It takes a very keen eye to find even a sliver of humor in accidental gun deaths, particularly those involving children. Gun safety and responsibility organization Evolve has used laughter to make its point in a string of ads, but its newest PSA starring actor Josh Lucas really pushes that approach to its limit.
In the spot, created by agency Erwin Penland and directed by Simon Cole, Lucas strolls through Smalltown USA with bullets pinging all around him as he lists off his gun safety concerns and all the things in America that accidentally get shot, “like toddlers and full-grown people.” The mood is very Dollar Shave Club, except y’know, with bullets.
Past Evolve PSAs have also went for the laughs, but were different in that they either were set more than 200 years ago or replaced guns with dildos. This one has bullets flying around, breaking window panes and exploding burgers, but hanging there in the back of your mind might be the estimated 100 children killed accidentally by guns every year in the U.S.
The organization is also petitioning for a National Gun Safety Day, “Before we end up with an Oops-I-Shot-My-Kid Day.” The irreverent tone is bound to sound tone deaf to many, but given the importance of the issue perhaps its worth trying every possible angle to get gun owners to pay attention.