly reveals the firearm and puts it on her desk. The student then asks, “Can you take this away? I don’t feel safe with a gun in my house.” From the woman’s startled reaction, it’s apparent she doesn’t feel safe with it on her desk, either.
The video seems intended to drive home a viewpoint popular with gun control advocates, but increasingly rejected by the American public, that having a firearm in the home (especially one occupied by minors) is unacceptably dangerous. As we recently reported, a Gallup poll from last November found that 63 percent of Americans now believe that having guns at home makes them safer, nearly double the percentage reporting the same belief 14 years ago. Depicting children as folk heroes for stealing their parents’ guns is not likely to change that. It does, however, reveal how thoroughly out of touch with reality many gun control advocates are, including in their ignorance of existing laws, of responsible behavior, and in their ability to promote anything useful or practical.
No matter how one feels about the Second Amendment, suggesting that children should handle their parents’ firearms without permission or knowledgeable supervision is a bad idea. Suggesting that they carry them loose in their backpack at school, or suddenly produce them in front of an unsuspecting teacher, are even worse ideas. Virtually every action the child takes in the video is dangerous and illegal.
In direct contrast, NRA, through the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, works across the country to prevent children from handling firearms while unsupervised. Thousands upon thousands of NRA instructors throughout the country also teach proven, practical ways to secure firearms from unauthorized access by children or others.
Despite widespread public condemnation of the ad, Sincic has continued to promote it via her Twitter feed. Even some gun control groups and the school where the spot was filmed are now furiously trying to disassociate themselves from it. Apparently Sincic herself is not interested in the public’s reaction. The original video, which was pilloried with unfavorable comments and “dislikes” when posted to YouTube, was taken down and subsequently reposted with those features disabled.
The video certainly is educational, in that it encapsulates in only a few short minutes the ignorance and distorted view of reality that pervades the gun control movement. For those seeking sound advice on firearm safety, however, we suggest skipping Ms. Sincic’s efforts and beginning their research here, with the same organization that has demonstrated its commitment to firearm safety since 1871.