Creative Brand Communications


March 18, 2015

The True Cost of Owning a Gun….

On the Lower East side of Manhattan, the ‘States United To Prevent Gun Violence’ have teamed up with ad agency Grey New York, to stage a new, ‘unthinkable’ social experiment.

By opening a real-looking gun store rigged with hidden cameras, the organisation encouraged first time gun-buyers to have a look around and see what was on offer. However, whilst browsing the wares, it soon became apparent that this was no ordinary shop.

The price tags, rather than showing monetary costs, showed real ‘costs’ that were much harder to process. Rather than being labelled with a price, each weapon was branded with the unsettling description of the mass shootings, unintentional shootings, homicides and suicides that that particular model had been used in.

In a truly powerful stunt, potential buyers were rapidly put off the idea of purchasing a firearm when faced with the hard facts about its true cost.

The point of the stunt was to debunk the belief, purportedly held by 6 in 10 Americans, that owning a firearm makes a home safer, and to highlight the fact that it actually increases the risk of injury and death to those around them.

On the cosmopolitan streets of New York, one could argue this hints of ‘preaching to the converted’. In a city already unsure about firearms, the New Yorkers that enter the store are quick to backtrack from their desire to own a weapon.

However, the video does demonstrate that minds can be changed, and it is chilling to see the actual guns used in notorious crimes, a feeling no doubt multiplied in person… Yet we can’t help but wonder how the same stunt would play out in less liberal corners of the USA.

“Our goal is to educate those looking to purchase a firearm and ensure they are aware of the potential risks [and to promote responsible gun ownership],” says Julia Wyman, executive director of States United To Prevent Gun Violence.

“Often gun purchasers wrongly believe guns will keep them safe when in fact a gun in the home greatly increases the risk of homicide and suicide. This sets the record straight so consumers can make an informed choice to buy a firearm or not.”

Video (c) States United To Prevent Gun Violence


Latest Articles