Feast your eyes upon what is perhaps the most absurd anti-gun video ever made. (Full video below.)
It's astonishing how many bad ideas the creators were able to cram into a two-and-half-minute video, which concerns a child protagonist who "doesn't feel safe with a gun in my house."
First, the child steals the gun out of his mother's dresser—something no young person should ever do. Then he brings it with him to school. Kids have been shot by cops for brandishing fake weapons; bringing a real gun to school is even more reckless, and could result in serious injury or death. Last, he shows the gun to his teacher and asks her to make it go away. Any child who did this would be expelled on the spot at the very least, and could face criminal charges, regardless of any mitigating circumstances.
Lest anyone misunderstand, the video is not trying to educate young people about the terrible things that can happen when they steal their parents' guns. The PSA is anti-gun; it clearly sympathizes with the kid who wants to rid his home of the firearm, and makes no attempt to explain why his actions are wrong in every sense of the word.
Some people are worried that misinformed youngsters might see this video and decide to follow its example. It's not so easy to write off these concerns as overblown; unlike the grown adults who created this irresponsible monstrosity, children might not be aware of all the immediate, negative consequences that would follow from bringing a gun to school, even for benign reasons. In The Washington Post, Eugene Volokh explains that the PSA's creators probably wouldn't be held liable for any copycat mischief, appalling though the video may be:
I've gotten several e-mails about this ad, and one reader asked: If a child does what the protagonist did — would the filmmakers be criminally punishable or subject to civil liability?
The answer is likely no. ..
This having been said, the ad strikes me as pretty appalling.
I emailed the video's creator, Rejina Sincic, wondering if perhaps she was clueless about how bad her PSA's advice is. She did not immediately respond. A quick investigation of her Twitter feed, however, suggests that she is aware of my line of criticism, and has retweeted numerous people making similar points. She is apparently sticking with her video, and has encouraged people to share it in order to prove they are "not cowards."
Lastly, it goes without saying that the point the PSA is trying (and failing) to make about guns in the home is ignorant. A gun does not automatically make a home unsafe; for many people with children, a gun is a perfectly reasonable thing to own.