If you were to ask, a fair amount of gun owners would likely tell you they have a firearm in their homes to protect their families from the possibility of an intruder. However, these same gun owners might not realize that just by having a gun in the house, they're actually putting their own families at risk. A new video from the Ad Council shows a conversation between a gun-owning father and his young son that will send a deep chill up your spine. However, the campaign video raises awareness for the potential dangers unsafely-kept firearms may be adding to your family's home. And this must-see "Family Fire" video reveals the scary truth about keeping a gun in the same home as your children.
Here's a harrowing statistic to consider: Every day in the U.S., eight children are unintentionally killed or injured by a gun — and often by one that is found loaded and unsecured in the home, according to a news release from the Ad Council. This devastating reality is referred to as family fire in a new public education campaign called "End Family Fire," which is led by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. This eerie ad, which was released on Tuesday, begins light-heartedly with a father playfully tickling his son as he sits on the floor watching cartoons. "All right, buddy, get ready for the day," the dad says after the little boy giggles and exclaims, "I surrender, I surrender!" But out of nowhere, the video suddenly takes a dark turn.
We can all agree, eight children being unintentionally shot and injured or killed every day is simply unconscionable.
"Hey dad, do we have a gun?" the little boy asks.
"Why do you ask that, kiddo?" the father replies casually.
"Can I play with it?" the boy wonders.
"No, no absolutely not. It's not a toy. You know that," the father answers sternly.
"Do I? I bet it looks like one."
The conversation continues, with the gun-owning father clearly becoming more disturbed by his son's curiosity about the firearm. "Yeah, well it's not. Anyway, I need to to protect you, your sister, and mom."
"From what?" the child asks.
"From bad guys, like on TV."
"But what about the eight kids that get shot every day by mistake?" the son points out. "Their daddies probably thought they were safe, too."
Three in four children know where the guns are stored in their home.
Chilling, right? Of course, that's the intent. See, this ad isn't meant to show what an actual conversation about guns might look like with your child. What it's meant to do is shine a light on possible scenarios that parents whose kids have become victims of family fire probably never considered. According to a statistic from TheTrace.org, more than 4.6 million children live in homes with unlocked and loaded guns — and three in four children know where the guns are stored in their home. The term “Family Fire” was developed for this campaign and refers to a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home that results in death or injury. These incidents can include unintentional shootings, suicides, and other gun-related tragedies.
"We can all agree, eight children being unintentionally shot and injured or killed every day is simply unconscionable," Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Center, said in a news release. "Just like the term 'designated driver' changed perceptions about drinking and driving, the term ‘Family Fire’ will help create public awareness to change attitudes and actions around this important matter. This is a nonpolitical issue where gun owners and non-gun owners alike can come together and play a role in reducing the number of innocent lives lost to gun violence."
For the record, even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has stated "the absence of guns from children's homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents." With that said, gun owners aren't going to read this recommendation and simply get rid of their guns. So spreading awareness for the proper storage of guns kept inside homes, especially those with children, is the next best thing. While this ad may be hard to watch, hopefully it starts a conversation that makes gun owners who are also parents reconsider the safety measures they take to secure their handheld weapons.