The Kids-With-Dildos ‘Gun Safety’ Ad Isn’t Just Weird, It’s Dangerously Misleading

There’s a new “gun safety” PSA from a group called Evolve that shows little kids sword-fighting with dildos that’s captured the imagination of every blog that wants to get “dildo” into a headline (which is to say, all of them). But the seemingly benign message behind the deliberately provocative premise is a dangerous lie.

Consider yourself trolled once you’ve watched this ad, which features the aforementioned dilduel, in full view of chagrined mom whose (pair of?) dildos made their way into little hands, with the tagline “If they find it, they’ll play with it, so always lock up your guns.”

Aside from the fact that these two kids clearly need a few weeks at Mace Windu’s Simulated Meatsaber Academy, the first thing that comes to mind is that this message is marginally more palatable than that of the NRA, which insists that it’s all about keeping guns away from kids, while also telling its members that if they lock up their guns, their families will be murdered.

This has led some commentators to forgive the group’s bullshitty “no political position” position on guns, in hopes that the ad will do some good. From Wonkette:

While we generally find the no-position position on anything, really, to be some bullshit, we’ll put up with it if it means that some timid mom or dad somewhere will actually say “oh hey, Jimmy’s Mom, could you please tell us if you have a trampoline or if you let the kids eat candy or oh also too do you keep guns in an easy-to-reach cupboard?”

This requires ignoring the vast differences between gun culture and dildo culture, because aside from their similarities as surrogate penises, there’s little common ground there. Dildo owners don’t bring their kids along for dildo-using trips, or dildo practice, and you’re not going to rent a dildo at a dildo range and have it jump in your kid’s hand and kill him. Most kids don’t know you have a dildo, and won’t spend every available minute alone looking for it.

That’s fine, though, clearly the intent here is to model something that you don’t want your kids to find and play with, in a memorable and provocative fashion. Mission accomplished, I guess, but the entire campaign ignores two crucial facts.

The first is that it’s already not working. Despite widespread and comprehensive awareness and education, 40% of gun owners with children do not lock up their guns, so even if you don’t own a gun, or you keep it locked, your kids are still at risk when they leave your house. Now ask yourself how eager people who won’t even talk about guns with their doctor are going to be to assuage your anxiety when your kid shows up for a birthday party.

But let’s say you decide to keep your kids from ever leaving the house, and keep your own guns locked up, nice and safe. What the dildo people aren’t telling you is that even locking up your guns doesn’t work:

Keeping a gun locked and keeping a gun unloaded have protective effects of 73% and 70%, respectively, with regard to risk of both unintentional injury and suicide for children and teenagers. These findings were consistent for both handguns and long guns (rifles and shotguns).

Now, there is one other thing that parents can do to keep their children more safe from guns, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

The best way to keep your children safe from injury or death from guns is to NEVER have a gun in the home.

  • Do not purchase a gun, especially a handgun.
  • Remove all guns present in the home.
  • Remember that young children simply do not understand how dangerous guns can be, despite parents’ warnings .
  • Find out if there are guns in the homes where your children play. If so, talk to the adults in the house about the dangers of guns to their families.

This won’t be 100% effective, of course, because you’ve still got to worry about your kids visiting other kids whose parents not only don’t want to hear shit from pediatricians, but want to make it illegal for pediatricians to counsel anyone about children and gun safety.

It is a start, though, and if Evolve is really committed to humoring gun owners into thinking they’re not horrible people for keeping guns and children in the same place, they could at least explain that even if you lock and/or unload your gun, you still have to pay really fucking close attention, because even locked or unloaded guns have the success rate of a middle reliever pitching to a utility infielder.

Because at 73%, the guns still have a .270 batting average

  • http://www.netranger.org/ NetRanger

    First of all, let me state that I’m nobodies’ friend in this.

    Gun lockup has no bearing on gun safety. Why? Because you can’t keep them locked up forever. Eventually your child will find one.

    One thing never every comes out in the news is that all mass shootings happen in gun free zones where the liberals have declared all guns are locked up or out. But, I’ll save that analysis for another day. Today I want to talk about Gun Safety.

    The best place for your gun is where you can get to it if you need it. If its not being “readily accessible” then, yeah, by all means, lock it in a safe. …for theft protection not child protection. Its the stolen guns that get used for murders and drive by’s, don’t make it any easier for them.

    I’ve raised three children. When they were 5 and under, the guns were up high where they could not get to them, or, if rifles, unloaded and ammo up high where the kids couldn’t get to it. After about the age of 5, they were taught gun safety. My kids love and respect firearms because I love and respect firearms. Even my liberal child will promptly tell you that most of you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to gun safety because she’s lived it.

