Fun fact: you can explain away almost any weird item you have in your possession by calling it “art.” That pile of laundry in the corner of your room? Art. Your collection of Sailor Moon plushies from when you were 12? *coughs* Art. A decommissioned M16 rifle being proudly displayed in your window? Totally art.
Last Thursday, a passerby on the sidewalk noticed just such a rifle in the window of the home belonging to Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s Aaron Taylor-Johnson and his wife, 50 Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson. This being a rather expensive and posh part of London, rather than think “that red-blooded American must be exercising his second amendment rights and definitely is not going to shoot anyone with that!,” the pedestrian alerted the proper authorities. Which, to be fair, was probably the right course of action.
When members of the Metropolitan Police Firearms Unit conducted a raid on the house later that week, they found that the rifle was decommissioned. A spokesperson for the celebrity couple later explained to the BBC that the certified firearm was given to Sam Taylor-Johnson as part of an art project for the international charity Peace One Day, and that “the project, curated by Jake Chapman, consists of new works by some of the most celebrated names in contemporary art all of whom are transforming fully decommissioned M16 assault rifles.” The director also participated in a similar project for the charity with an AK-47 back in 2012.
That’s a really cool concept and all, but don’t you think that maybe you should… I don’t know, not leave it sitting on a desk in full view of the street? Unless you were using it as a paperweight, of course. That’s a use for an M16 that I think we can all get behind.