Don’t believe everything you see online.
A fake news release was circulated Wednesday publicizing an alleged campaign by the National Rifle Association and Smith & Wesson titled “Share the Safety” which promoted “buy one give one” guns to people in poor communities. The entire hoax was elaborate and it included professionally designed websites, high quality videos, and a press release proportioning to be from the NRA.
This was the fake group’s mission statement:
These days, the most endangered species is the law-abiding American citizen—especially the one who lives in a poor urban center. As profiling and institutional prejudice endanger the urban poor, politicians work to restrain their ability to protect themselves. It’s more important than ever to defend our rights and stand our ground. Won’t you help those who can’t afford to?
The National Rifle Association is proud to partner with Smith & Wesson to Share the Safety, a revolutionary “buy one, give one” program that serves to protect your loved ones plus an at-risk family in one of our country’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. Sign up now to be notified when the program launches this Fourth of July. For each stylish gun purchased, an appropriate gun will be donated to an at-risk, low-income, documented citizen in the urban center of your choice. Your purchase will not only reinforce your own security, but it will forever transform the lives of the law-abiding urbanites who will for the first time be able to defend themselves against those who prey on the urban poor.
Aside from the message the hoax was incredibly convincing because the pranksters released a press release on a site which mimicked the actual NRA website. This anti-gun campaign was designed to fool gun rights supporters into believing that the NRA was making extremely questionable choices.
You can watch the fake promo video below: