“Lock Them Up”: Ad Uses Sex Toys to Promote Gun Safety

Kids will play with anything. That’s the premise of a cringe-worthy — and hilarious — ad showing kids playing with a couple of, ahem, adult novelty items.


The message? Vibrators, like guns, are not toys. Lock them up.

The ad was produced by Evolve, a group advocating gun safety and responsibility. As a parent, I agree wholeheartedly with Evolve’s message. Rights are supposed to come with responsibilities, and gun ownership is no different. Although some people describe Evolve as a “gun control group,” doesn’t this ad suggest parental irresponsibility is at the root of gun accidents — not the actual gun?

This ad is an opportunity for a reality check about kids and gun accidents. To hear some gun control advocates talk, kids are safer in a crack house than a home with a firearm. Groups like the Million Mom March and Moms Demand Action (yes, the group that hires armed guards for their protests) make it clear they’re in this “for the children,” and hype gun accidents as epidemic. But are they?

According to the CDC, 3,325 children 15 and younger died in 2011 from unintentional injuries. The leading cause was car accidents, causing 40% of all accidental deaths, followed by drowning, at 20%. Fires, suffocation, and crossing the street killed more children than did guns. Accidental deaths from firearms made up about 2% of the total — and that’s in a nation where 40% of households have guns. As the link explains, this means that “0.000001164 percent of children were killed in a gun accident in 2011. The 2011 accidental firearms death rate among children was 0.1164 per 100,000, equivalent to 1.164 accidental death per million children.”

Yes, guns can kill children. But bathtubs, pools, and multivitamins kill more. And by far the most dangerous “weapon” of all is the family car, usually with mom or dad behind the wheel. Are there any activist groups out there demanding we ban cars “for the children”? Where are the ads hectoring drivers with kids in the backseat?

Of course, even one accidental gun death is one too many. But if anything, these numbers show that gun owners are responsible. They do “lock them up.” They take their responsibilities seriously, and media hype about a tiny handful of accidents shouldn’t be used to strip them of their rights.

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