    Now, for a lesson in REAL gun safety for all you dumbasses:

    I’m 53 years old. I’ve been handing guns and reloading since I was 2 years old. I found that the “make sure the gun is unloaded” doesn’t work. Why? I know at least three people that have been shot (one killed) by unloaded guns! What?!!! Shot by an unloaded gun???!!! Thats impossible you’ll say. Yes, in reality the gun was loaded but the owner or handler thought is was unloaded. There is a fix for that where no one will ever get shot by an unloaded gun again.

    The problem with gun safety is because of the inconsistency of how most are taught to handle guns. Its a double standard. When its loaded, its DANGEROUS. When its unloaded, its, meh, no big deal. The problem is you can’t readily tell if a gun is loaded or unloaded or you forget to look, etc. There is an answer to this problematic double standard – prepare of the worst. Assume the worst. THE GUN IS *ALWAYS* LOADED!!!

    Basically, I train all my clients to not worry about whether the gun is loaded or unloaded except in a very few specific situations such as cleaning. “But, its unloaded.” is never an excuse to point a gun at anything or anyone that is not a good target and should be destroyed. I’ve so engrained it into some of my clients that they will not even allow the barrel of a disassembled gun lay on a table with the muzzle pointing toward them. Handle every gun, all the time, as if it were loaded and on a hair trigger. Its worked for me, my wife and all three of our children and many of my clients. …and it will work for you.

    Also, when others are around, be a bigmouth asshole when people screw up and point guns at you or others. “Hey! Moron, that gun could be loaded! Point it in a safe direction!” in my opinion is never rude or pretentious. “Oh, sorry.” should always be the other guys response.

    Most people just want ot keep the guns away from the kids. …so when they grow up they’ll be ignorant and shoot themselves or don’t have any idea how to deal with idiots that have guns since they’ve always been ignorant about them. You can call that liberal if you want. I just call it stupid.

    The problem with the example above is this: showing horrified mothers will not change kids’ behaviour or gun owners’ behaviour. It will, however, make people realize that your a stupid liberal for advocating and linking such a stupid image. We need to educate the kids and educate the gun owners (…that probably weren’t educated as kids!)

    The Gun Is Always Loaded – Handle It Appropriately

    …its always a better option than having Hollywood train them as most liberals do.

  • Alan Carr

    Mmm, only been on this site a few days and already it’s clear which way the bias blows. Meh.

  • http://usrimfireshooters.wordpress.com/ RimfireShooter

    “Despite widespread and comprehensive awareness and education, 40% of gun owners with children do not lock up their guns, so even if you don’t own a gun, or you keep it locked, your kids are still at risk when they leave your house.”

    The other aspect you’ve glossed over is that gun owners in more urban areas will tend to not admit they even own firearms. Stigma and all that. And since non gun owners never teach their kids gun safety, or even think to find someone knowledgeable to teach them, they’ll just be an accident waiting to happen when they’re at the neighbor’s house.

    Knowledge is power. Teach your kids to be safe around guns even if they aren’t locked up.

  • Patrick Henry,The2nd

    “The best way to keep your children safe from injury or death from guns is to NEVER have a gun in the home.”

    Its also the best way to ensure they’ll be unsafe and defenseless when a criminal breaks in.

    There is nothing wrong with keeping guns in a house with kids, as long as they are reasonably locked up or on a person (for young kids) and you teach them about guns (instead of sticking your head in a sand).

    • reggid

      Ah, another delusional Batman wannabe hoping and dreaming of the day when he’ll actually get to shoot another person. In the meantime, Patty, you’ll just have keep whacking your lump noodle while you gently caress your AR-15.

      • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

        Can a person be a Batman wannabe with a gun? Isn’t that kinda like being a Superman wannabe by blowing up planets?

        /snarky

    • http://usrimfireshooters.wordpress.com/ RimfireShooter

      Yup. Spot on. Education is key to accident prevention.

  • feloniousgrammar

    Sexual pleasure and deadly force— I can see that a lot of people find these two things compatible, if not complementary; but fomenting this analogy for the benefit of children seems like the kind of confusing and senseless message that just embarrasses intelligent parents and makes children think grown-ups weird and senseless.

    So why bother with these brain-twisting puzzles?

    Kids: Don’t ask, but if you’re confronted with such an informational little thought experiment, shake your head ‘yes’ as if you get it. Smile, and then lean in adorable-y on the ‘educator’ briefly to ‘connect’ and give the impression that this is something you’ve been curious about for a long time, and now— finally!!— you are being given the analogy you needed because un-symbolic and direct speech is just too hard for you.

    Cock your head in mock-appreciation for the benefit of this ‘wisdom’, then push off, run along, and if you’re feeling up to it, flash one more smile while you’re standing in the doorway as if you were on a starting block, Exit with wild abandonment and resist any urge to figure out what that was all about. It will only get more confusing.

