Gun safety organization Evolve is using a little revisionist history to draw a distinction between a gun owner and a dumbass. A gun owner being someone who is responsible about safety. A dumbass being, well, a dumbass.
The ad, by agency Saatchi & Saatchi New York and director Seth Gordon, brings us back to the brainstorming sessions for the constitution where Thomas Jefferson strikes a dumbass clause in the Second Amendment.
In a statement, Saatchi & Saatchi New York chief strategy officer Claudine Cheever said, “When we researched the gun debate in America, we saw that it’s become almost impossible to have a thoughtful discussion about gun safety. What I love about Evolve is that they’re not about taking a side in that debate–they’re squarely focused on promoting personal decisions about gun safety. We believe the work will make people laugh and think.”
The organization knows the word “safety” when paired with guns is often construed as code for anti-gun laws. On its website, Evolve says it has recruited gun owners, manufacturers and retailers to sit alongside non-gun owners to build trust, and work together to reduce gun violence and take back the word “safety” so that it’s universal and politically agnostic.
The tagline “Follow The Code”–Evolve’s 10-point responsibility manifesto–aims to distill the issue down to a phrase much like “friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”
It’s a sensible message but in the vortex of the American gun debate, one that can easily get lost amid the politically charged atmosphere. The spot is certainly cheeky enough to give both anti-gun advocates and responsible gun owners alike a chuckle, but still likely to have plenty of dumbasses yelling about their cold dead hands.