A gun safety advocacy group is using sex toys to start a conversation around gun safety and responsibility.
An ad released Thursday titled “Playthings” shows two young boys running around, playing with large, brightly colored dildos as if they’re swords.
“If they find it, they’ll play with it,” the narrator says, “so always lock up your guns.”
The ad comes from Evolve, an organization committed to reducing gun violence while taking no political position on the issue of gun control. The group’s co-founder, Rebecca Bond, said Evolve aims to “motivate people to make behavior changes” when it comes to firearms safety and responsibility.
“We don’t think that safety’s a side,” Bond told The Huffington Post. “Safety in the gun category should be inspiring, people should be inspired to make good choices, and safety should be cool.”
The ad, produced without charge for Evolve by the agency McCann Erickson, aims to remove the stigma around talking about gun safety.
“It presents it in a way thats humorous, it creates some levity for engaging someone in the conversation,” Bond explained. “When you start to talk about play things and how you secure those things … it’s an easier way into the conversation. You start to make people think.”
The ad’s release was timed with National Safety Month and the start of summer. Bond pointed out that summer brings playdates and sleepovers that put children in unfamiliar environments. Parents ask their kids’ hosts whether their homes have pools, their cars have cars eats or their pantries have peanuts, she noted. But the same doesn’t apply to guns.
“You just ask those questions automatically,” Bond said. “We’re right on the cusp of potentially being that comfortable” with asking about guns.
The ad comes one day after Everytown For Gun Safety released a report saying at least 100 children were unintentionally killed by gunfire during the year following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children dead.
“It is preventable,” Everytown President John Feinblatt said along with the report’s release. “Too often we just say it is an accident or inevitable. But what this data shows is it’s preventable.”
Everytown released an ad earlier this year encouraging gun safety in the home.