“Chicago Gun Share Program” Art Exhibit Says Buying A Gun Is As Easy As Renting A Bike
A Windy City art exhibit called the “Chicago Gun Share Program” holds a row of 10 replica AR-15 rifles and is structured to show how easy it is to get a weapon.
You’ve seen those CitiBike ride-sharing ports in your major city or small town in Anywhere, U.S.A., right? You put your credit card in, pay your money, and off you go riding around the town, peddling to the sound of your own heartbeat. Well, a new art exhibit in Chicago’s Daley Plaza, wants to flip the idea of easy riding on its head.
The “Chicago Gun Share Program” exhibit takes the bike-sharing station concept and replaces the two-wheeled vehicle with a row of 10 replicated AR-15 assault rifles. Presented as a symbolic piece of public art, the “Chicago Gun Share Program” is structured to make it look as though getting a weapon is as easy as renting a bike.
Recent examples that have taken place in Chicago, Florida, California, and Las Vegas would add credibility to that claim.
The “Chicago Gun Share Program” came about as a partnership between Chicago-based advertising agency The Escape Pod and gun safety organization the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Our hope is to raise awareness of this important issue. We’re hoping the Chicago community can take advantage of this … and learn how simple it is for a civilian to obtain a weapon of war,” said Max Samis, Brady Center press secretary.
“Our goal here is to start a conversation on one of the more burning issues of our day, and in the process, raise much-needed funds for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence,” said Vinny Warren, The Escape Pod executive creative director. “This issue is especially relevant to our home town of Chicago, which has suffered more than most from the plague of gun violence.”
Those in Chicago who wish to see exhibit cannot actually take the gun out of its slot, but it is preferred that they make a donation to the Brady Center and learn more about the campaign’s gun safety efforts. Since the Parkland school shooting in Florida in February, the Brady Campaign has advocated for three policy changes: 1) Extending background checks for all gun sales, 2) Banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and 3) Passing extreme-risk protection order laws that allow courts to prohibit someone from owning a gun if they pose a threat to themselves or others.
“We’re grateful that this will raise awareness of this important issue and support our efforts to enact gun safety reforms,” Samis said.
The “Chicago Gun Share Program” art exhibit opened Thursday, May 10, and will be open to the public until Wednesday, May 16.