Every day, I drive the stretch of the Pike between Back Bay and Newton, and it’s pretty hard to miss the large billboard that sits outside of Fenway just before the Brighton tolls. For the last 17 years, the piece of advertising real estate has been dedicated to an important discussion on gun control laws in Massachusetts, surrounding states and across the country.
The sign got an update late last week, this time calling out the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and that has become a common conversation these last few months since the tragedy in Aurora during the premiere of the Dark Knight Rises. While events like that bring the topic of conversation to the forefront, those tragedies are not the anomalies that we imagine them to be. It is worth keeping in mind every day to prevent the next ones from happening.
It is such a high traffic area, both by cars on the pike and the Fenway throngs, and to think that any commercial enterprise would pay boatloads for the opportunity to leverage it, the tenure of the billboards from the Stop Handgun Violence organization is impressive. Over time, the signs have been in-your-face when it comes to important questions related to keeping people safe and gun control. The history of the billboard and the issues it has tackled is fascinating, as you can see from the archive of photos saved on the Stop Handgun Violence Facebook page.
Hats off to SHV for pushing to keep the discussion going as we ask legislators to re-consider bans on weapons like these.