Nestled amid the myriad community bike hubs in Chicago is a new kind of sharing station--for guns.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, along with Chicago shop The Escape Pod this week unveiled the "Chicago Gun Share Program," a disturbing art installation meant to highlight how accessible arms are to Americans.
Situated in Daley Plaza, the display mimics the stations for Divvy, Chicago's most popular bike sharing program, but in place of bicycles there are 10 replica AR-15 rifles. Signs nearby ask the question, "Why does Chicago have so many gun deaths when Illinois has some of the country's toughest gun control laws?" juxtaposed with the fact that neighboring Indiana has some of the laxest restrictions in the U.S.--so federal legislation seems the answer.
An iPad on site allows passersby to donate to the Brady Center on the spot.
"Arguably, the lack of legislative action to implement even the most basic and rudimentary gun regulation is the real problem," said ad vet and Escape Pod ECD Vinny Warren in a statement. "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. This issue is especially relevant to our home town of Chicago, which has suffered more than most from the plague of gun violence."
The installation, built by Nicholas Berg of Ojo Customs, will be on display through tonight, May 14 at 9 p.m., but according to Escape Pod CEO Celia Jones, "the installation is mobile so the intention is definitely to have it be a roving piece throughout the summer, especially since gun violence spikes significantly during the warmer weather."