Today, Saatchi & Saatchi New York is launching the first ever campaign for the gun responsibility organization Evolve, encouraging people to take personal responsibility for gun safety and generally not be dumbasses.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s pro-bono campaign features a short, satirical video called “The Bill of Rights for Dumbasses.” The 1:40 video portrays Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures debating the language of the second amendment. Jefferson thinks the amendment runs a little long, and after much debate, convinces the rest of the council to remove the “as long as they aren’t being dumbasses about it” part from the amendment. While the founding fathers are debating the matter, viewers are treated to a humorous montage of gun owners engaging in questionable practices, before Jefferson concludes it’s common sense that you shouldn’t act that way with a gun. The video ends with the founding fathers playing pinata with a gun, followed by the tagline, “It’s the right to bear arms, not the right to be dumbass” and a message prompting viewers to go to takeonthecode.com and sign the code of gun responsibility.
Evolve co-founder Rebecca Bond hopes that “Humor can be a gateway to taking away the defensiveness that is the legacy of these discussions.” Joe Bond, also an Evovle co-founder, added, “We want the ‘Dumbass’ concept to catch on in popular culture the way ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ did for safe driving.”
Since it’s rare to find people discussing guns without getting hysterical about it, Saatchi & Saatchi’s employment of dumb humor is somewhat refreshing. But will it really chip away at the defensiveness that gun rights activists feel when discussing anything related to guns? Or are they more likely to take offense at the video depicting gun owners, and even founding fathers, as dumbasses? Unfortunately, I doubt the video will convince many viewers to “take on the code,” because even though Evolve professes to be a “third voice” in the gun debate without political affiliation, gun rights activists will still likely view the video’s satire as an attack on them. Meanwhile, the video will appeal to plenty of gun reform proponents — people who don’t need any convincing on the importance of gun safety, and mostly don’t own guns (and therefore have no need to take Evolve’s pledge). That’s too bad, because Evolve’s responsibility code is really just common sense and something any gun owner should be able to get behind — which makes this feel like a missed opportunity. Credits after the jump.