Watch this powerful gun control ad

This ad is probably the most persuasive argument for gun control that I’ve ever seen:

Some have argued that in the few months since the Sandy Hook shooting raised serious questions about masculinity and gun violence in this country, our collective passion for gun control has diminished. And gun enthusiasts have tried everything to reinforce this idea, even co-opting women’s voices to further agenda by pushing the idea that “women want guns” to do things like end sexual assault, for example. But we know that telling women to get a gun is not rape prevention. And recent developments show the true trajectory on this issue as towards gun control. As Samhita wrote yesterday of Michelle Obama’s appearance at a Chicago High School on Wednesday, the push for stronger gun laws from outside the beltway is intensifying. Moms Demand Action launched a new campaign to drive support for stronger gun laws on Wednesday, just a day before the Senate Republicans yielded to allow for debate for the new gun control legislation on the floor. The stakes have long since been high in addressing gun violence in America; nearly 3,000 deaths nationwide this year, all at the hand of the gun. (Rick Warren’s son, purchased an unregistered gun online that he used to take his own life because of laxed nonexistant background checks.)

This is all really to say that no one is immune to the danger of violence in America. It’s wishful thinking on my part that the debate in the Senate will yield speedy passage for policy points that 90% of agree on. If you can do background checks for job applications, then why oh why is it so much easier for me to get a gun than birth control pills?

Mostly, I’m haunted by the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson’s take in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, “How do we find ourselves asking kindergarteners to be more courageous in the face of a gunman than politicians are in the face of the gun lobby?”

We must be more courageous than that.

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Read more about Syreeta

Join the Conversation

  • Sam L-L

    We have to demand that new legislation should be targeted to be effective, though. Out of the total number of gun killings each year, what fraction would be reduced – either halted or even just made more unlikely – by these new proposed laws? My understanding is that the overwhelming majority of gun killings in the United States are with handguns and that so many are already in circulation – more than 4 per 5 people! – that even if we (impossibly) banned ALL further sales of handguns, it’s hard to see how to this could have any real effect in solving the problem of gun violence.

    We have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of “something needs to be done; this is something; therefore this is what needs to be done.” I fear a lot of proposed gun control legislation is feel-good, big-media-splash policy that won’t do what we need to do: save lives and bring our homicide rate down to in line with other highly economically developed countries.

  • Alex D

    The Stop the Bullets. Kill the Gun. ad was also very powerful.

  • justice day

    I think if we live in a country where they train rapist to use guns, the US military, we should all carry guns. We live in a society where no one looks out for anyone else. Carrying a gun is our only protection.
    Especially against guys like this.

  • a male

    I know people do not like the analogy, but the battle for the 2nd Amendment is my Roe. v. Wade.

    In the same way Kermit Goslin and his late term clients are not representative of the abortion issue, neither are those who commit crimes with guns, particularly high profile mass shootings, representative of the estimated 40% of US households who hold 320 million firearms and do not use them to commit crimes. Gun deaths have been reduced by half since the early 90s, and most crimes of violence on the decline, AFTER the expiration of the previous “Assault Weapons Ban,” despite the sharp increase in firearms purchases and ownership. A relationship can be seen between the state of the economy and crime, or individual qualities like mental state of the shooter, not the number of guns on the street. Even the FBI (see Expanded Homicide Data Table 8) will tell you that knives, blunt instruments, or even hands and feet kill more people each year than ALL rifles, including “assault weapons” in the hands of mass murderers, put together. About two-thirds of total deaths are suicides. Over 70% of murders are by handgun, NOT “assault weapons.”

    I am a legal gun owner who believes in certain restrictions on gun ownership, but the most recent Senate proposal was not it. We already have federal laws mandating background checks for dealers, including at gun shows, and the most recent proposal would still have had exceptions for individual transactions.

    And I will say again that I believe in abortion on demand, at minimum, to point of viability outside the womb, or prior to labor. I believe health coverage should be free or minimal cost, and contraception, prenatal, childbirth and abortions covered. Minors need the right to seek contraception or treatment without the consent of parents or other possible abusers.