Following Sunday's Orlando shooting, akin to the days following 9/11, it seems sort of pointless to report on the latest goings on in and around the agency world. On the other hand, life goes on. We all have jobs to do. This of course, does not mean we simply trudge along with nary a thought given to Sunday's events, but this isn't the place for that.
Or is it?
Maybe, just maybe, the agency world should give some thought as to how it can help reduce the number of shootings that occur on a regular basis in America. I'm not going to take sides here...wait, scratch that...you can't really write anything without taking a side, so forgive me if my opinion seeps through.
Whether or not it's increased gun control or more attention given to mental health issues or more stringent rules regarding who's allowed to live in this country in the first place, these are all causes that the advertising community can help call attention to.
After all, isn't that what makes advertising great? Its ability to sway the hearts and minds of those it touches? We know it works. We know, in most cases, if a brand throws enough well-planned money and thoughtful creative at a situation, that situation can change in a manner desirable to the brand.
For decades, agencies -- with or without working with the Ad Council -- have put effort behind things they believe in and have gone to great lengths to rally support for those beliefs. Agencies have stepped it up for years, getting behind causes aimed at eliminating teen bullying, reducing underage drinking, creating awareness of domestic violence, encouraging people to wear their seat belts, reducing litter, creating awareness of AIDS prevention and hundreds of other causes.
We really have to ask ourselves just how many more people have to die before rallying behind issues designed to curb gun-related violence becomes the first thing we think about every day we wake up until the problem is a problem no more.
Sunday on Facebook, Barbarian Group Founder Rick Webb, while in an airport, wrote about how the airport is one of America's last remaining gun-free zones and why it's also one of the few places you can go with relative certainty you aren't going to be gunned down by some lunatic.
In fact, Webb went so far as to say maybe we should all live in airports, writing: "If this shit continues, these fluke-ish gun-free safe havens might start to seem like the only safe place. Maybe we'll just start moving into airports."
Of course, the likelihood of that actually happening is slim to none and Webb realizes that reality but he also points out that everyone is pretty much OK with airports being gun-free, writing: "Also it's ridiculous we're all totally cool with this at airports but anywhere else OH GOD NO. Though I'm sure there are some whackos who want guns allowed in airports too."
No matter where anyone stands on the Second Amendment, I'm guessing it's a fair statement to conclude that all of you -- at least the sane ones -- could get behind something, anything, that would make gun-related violence a thing of the past.
In a country where constitutional edicts have been legally interpreted to mean any person can go out and buy any number of any kind of gun they want and the solution, among some, to gun-related violence is the maddeningly twisted (sorry, my opinion just slipped through) idea that more guns and a good guy with a gun are workable solutions, clearly, this is not an easy issue to resolve.
But it has to be resolved. Because, inevitably, one day some lunatic will walk into an advertising agency with a semi-automatic and shoot everyone in sight. Do we really want to wait until a scenario like that becomes a reality before we try to do something about it?