Guns Don't Kill People, Dumbasses Do

If you own a gun and don’t handle it in a safe way, like keeping it unloaded and stored in a secured place when not in use, you’re a dumbass. 

That’s the message behind a new ad campaign from Saatchi & and Saatchi for nonprofit gun safety organization Evolve, which was created last year by Adland veteran Jon Bond and his wife Rebecca after the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy. 

The first phase of the campaign is a humorous online video that Saatchi enlisted film director Seth Gordon to make.  The setting is a meeting of the Founding Fathers, who are discussing the finer points of the language to be used in the second amendment. The purported original version puts a caveat after the right to bear arms line that reads “as long as you’re not a dumbass about it.” But Thomas Jefferson rules out the caveat, arguing that it’s long, wordy and, well, self-evident. 

The video shows examples of various “dumbass” ways that gun owners mishandle firearms, such as leaving them around a household, loaded, where a child could gain easy access. 

The Bonds insist that Evolve isn’t taking sides in the debate about gun control. Their point of view seems to be that guns are a fact of life and that lives can be saved if gun owners handle weapons in a responsible manner. 

"Safety is not a side. Gun owners and non-gun owners live with guns in this country, and we should all be able to have a collaborative conversation about how to think about gun safety," says Rebecca Bond. "Humor can be a gateway to taking away the defensiveness that is the legacy of these discussions. We hope to put this conversation on the kitchen table and start talking about it." 

The video can be seen here and at about a dozen other sites. It uses the tagline “It’s the right to bear arms, not the right to be a dumbass.” Jon Bond, a co-founder in Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners and founder of Tomorro LLC, says: "We want the 'Dumbass' concept to catch on in popular culture the way 'friends don't let friends drive drunk' did for safe driving." 

Additional segments of the campaign will debut in March and April. 

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