Compelling video and photo ads highlight the community impact of violence committed by people with assault weapons.
Washington, D.C., May 3, 2023 – Brady, one of America’s oldest gun violence prevention organizations, has launched a new research-based major advertising campaign to highlight the destructive impact of military-style assault weapons in our communities.
The campaign, created probono by global creative agency BCW, was informed by a series of surveys to gun owners and non-gun owners of varying political ideologies, including veterans and military-connected individuals.
Kris Brown, president of Brady, said:
"Just this weekend five people were gunned down in their home by an AR-15 in a matter of seconds – that is exactly why assault weapons have no place in civilian life. Tragedies like this are becoming increasingly regular in the U.S., and this campaign reminds people that these weapons of war are tearing apart our communities."
Consisting of three digital images and a video, which have been featured in New York Times Square, the campaign’s goal is to engage and inspire a culture change around guns in America and increase support for banning these weapons that were designed for war zones and due to their unique deadliness are the weapon of choice for mass shooters in the U.S.
In the video ad, a U.S. Navy veteran, Dan Kirchner, reads a true story of a day camp shooting that sounds like a firsthand account of combat in a war zone. When he comes to the end of the letter, he learns that the author is not a fellow war veteran, but instead a mass shooting survivor who was only six years old when a shooter turned an assault weapon on his day camp.
“I hadn’t given the Assault Weapons Ban much thought before I participated in this campaign. When the opportunity came up, I went for it because I wanted to do something, anything to help end mass shootings in our country. Reading Josh’s experience, it really could have been told by any of my fellow combat veterans – that struck a chord with me.
“In war, at least in my experience, you’re shooting at more than one target, so you need as much fire power as you can have. In civilian life, I hunt, and the seconds it takes to reload a weapon is no big deal. I don’t know why you would need a semi-automatic. For civilian life, I don’t know why you would need it.”
In addition to the video, Brady produced a series of photos with the same tested message. These images show coffins draped with an American flag - an honor typically given to veterans and prominent Americans who die in service of our country or to defend its way of life- in everyday places where mass shootings involving assault weapons have become all too frequent, including a grocery store, a gym and a nightclub.
The campaign follows a deadly spate of preventable shootings across the U.S. committed with assault weapons and recent Biden administration efforts to curb gun violence, including his call to reinstate the assault weapons ban along with expanding Brady Background Checks and increasing gun industry accountability.
In shootings where assault weapons or large-capacity magazines are used, 155% more people are shot, and 47% more people are killed. For the decade that the federal assault weapons ban was in effect from 1994 to 2004, 89 people died in 12 massacres. But in the decade after the ban expired – from 2004 to 2014 – over 300 people were shot and killed in 34 separate mass shootings. That’s a staggering 183% increase in massacres and a 239% increase in fatalities.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.