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Two London dads used giant stickers to stop the glamorisation of guns

By Megan Carnegie

This week’s prize for the best small act of social responsibility goes to Richard Selby and Graham Clifford, who – armed with a just some wallpaper paste and a ladder – redesigned a gun-toting billboard in Walthamstow. Richard spotted the giant poster for Sky One’s new cop comedy, Bulletproof after leaving a sports centre with his eight-year-old son. 

Richard Selby

‘To see a giant poster with two prominent oversized guns felt wrong,’ he said, ‘especially in light of the recent tragic shootings in the Walthamstow area. So I decided to cover the guns with something less violent.’ With the help of his friend, Graham, headteacher at Willow Brook Primary in Leytonstone, he stuck a giant hairdryer and a carrot over the guns. 

‘I needed some help and Graham was an enthusiastic collaborator. Not only does he have better artistic skills than me, he is also taller so could reach the higher-up gun on the right-hand side,’ said Richard.
Richard Selby

‘My objection is not to the programme, or the actors, nor is it to the depictions of all weapons,’ said Richard. ‘The problem is realistic guns in a realistic context, right outside a place frequented by primary school children and beside a sixth-form college. It might not be the intention, but in some small way, it serves to glamorise guns, shooting and violence.’ 

Richard Selby

After MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy weighed into the Twitter debate, the billboard company covered up the modified poster. But that didn’t stop this determined pair, who responded by replacing the cartoon stickers – this time on a plain background. Boys, we salute your pasting panache and look forward to the next cover-up job.

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