Filmmaker Mark Pellington Takes on Gun Violence in New PSAs

Courtesy of CAA

In conjunction with the Coalition Against Gun Violence, the "Jeremy" music video director created two public service announcements urging voters to support candidates who back gun control

Hard on the heels of another school shooting and with the midterm elections just days away, the Coalition Against Gun Violence plans to air a pair of public service announcements urging voters to support candidates willing to back sensible controls on firearms.

The 60-second spots were directed by filmmaker Mark Pellington, whose early '90s video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" still is regarded as a landmark in the campaign for rational gun regulation.

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In the first of the just-released spots, an older man is depicted eating at a diner as he reads about the 2012 Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting in his newspaper. As he reads, blood begins to trickle down his fingers and onto the paper. The second segment shows a group of young people receiving the news of the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting while blood drips from their hands and onto their smartphone screens. A voiceover intones: “You did not buy the guns. You did not load the bullets. You did not empty the chamber. But you voted. You voted for politicians who refuse to support common-sense gun control. Pledge to support only candidates who will fight to reduce gun violence. Gun control is in our hands.”

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The videos were created for the coalition by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and the production company Wondros as an attempt to inject political accountability into an issue increasingly dominated by the National Rifle Association and other Second Amendment fundamentalists, who oppose any legal restrictions on guns.

More than an issue, gun violence is a public health crisis from which 86 Americans die each day and another 308 are injured. Already the leading cause of death among young African-American and Latino males and a leading cause of suicides, firearms fatalities will statistically pass auto accidents as a cause of sometime in the next year.