The Advertisement Analysis Of The Anti Gun Violence Campaign

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Living in a country where assault weapons are so easily accessible is scary. Parents all over America, fear sending their kids places because of this, even places where they should feel most safe, school. On December 14th, 2012, innocent children’s lives were taken at Sandy Hook Elementary school by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, from Newtown, Connecticut. Not only did he take the life of 20 children and 6 adult staff members, but he also took the life of his mother and then proceeded in killing himself. This shooting was pronounced the deadliest mass shooting at a primary school and the 2nd deadliest mass school shooting in America. When Shannon woods, mother of 5, heard about this tragedy she instantly started forming her organization, Moms Demand For Action. 

Through her organization, she represents the message that all Americans can and should do something to reduce gun violence in America for the safety of kids and everyone else. Two civilians, one’s holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them and ones holding something that hasn’t been banned to protect them. Mom’s demand for action has released several ads since December of 2012 after the tragic Sandy Hook shooting to show the increase of gun violence in America. These ads are published simply to make a point and start a discussion. All 3 of the ads which include children take place in a school, the other 2 ads that include a child and an adult and take place in a Kroger grocery store. Each pair of individuals in these ads are center framed on the page of the ad with different backgrounds, and each of the ads portrays the same text “One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them. Guess which one” or “One of them isn’t welcome at Kroger. Guess which one.” The text is white and is backed with a background color of black to make it stand out with the background. The creator of these ads made sure to make the background colors dull, so the important phrases stand out. 

The words “Guess which one” is in red because it’s the most important question being asked in these ads. In the bottom right corner of all of these ads is the mom’s demand for action logo, the ads that take place in grocery stores have the hashtag “#GroceriesNotGuns” below the logo. In small white text at the bottom of these ads are explanations of the objects that have been banned in America or Kroger. In every ad the person holding the weapon is white and the children with other racial backgrounds hold the harmless objects. In each ad, you can notice that the harmless objects belong in the environment, but the harmless object is the one being banned while the weapons which are harmful aren’t. The 3 ads with the children are very diverse, there are females, males, African Americans, Asians, and Caucasians. Stereotyping and labeling different races are very common now and has been for hundreds of years, so to avoid any controversy or backlash, the authors of these ads had to be very careful when choosing the gender and race that’ll be portraying these objects. For example, if they had 3 young African American boys or girls in each ad, and they were shown holding the assault weapons in every ad they’d receive a great amount of backlash for choosing only one race to display the assault weapons. While looking at the three ads that include children, the first ad portrays a picture of two little girls in their school library. The African American girl is holding The Little Red Riding Hood book in her hands and the white girl is holding the assault weapon. The placement of these objects is very crucial to the ad. Years ago when slavery still existed, African Americans were prohibited from gaining knowledge for the fear of retaliation by their slave masters, while whites were always allowed to do as they please. 

So, having the white little girl holding the weapon symbolizes the white America and that if they fight for something long enough, they will get it. So, if white America is fighting for no restrictions on gun laws, which is what’s currently happening in America they’re fighting is working because no further restrictions have been made to gun laws since 2008 (Gray). The little African American girl symbolizes, years of change that has happened in America that allows these two girls of different races to sit in the same room and allowing African Americans to gain knowledge. Taking The Little Red Riding Hood out of school libraries is similar to prohibiting African Americans from learning in the olden days which is also why the African American holding the book is significant to this ad. Both of the girls have very straight faces showing no emotions. At the bottom of this ad, it says “We keep The Little Red Riding Hood out of schools because of the bottle of wine in her basket. Why not assault weapons “, the creator of this ad made the text at the bottom small so that the reader will lookout for the answer to the question asked at the top. Every adult knows the story of The Little Red Riding Hood and every kid deserves to learn about this story as well. Most kids who are reading this book don’t even know what wine is, so why would they notice it. The assistant superintendent for instruction at a California elementary school states “the wine gives younger ones the wrong impression about alcohol” (Jacobson). 

