Wow. Just Wow. This anti-gun PSA, produced by Sleeper13 Productions, might be the dumbest video I’ve watched in years. Seriously, it’s laughable stupid.
If you haven’t watched it yet, it depicts a teen or pre-teen boy stealing a firearm from his mom’s dresser, bringing it to school, then turning it over to a teacher while dejectedly saying, “Can you take this away? I don’t feel safe with a gun in my house.”
What’s the point of the video? It’s not really clear. Is the boy taking the firearm away from the mom because she’s mentally unstable? The mother doesn’t look like she’s a head case (she’s reading a book at the outset of the video). Why is this boy afraid of the gun, which may be his mother’s primary means of defending not only herself, but her ungrateful, wussified son? Then again, perhaps he is the one suffering from mental illness. In which case, he ought to tell his mother to buy a gun safe or to keep her firearms in a more secure location we he can not readily access them. Why bring it to a teacher, in a school, where – by bringing on school grounds – he is breaking a ton of different firearm laws: possession of a firearm by a minor, unlawful concealed carry, possession of a firearm on school grounds, felony gun theft, among others?
All these questions are unclear. So the viewer is left to surmise a meaning. For me, the PSA is an attempt to demonize firearms while perpetuating the false promise that we deserve a “safe” society.
To start with the first point firearms are inanimate tools incapable of harming anyone without an individual to handle or mishandle them. By themselves, firearms present no real danger. In other words, the gun isn’t going to sneak out of the drawer one night and shoot the teen on its own accord. It lacks agency. Yet the PSA seems to suggest that the gun — in and of itself — is inherently dangerous. Which is lunacy, really. And by an extension of that logic, the teen should also start turning over rope, hammers, kitchen cutlery, etc. basically any implement that can be used by one to injure himself or others.
“Can you take this away? I don’t feel safe with kitchen shears in my house.” If the kid was suicidal or mentally unstable, then I’m fine with him admitting to his family and his teachers that he shouldn’t be around tools that he could use to injure others. That’s a perfectly fine message. And if that’s the message, the conclusion of the video should show him being committed to a mental health facility. But the PSA gave us no such indication that that was the case.
Instead, and to the second point, it underscores the idea that “Our children deserve a safe world.” To me, that’s bullshit. It’s a lie, like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny because “safety” is a relative term that depends upon one’s ability to actively confront danger, not on one’s capacity to pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s right. Our children deserve to know the truth that the real world is dangerous and unpredictable place. One wants to be safer? It starts with understanding this fact. From that point, one should come to realize that a safe society isn’t deserved, rather it’s created and preserved by men and women with guns. Whether it’s a law enforcement officer or a law-abiding citizen, good guys with guns keep bad guys in check. That’s a fact. Then it’s up to the individual to decide whether he or she wants to take responsibility for his or her own safety or whether he or she wants to rely on others for his or her safety. Either way, nothing’s guaranteed. That said, I know what side I’m on, and I’ve known it since I was a boy.
Overall, I think it’s time to stop lying to children beyond a certain age. I think it’s time to start educating them on the real choices that they have to make.
In any event, those are my thoughts. What did you think of the video?