Gun control groups and partnering ad agencies hope its newest “end family fire” campaign will become as ubiquitous as “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” when it comes to preventing unintentional deaths.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Ad Council launched a series of print and television advertisements Wednesday encouraging safe storage practices among gun owners. The date, Aug. 8, references the eight children and teens killed by unlocked or unsupervised guns each day, according to CDC data compiled by the Brady Center.
A study published in the Journal of Urban Health this year estimates 4.6 million children live in homes with an unlocked, loaded gun. Meanwhile, gun-related injuries hospitalize 20 children and adolescents daily, according to a review published in the June 2017 edition of Hospital Pediatrics.
Fatalities involving firearms are one of the top four leading causes of death for American youth, according to the article “Pediatric Firearm-Related Injuries in the United States,” with more than 4,500 under the age of 21 dying in 2015. Lead author Dr. Kavita Parikh, associate professor of pediatrics at Children’s National Health System, said research suggests 39 percent of parents wrongly believe their children don’t know where guns are stored in the home.
“We want everyone who is driving down the street, listening to the radio, watching TV, to hear this term, to go to our website and to internalize what family fire is,” said Kris Brown, a president of the Brady Center, in an interview with the New York Times this week.
Ad Council serves as the brains behind successful campaigns including Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog and Crash Test Dummies. “We focus on issues for the long haul, and when we take one on, our focus is to stay at it until the issue goes away,” said Lisa Sherman, chief executive of the Ad Council, told the newspaper.