Fact Check

Do Red Lights Outside Homes Indicate Anti-Gun Solidarity?

A story about activists lighting their homes with red bulbs to show opposition to guns is a hoax.

Published May 13, 2016

Activists are lighting their homes red to show solidarity for the anti-gun movement.

In May 2016, a story appeared on a little-known web site called ImmediateSafety.org, reporting that anti-gun activists (led by "Jane Seymore" of the "Department of Protecting Everyone") were installing red porch lights to show that they live in gun-free homes:

So far many of America’s largest retailers have been selling out of the red bulbs quickly. “We can’t get them in fast enough. They are flying off the shelves.” Claims Bill Barskey president of marketing research for Walmart, “As soon as we get them in there is a line of well-intentioned people buying them up.”

Not everyone is excited about this idea. Our reporters spoke with Americans on the street to get their opinions and they were mixed.

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Red lights are for the bedroom and thanks to you I can’t find any now. – Carlos

My home has red lights on both the front porch and the back. We have strimgs of red lights in the trees to let everyone know we are a gun free home. -Hillary

This is crazy how dumb can you……. wait, uh this is actually a good idea. I am glad that gun free homes will have red lights. Good for you white folks. I love this, -Tyrone

In case the racially tinged "reporting" wasn't a dead giveaway, consider the name of the group that allegedly spearheaded the campaign: "Department of Protecting Everyone" (D.O.P.E.) and the name of the author of the article, "Dr. I.M. Swindler," whose bio reads:

A lover of everything controversial and/or satirical. Takes nothing serious and finds a way to laugh at anything, anytime. Perhaps the smartest person on Earth but sucks at proper grammar. All geniuses have a weakness, no?

While there is no overt acknowledgement that the site is intended as satire, the titles of other stories it has published make it clear, such as: "Donald Trump Actually the Outer God Nyarlathotep," "Sewer Rats in Los Angeles Becoming Sentient," and "Surviving Alien Abduction: A Users Guide for 2016."

Brooke Binkowski is a former editor for Snopes.