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The ads trying to say that although underaged drinking should never be allowed, we have far more problems in our school systems than a bottle of wine in a children’s fairytale. School systems need to be fighting for gun restrictions in America to prevent another mass shooting in a school or anywhere else. The creator of these ads uses children in these ads to manipulate us into thinking how they’re thinking. Children symbolize innocence and purity, and everybody wants to keep kids safe in general. The way that kids are kept safe is through their parents, so if it were two adults in this ad it wouldn’t have the same influence on us as to having the kids in the ad. The next children’s ad takes place in a classroom in a school, and includes an Asian boy and a white female, the little boys holding a Kinder chocolate egg that’s been banned in the US due to the law from the 1930s banning candy with nonfood objects inside. The little girl has a very straight face, and the little boy has a straight but hopeful face, his face makes him look like he’s thinking, “It’s just a chocolate bar.” The female is holding the assault weapon and the same questions persist at the bottom, “We won’t sell kinder in the us because it’s against the interest of child safety but why not assault weapons”. Once again, they have the little white girl holding the assault weapon to represent white America. This ad shows how ridicule some of the bans are here in America. Thousands of children are dying from intentional and accidental shootings every year, but we choose to ban candy and not the object killing thousands. 

The authors of this ad find it absurd that a little chocolate egg is being banned all over America before any further laws have been made to restricts the use of guns in America. The last children’s ad takes place in a school gym. There are two boys, one Asian and Caucasian. The Asian boy holds a dodgeball with a straight and sad face while the Caucasian boy holds an assault weapon with a very straight face. Dodge ball has been banned in schools all across America because they believe it’s dangerous and puts children at harm. In the 1870s stereotypes were formed towards Asians, which allowed racism to occur. The little Asian boy holding the ball is significant because when racism occurred, these kids weren’t able to do anything the white kids could do like having fun. Often these young children were forced to work in factories, so now that these kids are able to play, they’re taking it away from them because its “dangerous “but guns also put them at danger, so why have the laws still not changed in America. Getting hit by a dodge ball is far less painful than getting shot and possibly dying. The last 2 ads take place in Kroger, the first ad has a little girl in a pink dress eating an ice cream and a man with an assault rifle on his back. Kroger prohibits outside food and drinks in stores and its very ironic that a store full of food doesn’t allow eating but a store that doesn’t sell weapons allows them in stores. 

Both the child and the man in this ad are white, they’re positioned center framed and are standing in the frozen food aisle. The second ad has a Caucasian teenager with a skateboard in the store and a Caucasian old man with an assault weapon. At the bottom of the ad, it states “Kroger prohibits skateboarding inside its grocery stores because it’s unsafe. More so than a loaded gun?” the teenage boy has a hopeless face and the old man has a very straight and firm face. This ad is also ironic because although skateboarding it stores is unsafe, if Kroger’s trying to create a safe environment why haven’t they banned the object that would make the store even more unsafe. Both of these ads have a tint of brown in their background which allows the viewer’s eyes to draw more attention to the white and red text backed in black. Multiple shooting that occurred at Kroger grocery stores led these women to make ads trying to get Kroger to participate in a no open carry policy, but Kroger stated that asking its employees to enforce this policy would be impractical and dangerous. Moms demand for action has been releasing ads since the tragic sandy hook shooting to make a point and start a discussion about gun violence in America. 

The use of innocent children in their ads is to emotionally persuade the viewers and hope that they will feel moved by the ad to fight to help protect children in schools and everywhere else they go. Having an object that’s been banned that causes no harm to children and an object that causes harm to children and hasn’t been banned is concerning to many parents. The audience of these ads include mothers, parents, educational officials, anyone with children or anyone concerned about gun violence. Pathos is used in this ad to grasp the attention of the parents, with the use of young children holding weapons. The young children holding weapons is shocking to many parents and makes them question If their child is actually safe at school and why isn’t the government doing anything to protect the children. These ads do a phenomenal job of getting the point across to the viewers. Although no changes have been made to the gun laws, if Moms Demand For Action and others continue to fight they’ll win this battle. 

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