Freeport, Illinois – Well, another unfortunate person was shot today in Freeport and this time, it was a bystander. Yep, that’s right.
Today’s event happened on Homer Street in the 300 block of town and involved two gangs of people. One group ran to a house on Homer Street after the shots fired event and the other, to the 800 block of Walnut. Comforting huh.
Now, to be clear, we don’t mean to start this news with the word “well” as in “oh just another someone” was shot today. We say “well” because we’re disgusted by the same old story time and time again.
If you’ve been around here for the past few years, you know that we hear this news just way too often.
We also don’t mean by the title of this article to take blame away from the person pulling the trigger. Someone was shot today in Freeport and the person or person/s who are responsible need to be brought to justice. In other words, we don’t blame the primary influence of gun violence anymore than others blame the gun.
While some of you perhaps may not like to hear this, as forthcoming as we can be, we are telling you that from a marketing perspective that the image above, (the red gun sign) all the discussion about guns, all the shootings, all the media coverage and all the images of guns are only doing the following one thing with respect to guns;
Promoting shooting guns.
If you put up pictures of condoms all over the place, people are going to start having more sex. We know, that sounds crazy, but they will. In fact, you will. It doesn’t matter if you put a red circle around it with a line in the middle. If you go out to dinner with the honey and you see a condom in its big red glory on the restaurant door, tonight the magic happens so long as someone doesn’t have a headache.
The “it’s got a red circle around it” argument probably isn’t going to work.
You know what else?
If you put up images of a movie theater, people are going to go the movies more often too. It’s called marketing something. If you put up a picture of a yellow duck, people in your store will all of a sudden start having conversations about the yellow duck in your door.
Listen, to think that every big (or small) media uses images to tell you stories and images of their products to sell their products, but somehow, magically showing images of guns, talking about guns, displaying guns, shooting of guns all over the place and putting a BIG RED STICKER on your business and SCHOOL’S doors doesn’t work the same way, our friends, we have to tell you that it is the biggest lie of all time.
Unless it’s some money laundering, secret rip off scheme the company (product) is getting “news” over, companies sell lots of products when there’s bad news. In some cases, it may even represent their highest spike in sales.
See, the word no doesn’t work very well in America. You tell an American no and what’s the first they want to do? Prove you wrong.
As an example, a company we consulted for years ago had developed a product that made it into a Stephen Cobert, The Colbert Report show. Some of his writers must have been searching the internet for products, or simply just show segments and happened to come across our clients product. They proceeded to then do a spoof of the product, which wasn’t positive.
They made fun of the graphics on the product, some of the product claims and overall, to what most said at the time, embarrassed the product. Many thought the product’s life was finished. Care to guess what happened?
Over the next 5 days sales of the product skyrocketed to numbers never matched in the products entire history. Last we knew the product (by itself), had sales of over 1 million dollars annually.
Let’s take it one step further though.
The image above is a picture of a gun, correct? What’s the message? No guns, right? So, say you wanted to keep your children off drugs. Would you put an image on their bedroom door of a burning joint? Some pot burning? Would you put the image of what you didn’t want them to do all around them? Remember, kids, no, then repeat it over and over and over and over, and over?
How about a heroin addict? Should we show them the image of a needle going in someone’s arm, but put a red circle with a line through it around it?
Or what about for a person with schizophrenia, or depression or how about one that says “no theft” with a picture of a someone robbing the place you’re about to walk into? “Nope, not allowed here“, see the red circle? Oh yeah, the red circle. Sorry, I’ll go rob another place. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Look, there are basically 3 types of people who may shoot you. Not pleasant to think about, but lets just get down to the nuts and bolts of guns here. You have the thugs, (white, black, whatever color, gang, no gang, whatever age) who have the image of “cool” as being a person with a gun. A gun is staple to these kids. It’s the ultimate, “I’m a tough guy” statement.
We’re not referring to rightful conceal carry people who carry for the purpose of protection (against the above), we’re referring to the mindset of people that carry a gun for the complete opposite reason. These types will shoot you over a Dodgers hat. They’ll shoot you over $10.00 of marijuana. They’ll shoot you for a pair of Air Jordan’s. They have a gun and it literally could go off at any emotional 15-18 year old (or gang mentality) moment in time, god only knows when that could be.
You then have serial killers, (which who knows what they do) followed then by the random person who just happens to shoot someone. A jealous spouse, corporate embezzlement over money, arguments that go awry, things of that nature. Not necessarily people who would have shot someone or were looking to shoot someone, but someone rather of circumstance. Aside from war, there aren’t really many other ways you might purposely be shot by a gun.
So in other words, you essentially have the thugs and kids who always walk around with a gun and want to carry a gun, you have serial killers who use all types of weapons, and you have random people who may or may not own guns, who by all rights may have no intention of ever shooting someone, yet who in some spur of the moment event, shoots someone.
We don’t know about you, but we’re not worried about a serial killer and we’re not worried about the random lover gone mad who might shoot us. If you are, a gun isn’t your problem (and go to the police).
We worry about the thug and the kids with guns who think they are cool because they’re packin’ a weapon. They’re the loaded weapon, not the gun and they are influenced to pull that trigger everywhere they turn. These are the types who are shooting at each other all across our country and yep, right here in our own town.
As we all know, as with most topics of our nation, the television and the media we watch tells of these “issues of the day” that cry for our attention. Police violence, gay rights, guns, trans gender bathrooms, passing out condoms, race and how we should all love Bruce Jenner for finally becoming a woman. These issues, (these topics) are broadcast everywhere and get soaked into the thoughts of our culture. They make their way all across the country, even coming to our little quaint humble home of Freeport.
These messages and topics didn’t come from within. The newspaper didn’t break the Freeport gay rights story. The radio isn’t the one who introduced the topic of Freeport police violence. Our media isn’t responsible (to a large degree) for these topics that affect us, yet, these topics find their way into our daily conversations, our actions and the messages we see as a result nonetheless.
Regardless of how views may differ, no matter what side you’re on, the message repeated always wins. Condoms win, trans gender bathrooms win and guns win. In other words, the messages we see and the topics we hear of or repeat become (or appear to be) popular in our culture and eventually (usually) pretty much always, also become law. That’s where it can become dangerous.
We have spent our entire lives in marketing. If you never listen to us on any other issue, just take a step back and look at what’s being shown to you and to your children (or others children) in the media and in our culture.
Listen to what’s being told to you and pause, open your eyes to the images being shown to you and then just look at what’s actually happening all around you.
- Why a gun?
- Why all the news about guns?
- Why big red signs of guns on our businesses, our schools, our landmarks?
Why is there a gun problem. And what do we do to retaliate?
Put up more images of guns.