March 19, 2015: Fake NYC Gun Store

States United to Prevent Gun Violence and ad agency Grey New York teamed up for what they are calling a Public Service Announcement.  A 3 minute 27 second long YouTube video titled Guns With History. 

 According to Tim Nudd, Creative Editor at Adweek, the point of the PSA is to debunk the perception that owning a firearm makes a home safer.  Julia Wyman, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence is quoted “Our goal is to educate those looking to purchase a firearm and ensure they are aware of the potential risks”.

The video starts with several textual segments

Over 60% of Americans think owning

A gun will make their lives safer.

 In fact, owning a gun increases the risk of homicide,

Suicide and unintentional death.

 To make first-time gun buyers think twice,

We did the unthinkable.

 We opened a gun shop in NYC.

 The opening scene is at night with a NYPD police car driving by the location of the “store”.  A time lapse segment shows the store being assembled.  Then when the salesman is setting up the display a text over

With hundreds of guns.

All of them with a history.

 The signage on the store advertises: GWH Gun Shop




At the very bottom of the door is what looks like a warning sign.  But it is indistinguishable in the video.

Now the scene shifts to the room behind the counter where all the hidden camera video feeds are received.  A team of videographers sets up and tests the equipment.

42 seconds into the video the first customer walks in.

Given the purpose it is not surprising to see the footage that was included.  It is shocking for unsuspecting patrons to be told about the crimes that were committed with the guns being portrayed. 

These are not the real guns being discussed and are not real guns at all.  There will probably be some debate if any of New York City’s strict gun laws were broken in the making of the video.  I’ll leave that discussion for organizations with money for lawyers. 

The nauseated reaction to some of the stories shows the potential patrons are sensitive to other human suffering.  As expected the reactions and comments support the narrative that the firearm is the evil in the story and not the perpetrator of the crime.  Without the countering narrative that firearms can also be used to save innocent lives, some of these potential customers were finding themselves questioning their desire to own a firearm for self-defense.  That’s a dis-service because guns are the best tool for overcoming life threatening disparity of force situations. 

It is unfortunate that some New Yorkers that are interested in self-defense entered the twilight zone of this social experiment.  These people needed another store next door that would display and talk about the armed Citizens who have saved themselves, their loved ones and other innocents from violent attack by using firearms.  The first story could be about Florida State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda who used a gun to prevent a violent rape by someone she knew.  From there go on to the Loganville Georgia woman who used a revolver to stop an intruder who used a crowbar to open the hiding space she was in with her two children.  The list would go on with stories from The Armed Citizen (registered mark) in any American Rifleman magazine. 

As an Instructor I take the moderate view that with the right enumerated in the Second Amendment, there are responsibilities to our society.  What the PSA misses completely is the balance responsible gun owner have between denying access to unauthorized persons and having them available for their use.  Detractors don’t acknowledge the precautions that have been taken or the classes and practice that they invest in to increase or maintain their skills. 

Secure your firearms, then Take Time To Train.  Be active in preventing another tragic story that could be used by the people that want to deprive you of your right to Keep and Bear. 


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