Provocative new ad campaign highlights tough hunting rules to push for better gun control

The ads were created by the Autonomous Collective, a group of advertising and national gun safety organizations aligned with the March for Our Lives movement. The 20-second spots, in four different themes, juxtapose images of deer, ducks and pigs alongside images of young children to highlight the differences between hunting laws and the lack of regulation for weapons such as AR-15 assault rifles.

One of the videos shows an adult deer with antlers with the caption, “You need a permit to kill them”, with dramatic music superimposed; the video then pivots to a school-aged girl with a marker in her hand, with the caption: “But not these.”

“Senators, please do something,” implores the text at the end of the video, with a photo of the US Capitol, the music deepening.

David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida mass shooting and a central figure in the March for Our Lives movement, told the Globe that the ads were aimed at serve as a call to action, saying that gun owners and Republicans must see the need for change, that everyone agrees on the need for common sense restrictions on guns and liability of gun owners.

“We try to wake people up, before it affects them,” he said. “We all agree, at the end of the day, that we want an end to gun violence, that we want accountability, that we want security and that we want peace.”

Hogg added that the theme of the ads is intended to address the culture of gun ownership in America, to show that gun accountability “should be mandatory” and that “weapons like the AR-15 and many of these weapons are manufactured killing, made to kill humans.

“Bullets don’t see a political party; they kill everyone,” he said. “We all bleed the same blood and shed the same tears after our little ones were stolen from us. We have to do something.

Continuing the hunting comparison, a second advertisement in the series shows an image with hunting ducks and the caption: “We limit rounds to hunt them.” The video then cuts to a woman holding a baby in a carrier, with the caption: “But not to chase them.”

A third video similarly features a photo of several dead ducks tied to a scarf, with the caption, “There’s a limit to killing them.” The video then cuts to a shot of several school-aged children laughing, with a banner reading, “No limits on killing them.”

A fourth video targets assault rifles that have become the weapon of choice for mass shooters. A photo of several pigs has a caption: “The AR-15 is not designed to kill them.” The video then cuts to a shot of smiling school children with the caption, “It’s designed to kill them.”

Each of the videos ends with the request “Senators, please do something.”

John Rosenthal, a Massachusetts-based businessman and gun owner who has long advocated for the nation to pass tougher gun laws similar to those in Massachusetts, said he hopes ads will galvanize lawmakers to make change, or for voters to force change in elections in the fall.

“It’s absolutely insane that Republicans care more about deer and duck hunting licenses and limits, but not humans and children,” said Rosenthal, who founded Stop Handgun Violence and supports March for Our Lives. .

Rosenthal funded the large billboard on Massachusetts’ Turnpike at Fenway Park counting the number of gun deaths per day since 1994, and he said, “Republicans have stood in the way of any reasonable regulation on gun safety for decades.”

But he sees promise with the March for Our Lives movement, led largely by young activists who were too young to vote when a gunman stormed their school in Parkland, Florida in 2018, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.

“These are kids who haven’t had a safe day at school since 1999,” the year of the Columbine school shooting, he said. “They’re tired of waiting for adults to do something because our generation has failed them miserably.”

He added: “These 500 marches aren’t going to stop, they’re not going to stop, and if we get enough people to vote on this in November, maybe we’ll have enough Democrats to pass laws. common sense on firearms, just as there is for the protection of animals.

The ads follow a heartbreaking day in Congress as survivors and relatives of victims of recent mass shootings provided testimony about gun violence in the United States.

Among them, an 11-year-old girl who survived the mass shooting at elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, recounted in video testimony how she covered herself in the blood of a dead classmate for avoid being shot and “just remained silent” after seeing her teacher shot in the head.

The testimony before the House Oversight Committee came as lawmakers worked to reach a bipartisan agreement on gun safety measures in the wake of back-to-back mass shootings.

The Democratic-led House is expected to pass legislation that would raise the age limit for buying a semi-automatic rifle and ban the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

But the legislation has almost no chance of becoming law as the Senate continues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, strengthening school safety and improving background checks. The House bill allows Democratic lawmakers to set for voters in November where they stand on policies that polls show appealing to a majority.

Majority of American adults think mass shootings would happen less often if guns were harder to get, and that schools and other public places have become less safe than they were two decades ago .

Associated Press material was used in this report.

Milton J. Valencia can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia and on Instagram @miltonvalencia617.