    Many adults don’t yet realize that that last smile could be both patronizing and a sincere effort to lovingly sooth the insecurities and lack of confidence that radiates from some adults so lacking in self-awareness that they appear to be emitting cries for help that they’ve conflates with stocking a lifeboat. A good deal of these odd efforts to “educate” children is the result of too much time spent watching daytime talk shows, but you’re a kid— what are you gonna do about it?

    Remember though, one or more of your parenting units may honestly need that reassurance from you for reasons that may be out of their control at present and probably comes from a place that hurts real bad. Though it can be a burden to a child to take care of an adult, just remember that they love you—

    to the best of their abilities.

    And if you’ve been dealt the misfortune of parents who love their guns more than you, I am so, so sorry and I will pray, in my own agnostic way, that you never, ever have to learn the hard way.

  • Speichera

    So,you’re saying when you take your kid to the range to shoot and the gun “jumps” in his hand it’s going to kill him? Wow, you know pretty much nothing about guns, do you? That’s called “recoil” and it’s normal. I recommend next time you to learn something about your subject before write about it. Because you just made yourself look really fucking stupid.

  • craigvan

    It follows that you’re a really irresponsible parent if you let your kids go to a house with a swimming pool, as pools are 100x as deadly to children.
    Some parents aren’t even effective at keeping their stash away from their kids. I talked to some 10-12 year olds bragging about the drugs they’ve taken.

    • JozefAL

      Well, you ARE an irresponsible parent if you let your kids go UNSUPERVISED to a house with a swimming pool.

      And I don’t exactly recall the time that a kid “accidentally” killed a friend by playing WITH a pool. Sure, anyone horsing around a pool can slip or get pushed in but I’d be willing to bet that the kid who unexpectedly finds himself in the pool will die SIMPLY from being in the water–unlike a gun that’s been “accidentally” fired in the direction of another kid (especially one who’s at the same range as a kid who’s been PUSHED in by a friend–last time I checked, you actually have to be within arm’s reach to push someone into a pool and being that close to someone and, even accidentally, shooting someone is more likely than not going to be fatal).

      As to those “10-12 year olds,” are you sure they were bragging about their parents’ stashes? You do realize that kids can get drugs on the street or even at school from OTHER people not related to them, right?

  • Razor

    If I ever start directing porno films, I call dibs on “Dilduel” as my first film title.

  • JozefAL

    What’s probably the more disturbing take from this: I’d be willing to bet that sex toy-owning parents probably keep their toys better hidden and better “protected” than gun-owning parents keep their “toys.”

  • Aaron Litz

    “Their similarities as surrogate penises”

    HA!

    Gun education is something that also seriously needs work. The only thing that children ever really see about guns today is in the movies, where they are treated as fabulous and glamorous toys that make adult’s eyes light up and cause lots of cool explosions.

    • Jason E

      Weapons of mass satisfaction! Minus the explosion.

    • Patrick Henry,The2nd

      Yep, and despite the NRA having a successful and proven method in Eddie Eagle, anti-gunners don’t want any gun information getting out.

      • Aaron Litz

        I live in Central Pennsylvania. I don’t want to eliminate all guns, but recuding the numbers would be very good. Hunting is an important source of food for us poor people here during the winter. (I don’t personally do it as I don’t enjoy it, it’s just friggin’ cold and boring, but target shooting at inanimate objects can be loads of fun; I just shot my brother’s AR-15 this weekend and it was cool as Hell… he is a fervent Liberal as am I and wants stronger gun control as well, and is also in the Army Reserve. We have grown up learning how to handle firearms and treat them with respect, and also appreciate them, but neither of us fetishize them.)

        Other cultures with guns don’t have the ludicrous problems with them that we do. There’s something sick in our society that needs correcting, and education would help.

        But the idea that “anti-gunners” don’t want firearm education “getting out” is ridiculous. We would be very happy for gun safety education to become prominent. People need to learn to treat firearms with respect and not as toys that make cool “bangs”, and reducing the number of firearms in circulation is definitely needed. There is absolutely no need for the numbers of guns in our country.

        • http://usrimfireshooters.wordpress.com/ RimfireShooter

          Attitudes regarding gun safety education in school vary greatly depending on region and population density.

          Where gun culture and gun ownership levels are higher, there’s less resistance toward teaching it in school. Just as in many urban areas, its all but taboo to even mention (let alone teach).

          Education is key, but a hard sell with some

  • captkurt

    I am going to tear up my NDA membership card!

  • Malthusias Zhirinovsky

    You’re right Tommy. I don’t know who these people at EVOLVE think they are, using some new outside-the-box approach in trying to communicate the dangers of unattended guns to the people who actually own those guns, instead of just trudging along the same old worn-out angry path that Gun Control Advocates have limped down year after year after year.

