Guns With History

The sad truth is that deaths from gun violence have become a part of everyday life in America. Whenever a mass shooting happens, gun stocks surge because investors know that buyers will flock to the market to purchase firearms. 

This behavior was fueled in part by the fact that 60% of Americans believe that owning a firearm will make their home safer. In truth, those who own a gun - and those around them - have an increased risk of injury and death. Owning a gun makes it more likely that you or a loved one will die by a gun. 

Guns With History was designed to debunk this perception by making prospective gun buyers think twice before purchasing a gun.  We opened a hidden camera gun shop in New York and placed tags on each weapon, indicating which models were used in particular mass shootings, unintentional shootings, homicides and suicides. The film we produced showed the participant's natural reactions when confronted with the grisly history of the firearms they were interested in. The film became a major part of the national news cycle and gun violence prevention movement. We gave reporters, people and policymakers the ability to reframe the conversation.

We also created a fake online gun store and used Google search ads to attract real potential gun buyers. When new buyers go online, they often search for "what kind of gun should I buy" and then read articles and take online surveys to learn more about what kind of weapon will fit their needs and personalities. We mimicked these surveys on our site, but also added in questions like "Do you have kids" and others. At the end of the survey, users were given personalized results that shared statistics about the real danger their homes and families would be in with a weapon in the home. We debunked the buyer's personal theories about why the gun would make them safer.