The effort aims to be a platform that all sides around the gun issue can rally around. “This really came from a desire to fundamentally change the landscape with regards to gun violence prevention,” says Hunter. “A lot of Americans are feeling we’re at a stalemate in this conversation. There are staunch sides — one says we need guns to protect ourselves, the other says all guns are bad. But like most issues, the vast majority is in the middle.”
Hunter, who’s also a Marine veteran, says the campaign is unique in that it brings into the conversation a group that has traditionally been left out: gun owners. “They’re the people we want to talk to,” she says. “I’m a gun owner myself, I grew up in the gun culture. A large majority of owners feel excluded. This is about engaging gun owners and making them part of the solution, not the problem.”
The campaign is as multi-faceted as the gun debate. The startling PSA leads the attack, and if viewers find themselves confused and unsettled after viewing it, well, that’s the point.
As Duncan Marshall, a Creative Partner at Droga5, the agency who created the chilling little film, explains, the hope is that viewers will be haunted by the video and begin to question themselves.
“It’s deliberately cryptic because we wanted people at the end of the spot to think, ‘What did I see here?'”
In addition to the very well-done PSA, the initiative is further supported by endfamilyfire.org, a slick and terrifying website that is overflowing with great tips on how gun owners can secure their weapons and prevent senseless tragedies in their home. If you keep firearms in the home, even if you think you’re doing everything right, I implore you to check it out. After all, a whopping 4.6 million kids live in a home with at least one loaded and unsecured gun. Even if you think you’re above it all, take a look—you just might learn something.
Finally, the coalition behind the campaign is tackling the hard task of pushing a new term into common speech. That’s something all of us, especially those of us who chronicle gun violence here on Daily Kos, can help with.
To seed the term “family fire,” the teams behind the initiative have reached out to editorial boards and reporters who cover gun violence, asking them to use the term when reporting on stories dealing with gun tragedies primarily linked to weapons not safely stored in the home.
View the full PSA below, and let yourself be shaken. That’s the point.