In the midst of a contentious gun debate, a viral video satirizing gun control activists has racked up more than 1 million views on social media.
Liberty Tree Guns, a Missouri gun shop, shared a video to its Facebook page last month depicting a stereotypical “liberal” walking around the Carthage establishment.
The parody shows a Rachel Maddow-loving character who calls himself “Nathan the Liberal” braving the inside of a “gun house full of assault guns.”
“Oh my god. What is that?” Nathan is heard saying in the video upon encountering ammunition strewn across the floor of Liberty Tree Guns.
“This is a very scary place. I don’t know where I am right now … ” Nathan says as he continues touring the gun shop. “I can feel the evil radiating off these things. I’m just afraid of getting shot honestly. One of these things could shoot me at any moment.”
At one point during the four-minute-long video, Nathan describes firearms he comes across as “automatic, machine gun, lightning bolt, .30 caliber ghost guns.”
Liberty Tree Guns’ owner, Eli Bruton, told Pluralist in a Facebook message that it took him less than 30 seconds to plan the satirical video.
“I was simply going to lay out the magazines in a trail, just as a way to highlight how many we got in stock,” he said. “After I got them all laid out, the idea popped into my head.”
Nathan’s voice and most of the dialogue from the video came off the cuff.
“I actually only planned one joke, which was ‘$549 is less than I spend on my Soy Latte’s each month’ and I forgot to tell it in the video!” Bruton said.
The Liberty Tree Guns parody captures the frustration felt by many proponents of gun rights
Gun control activists have renewed calls for increased restrictions on the purchase of firearms, citing data from organizations such as the Gun Violence Archive to claim that America is in the midst of a gun violence epidemic.
But Brutons’ parody captures the other side of the debate.
Many pro-gun advocates are frustrated by what they see as their opponents’ ignorance of how firearms actually work. Liberal discomfort and unfamiliarity with guns leads to hysteria and misinformation, they argue.
One illustration of such a phenomenon might be the stunt undertaken by journalist Gersh Kuntzman in 2016. After a deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Kuntzman traveled to a range to fire off a few rounds from an AR-15, the same weapon used by shooter Omar Mateen.
Describing his experience in a widely mocked piece for the New York Daily News, Kuntzman said it was “horrifying, menacing and very very loud.”
“The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face,” he wrote. “The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.”
Panicked Liberal makes video inside Liberty Tree Guns.
Posted by Liberty Tree Guns on Friday, August 23, 2019