In effort to prove once and for all that owning guns puts Americans in danger, States United to Prevent Gun Violence set up a fake gun store and shamed first-time gun buyers into foregoing their purchase.
They did this by only offering models of guns for sale that had been used in high-profile crimes. So when a first-time female buyer asked to the see a gun that was easy to operate the clerk grabbed a .22 revolver and said, “[This] is the easiest gun we have to use. It’s our most popular one… It’s also a gun that 5-year-old found in his parents bedroom, went down and shot his 9-month-old baby brother with it.”
For another customer the clerk shows a 9mm semiautomatic. He describes it as “a very handy gun” and that’s “easy to use.” The clerks says, “It’s a great gun to carry in your purse, like that gal from the Walmart, her two-year-old son reaches into her pocketbook, pulls it out, shoots her.”
The clerk does the same thing with a shotgun — used in a San Diego shooting — and various other guns used in more recent crimes.
For Adam Lanza’s horrible acts at Sandy Hook Elementary the clerk lays down an AR-15, snaps his fingers, and says, “20 little kids, gone like that.” The clerk did not mention that Lanza could have used a well-worn revolver or a single shot shotgun to the same effect, as Sandy Hook was a gun free zone in which he had over 9 minutes to walk room to room and commit his atrocities without any armed resistance.
Nor did the clerk mention that guns are used approximately 2,082 times every day in America for defensive purposes. Those 2,082 times includes instances where women stop sexual attackers, where parents prevent crimes against their children, where homeowners stop home invaders, where business owners stop burglars, etc.
But these are all inconvenient truths when one’s goal is to dissuade first-time gun buyers from following through.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.