A new PSA aims to promote an idea that should be common sense — that guns don’t belong anywhere near alcohol.
Isn’t the idea of people carrying fire arms into a bar laughable? It sounds completely ridiculous to mix guns and alcohol — people act differently when they drink. Inhibitions are lowered. For some, alcohol brings out a bad temper. And based on the laws against drunk driving, our country acknowledges that drinking impairs our judgment. So obviously, having guns anywhere near a crowd of people who are drinking is completely ludicrous, right? Wouldn’t it be crazy if that were allowed? Well, guess what?
That’s right. In 40 states, it’s perfectly legal to carry a gun into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol. In another nine states plus Washington D.C., guns are allowed in restaurants that serve alcohol. Only one state — Alaska — makes it illegal to have a gun in a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol. One.
Enter the Everytown Creative Council and their “What Could Go Wrong” campaign aimed at highlighting the very real dangers of mixing guns and alcohol. The Everytown Creative Council is made up of several celebrities including famous moms Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Bell, Elizabeth Banks and many others. Founded by actress Julianne Moore, their goal is to use their celebrity and creative talents to promote a “common sense” movement when it comes to guns.
The “What Could Go Wrong” campaign just released a disturbing PSA about guns being allowed in bars and restaurants. It stars Rachel Dratch and begins with a light-hearted, funny tone — and wraps up with a very unsettling punchline.
The video at first seems to be mocking commercials aimed at parents. A super-efficient mom (played by Dratch) is gathering laundry and tidying up while managing to stick a bike helmet on her son and fielding complaints about bananas in her daughter’s lunch. She talks about how as a busy mom, her priority is keeping her kids safe and enjoying the time she spends with them. This leads to Dratch’s character, her husband and kids piling into the car to go out to dinner together as a family.
When they arrive at the restaurant, the family is joking about what to order for dinner when suddenly, the tone changes. Things grow quiet as the daughter notices a gun propped up against the bar and asks her mom if everything’s ok. The camera then pans around the restaurant where we see several other guns leaning against the walls, presumably next to the people who carried them in. It ends with Dratch looking at the camera mouthing exactly what someone watching this video is probably thinking — what the fuck?
The video is obviously an exaggeration — I’ve never in my life seen a shotgun propped up against a bar while out to eat — but the point is, if people are allowed to bring guns into bars and restaurants, we may not see them depending on each state’s open or concealed carry laws. We could be surrounded by people with fire arms, who are also possibly doing shot after shot, with no knowledge whatsoever. It sounds like an absolutely ridiculous scenario but because of existing gun laws, it’s totally plausible. And that’s terrifying.
The “What Could Go Wrong” campaign isn’t aiming to take away people’s guns. It’s simply advocating for common sense when it comes to both gun ownership and where people are allowed to carry their weapons. The fact is, a government study reported that nearly half of convicted killers were under the influence of alcohol at the time of their crime. And as the campaign’s website cites, 93% of Americans don’t think guns should be allowed in bars. So, why are they?
In so many cases, alcohol obviously plays a role in exacerbating violence or outright causing it to start. The “What Could Go Wrong” campaign’s press release for this PSA points out that just a few days ago, a Pennsylvania man allegedly shot and killed a woman at a bar because she rejected his advances. The man’s attorney even admits he was “extremely intoxicated” at the time of the woman’s death. Naturally, killing her was illegal — but having his gun tucked into his pants while he was getting blasted at the bar wasn’t.
Gun ownership is an incendiary issue with impassioned arguments from both sides. Proponents of gun ownership often cite the law-abiding citizens who should have the right to bear arms. “What Could Go Wrong” is not advocating for revoking gun ownership — just for using common sense and avoiding the potentially deadly combination of guns and alcohol consumption. If we want safe communities, if we want safe families, if we want our kids to be safe — it would be smart to listen to what they’re saying. Before it’s too late.