Earlier this year, a gun store opened its doors on a busy New York City street. For two days, first-time gun buyers walked in with the intention to purchase a gun, but walked out with something much different.
This was no ordinary firearm store, but a fake establishment set up by the States United To Prevent Gun Violence. Inside the mock store, customers were met by an unexpected sales pitch from the man behind the counter. For example: “…this revolver, it’s the easiest gun we have to use. It’s our most popular one. It’s a 22-caliber, six-inch revolver,” the clerk begins. “It’s also a gun that a five-year-old found in his parents’ bedroom, went down and shot his nine-month-old baby brother with it.” Needless to say, the “pitch” is met with stunned reactions, and the video below went viral with over four million views.
This hidden camera social experiment took place in Manhattan, where the gun-control laws are some of the strictest in the country. “Our goal was to grab people’s attention,” New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett told The Washington Post. “Gun owners often believe that firearms make them safer, but having a gun in your home actually makes you far less safe for homicide, suicide and domestic violence.”
It’s no surprise that while some viewers strongly support the group’s mission, others strongly disagree. Whichever side you’re on, this dialogue is important in this day and age.
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