The world famous satirical art duo The Yes Men have a new project that “launches” today, the 4th of July. Comprised of a press release video, a promotional video, and a website selling firearms, the new project, Share the Safety, is masquerading as a joint effort by the NRA and weapons manufacturer Smith & Wesson aiming to give free guns to America’s urban poor. According to the website, as the people in need of armaments cannot afford them, the project offers gun buyers a “buy one give one” opportunity—they can purchase a gun, and in exchange, the NRA and Smith & Wesson will donate a gun to someone in an at-risk neighborhood of their choice. The site is filled with fake testimonials, such as:
“I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life and it seems like every year more and more people in my neighborhood get shot and killed by security guards, cops, and vigilantes. The only way to be sure you survive is to defend yourself, and I’m grateful to finally be able to do that.”
“I was shopping for a gun for myself, but when I realized I could take advantage of this new program I was excited to get on board. I need to defend myself and my family, but it’s great that I can help a good guy defend himself in the process.”
According to The Daily Dot, the NRA filed a takedown request over The Yes Men’s website. Sharethesafety.org was then temporarily shut down, along with 38,000 other websites hosted by Surge, the site’s automated publishing service. It is important to note that though The Yes Men’s video uses NRA trademarks, parodies are protected under US trademark law. As of now, Share the Safety’s website, along with The Yes Men’s two video, are still online.