A short independent film marketed as a public service message that depicts a youth turning in a pistol to his teacher has a national gun rights group crying foul.
San Francisco-based Sleeper 13 Productions without the apparent backing of any gun control group developed the three-minute film, entitled, “Stop Gun Violence.” It shows a teenaged boy taking a handgun from a dresser drawer, stashing it in his backpack and going to school with it where he turns the pistol over to his teacher at the end of class and says that he didn’t feel safe with it in his home.
“The series of crimes depicted in this video is simply astonishing,” said Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Chairman Alan Gottlieb in a statement obtained by Guns.com. “We’re talking about felony theft of a firearm, illegal possession of a handgun by a minor, having a gun in a school, illegal concealed carry by a minor, brandishing and maybe one or two other crimes, depending upon the jurisdiction.”
Uploaded to YouTube on Dec. 13, the video has over 11,000 dislikes compared to just 73 likes while the Facebook post advertising it has been bombarded with hundreds of mostly negative comments.
Rejina Sincic, the filmmaker behind the short meanwhile has taken to social media to stir the Internet pot with such comments as, “I’m entertained by tweets that I’m getting about my PSA,” and, “Lots of people are afraid to share my PSA. If you are not a coward please share.”
While no gun control group has taken credit for the ad, one has publicly come to Sincic’s defense.
“Like other provocative satire, such a message might very well disturb and/or scare some viewers. That is totally understandable,” Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence told the Christian Science Monitor. “We would argue, however, that the reality of the United States leading the civilized world in child gun death — by a long shot — is far more terrifying.”
The CSGV, in a series of Twitter messages, gave Sincic advice on how to edit her video to make the message more effective while repeatedly disavowing any link between the two.
According to the Washington Times, the film, was shot at North Oakland Community Charter School in Oakland. School officials approved the filming there but were not aware of its message.
Gottlieb voiced concerns that with the viral nature of the film, it could spark problems all its own.
“The message of this video is so monumentally stupid that if any youth does something like this after watching it, the producers should face charges. If someone is hurt, they should face both criminal and civil liability,” said the gun rights advocate.