    Clearly you and your fancy ivory tower urbanite friends have some special insight into the benighted minds of gun owners, and have the magical solution to this issue: Confronting gun owners with insults (“horrible people”, “Oozing, blistered dickheads”, “Dildos”, etc.), offensive stereotypes based on their rural origins and traditions (rednecks, hillbillies), manipulated statistics, guilt-tripping, scare tactics, far-fetched accusations that they are complicit in terrible crimes, and finally telling them that they shouldn’t have guns at all. Indeed, I think this staggering well-thought out technique is sure to bring gun owners around to your side someday if you just keep trying and trying over and over again. It really has managed to make the Gun Control movement the staggering political success it is today!

    • craigvan

      I’ve noticed that urban liberals immediately express open and aggressive contempt for rural people who grow up where a gun culture exists. So of course the latter despises them right back.
      In regions such as the south and Midwest, it’s common for a dad to give his son a Winchester rifle for his 14th birthday.

  • http://perceptionasreality.blogspot.com/ skoorbekim

    Should I go ahead and assume that Tommy Christopher was fired from Mediaite?

  • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

    And it sends a really messed up message: Keep your guns locked up, but not because your kids might get hurt/killed, but because your kids might embarrass you.

    butwant to make it illegal for pediatricians to counsel anyone about children and gun safety

    Gotta love that logic too. “Hey the gubment shouldn’t tell me what to do, but it should tell other people what to do if I don’t like it, and especially tell other people to NOT tell me what to do.”

    • craigvan

      I’ve never heard of a pediatrician counseling anyone about gun safety.

      • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

        Tell that to the folks that want to make it illegal, because apparently they have heard of plenty.

      • Daniel Buchholz

        They do now. I experienced it personally 2-3 months ago at a checkup for my child. I might have laughed a little when they told me I should store the gun and ammo seperately…..

    • Patrick Henry,The2nd

      Well since pediatricians have no expertise on proper gun ownership, they shouldn’t be counseling anybody.

      • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

        Let’s see here:

        1) You assume that being a pediatrician precludes a person from being a responsible gun owner. As if the medical knowledge for minors somehow replaces the “gun safety” portion of the brain.

        2) You ignore that a pediatrician is concerned with the health and welfare of children, and yes, being able to say “guns are not healthy for children” IS in their expertise, just like any other potential hazard.

        3) You ignore the main point of my remark, and the original mention of the “pediatrician” line I quoted, which was that the same people whining about doctors telling them having a gun is dangerous have no problem with stomping on the doctor’s right and responsibility to inform them of such dangers because they don’t want to have their feelings hurt.

        Seeing the number of child related shootings every year, apparently some people are not getting the message, and there needs to be a few more mouthpieces available to state what should be blindly obvious.

  • Alex0001

    “Remember that young children simply do not understand how dangerous guns can be….”

    I’m pretty sure the same can be said about most adult gun owners.

    • Patrick Henry,The2nd

      Nope, most adult gun owners are quite away. Its the anti-gunners who don’t understand.

      • The Joker

        Presumably that excludes those who shoot themselves or others with unloaded weapons or who blow off their peckers sticking a gun in their waistband Hollywood style.

        Aside from that I tend to agree. Most gun owners do know how dangerous a gun can be. Some of them just aren’t prepared to exercise the care and control consistent with the possession of something that dangerous.

        Showing them kids playing with dildos isn’t going to change their behavior. They are already thicker than the solid rubber objects in question.

  • CL Nicholson

    I saw this yesterday and thought THIS is something only stupid white hipsters would come up with. Sorry, but Marginalized Communities have learned from experience that a messenger being too loud, too militant or in this case, to immature with kills the message.

    Yeah, its a cute for a chuckle, but there are better ways promote gun safety than something so patently absurd and gross.

  • reggid

    The irony, of course, is that pro-gun ads ALREADY feature nothing but dildos.

    Hell, the NRA is run by dildos.

    • Matthew J

      Now that’s a mean thing to say about dildos. My personal experience with dildos has always been one of positivity.

      I suggest a contest to come up with a better descriptive than “dildo” when the topic is NRA leadership. We’ll vote and the winner gets a shiny, new nickel.

      I’ll start:

      Oozing, blistered dickheads …

      • bbiemeret

        I can honestly say, while having some fairly positive experiences with dildos, I have absolutely no experience with oozing, blistered dickheads… Ewww!

        Just sayin’.

    • Patrick Henry,The2nd

      Nice name calling. No facts, just attacks.

      • reggid

        Please, Patty, share all your many dildo facts with us.

      • The Joker

        I don’t know. I suspect that being called a didlo is one of the more flattering references that have been made about Wayne Lapierre. After all a diddo is a useful object. Not many would accuse him of that.