The Times Leader asks, “Would it be a good idea to broadcast more loudly to would-be bad guys, and gals, in Northeastern Pennsylvania that if they commit a crime with a gun, they’ll spend a long, long time in prison?”

Other areas have their own campaigns. In Erie, city police partnered with Lamar Advertising last year to send the message to crime-prone neighborhoods. This year, says Unified Erie, an FBI task force and others are joining together to more aggressively investigate gun crimes and disrupt illegal weapons sources.

“Whether potential offenders pay attention remains to be seen. But, as an editorial last month in The Erie Times-News suggested, the cautionary words are likely to become more meaningful when they move from official lines of communication to everyday conversation. “Parents, siblings, pastors, teachers, juvenile probation officers and social workers have to warn at-risk young people that they will face lengthy terms behind bars if they commit a gun crime – that is, if they don’t end up dead first,” the editorial stated.

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