A shocking video showing a social experiment by HBO from 2014 highlights the ease with which a minor can legally buy a gun in America.
In the clip, a 13-year-old boy identified as ‘Jack’ is seen trying, and failing, to purchase multiple items which are regulated by age under US law.
He gets turned down when he tries to buy beer, cigarettes, and adult entertainment, but not when he tries to buy a rifle.
Everyone in each of these scenarios has acted exactly as they are required to, by law.
The experiment was originally short for HBO with the host, Bryant Gumbel.
The HBO clip has resurfaced following a deadly school shooting in Florida, involving a 19-year-old who legally obtained an AR-15 rifle and admitted to using it to shoot and kill 17 people and injure 15 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland on Valentine’s Day.
The video shows each of these interactions from the perspective of the teen.
He’s outfitted with a hidden camera in order to catch the unedited, natural reactions of everyone involved.
‘It’s not happening,’ a woman tells Jack when he tries to buy a case of beer at a convenience store.
‘Literally, he looks like he’s 12,’ the cashier says to the other customers in the shop.
The minimum drinking age in the US is 21.
Next, the video shows the teen trying his luck at buying cigarettes, which a person must be at least 18 to buy in America.
‘I am so sorry, I can’t sell you the cigarettes,’ the woman behind the counter informs the boy.
He hears another version of the same thing when he tries to buy lottery tickets.
‘You can’t get any scratch-off, baby,’ a gas station attendant tells him. Again, lottery tickets require you to be at least 18 for purchase.
‘You have to be 18 or older,’ a young woman tells Jack, as he attempts to buy something inside.
But then, the child walks into a gun show, where rifles are openly displayed on tables by private sellers.
An older man tells Jack, ‘It should shoot pretty good for you,’ handling a .22 caliber rifle.
The next clip in the video shows the man handing the rifle over to Jack, as he says, ‘I’ll take it.’
The boy gets out his money, hands over the cash, and walks away with the gun, all within minutes.
Nikolas Cruz, the Florida shooter, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on February 15.
The massacre has ignited a nationwide debate about gun control, led by the student victims of his attack.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has joined them in calling for reform of our nation’s gun laws.
The students and Israel participated in a town hall meeting, broadcast by CNN on Wednesday, where they address National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch and lawmakers like Senator Marco Rubio, who have long argued that American gun laws do not need to be stricter.
The surviving students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have formed an organization called March For Our Lives, and are preparing to stage a nationwide march on Washington, DC, and across the US, to be held on March 24.
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