Brady's #showyoursafety campaign is an initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of gun safety and encourage responsible gun ownership through a novel avenue: the writer's room. The campaign was launched in June 2022 by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce gun violence in the United States, with the intention of helping the creative community harness their power as culture-makers to create a safer America free of gun violence through simple, creative, and powerful actions that foster positive behavior change.
While guns are prominently featured in television, art, music, and movies across the globe, only the US has a gun violence epidemic. With more guns than people, over 40,000 people are shot and killed in America every year. The nation's gun violence crisis impacts nearly every aspect of American life. While addressing the root cause of weak gun laws is crucial, life-saving social change can also be driven — and the creative community can play a powerful role in realizing that change.
The #showyoursafety campaign also challenges the common misperception that gun ownership and gun safety are incompatible. Many gun owners believe they have a constitutional right to own firearms and that any attempts to regulate or restrict them are a violation of this right. However, Brady argues that responsible gun ownership and gun safety are not mutually exclusive, and that the norm of responsible gun ownership can be grown and shared through the work of television and film industry leaders.
Brady's #showyoursafety campaign is a strategic initiative designed to promote responsible gun ownership and reduce the number of gun-related accidents and deaths in the United States by educating those who craft the media enjoyed by millions of Americans on the realities of safe and responsible firearm storage.
The campaign is a comprehensive strategy combining education, advocacy, and social media outreach to reach a broad audience and promote the message of gun safety. It has received widespread support from a variety of organizations and individuals, including gun owners, law enforcement officials, and public health advocates. To launch the campaign, Brady solicited signatures for and published an open letter supporting positive culture change by modeling firearm safety on screen. We are not asking anyone to stop showing guns on screen. Instead, we are asking writers, directors, and producers to be mindful of on-screen gun violence and model gun safety best practices by agreeing, whenever possible, to:
use their creativity to model responsible gun ownership and show consequences for reckless gun use;
make a conscious effort to show characters locking their guns safely and keeping them inaccessible to children;
have at least one conversation during pre-production regarding the way guns will be portrayed on screen and consider alternatives that could be employed without sacrificing narrative integrity;
limit scenes including children and guns, bearing in mind that guns are now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents.
Following the spread of the letter, Brady has participated in numerous training activities for creatives, including but not limited to days at the range (to teach the realities of guns and firearm safety) and workshops on how to write about gun violence.
Over 300 writers, directors, and producers — including Emmy and Academy Award winners and folks like J.J. Abrams, Mark Ruffalo, Shonda Rhimes, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, and Judd Apatow — have signed our open letter, which remains open for additional signatories.
Our continued engagement with the creative community has spread into training sessions, workshops, and demonstrations on firearm safety and the reality of gun violence. By encouraging responsible gun ownership and promoting gun safety, the campaign is helping to reduce the number of gun-related accidents and deaths in the United States. It is also raising awareness about the importance of taking action to prevent gun violence and promoting a culture of responsible gun ownership.
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