The committee’s report is relatively brief and again covers little that industry critics don’t already know. Perhaps the biggest news is the sale of the assault rifle absolutely took off after the January 6 coup attempt, arms companies’ revenue from these sales doubled or even tripled in 2019. It only makes sense because assault rifles are marketed to targeted killers in a way that most other weapons are not. Or, as the committee report notes, “gun sales typically peak immediately after elections, civil unrest and mass shootings, driven in part by consumer anxiety and panic buying.”
Gun violence also increased in 2020 and 2021; Americans aren’t just buying more guns, they’re using them more often.
Overall, gun manufacturers have generated more than $1 billion in revenue over the past decade, benefiting from new sales after every school shooting or other high-profile incident of gun violence. It is a self-sustaining model; marketing guns aimed specifically at Americans who most want to imagine themselves committing “good” acts of mass violence has led to mass violence, which in turn convinces more Americans to buy the same weapons for “self-defense.”
That’s the other main focus of the committee’s report: the growing willingness of gun manufacturers to market their products not as sporting or hunting tools, but as weapons designed to effectively kill people. Among the findings:
• Gun companies are “trying to capitalize on the AR-15’s military origins” with ads that (falsely) suggest that the police and military use their weapons, driving sales to those who imagine they are like those authorities and want to emulate them. One recent example of shooters would be Kyle Rittenhouse, who wanted a career in the military or law enforcement, and instead of having the authority to do so, had his mother drive him to a distant Black Lives Matter protest so he could “protect” the neighborhood with his own assault rifle.
• No, gun companies indeed “seek to exploit” the possible military use of their equipment. For example, a Sig Sauer ad shows five men in pseudo-US soldier uniforms taking up positions in a damaged building, referencing any number of recent war zones, while the ad copy touts their assault rifle as “ready for every possible mission.” The ad is transparent. aimed at buyers who want a gun designed to do just that: to hunt and kill people, perhaps under the guise of imagined authority.It is designed to appeal to the murderous delusions and of course American militias who fancy themselves “military” groups that trains for rebellion.Couch Soldiers.
You might recognize the Sig Sauer name from the Las Vegas and Orlando massacres, two of the worst mass shootings in recent history. They seem to know their audience well.
• Gun manufacturers and retailers have marketed their products “directly and indirectly” to white supremacists, using hate symbols and other signifiers these groups use to identify themselves. Want a rifle with the same kind of Hawaiian floral print worn by the rebel movement “Boogaloo”? The Palmetto State Armory is equipped with the “Big Igloo Aloha” assault rifle. Get it? Just a fun tip of the hat to the group preparing for an imminent “race war”.
• In particular, gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson has produced advertisements for its assault products, such as in video games Call of Duty, games where players join virtual combat teams to simulate military operations. There’s still no evidence that video game violence leads to real-world violence — Americans, for example, beheading each other with medieval weapons — but what are the consequences of using a real-world weapon that fires real weapons. bullets and promote it like it’s the real-life equivalent of a murder-focused video game? That’s a little more difficult to answer. Is it deliberately blurring the line between real world and virtual world urges?
What is clear is that the manufacturers of assault rifles are clearly promoting their guns as weapons for murdering other people. Not intended for sport hunting. Not intended for target shooting. These are the weapons to buy if you want to be ready to go on military-style “missions” against other people. They are marketed to people who believe them could need to commit mass murder, and who believe in it strongly enough that they are willing to pay a lot of money to prepare for that day.
Gun companies know this and sell accordingly. This is also the reason why the sale specific the number of assault rifles used in each mass killing tends to increase in the weeks following the killings; after all, this weapon has now proven its effectiveness in doing the one thing it was designed to do.
Again, for example: the May massacre of 19 children and two of their teachers in Uvalde, Texas, was a resounding success for gun manufacturers. It is an advertisement that will increase their income for a long time. An 18-year-old with no training and having just purchased his assault rifle (from Daniel Defense, one of the companies that seems to be the most aggressive in promoting their products as weapons of mass murder) could walk into a school and kill. anyone who came into his sight. The gun he bought was powerful enough and capable of firing fast enough to hold dozens, then hundreds, of trained law enforcement officers for long periods of time.
This is exactly what assault rifle manufacturers advertise them to be capable of. They advertise every rifle as a pseudo-military weapon that allows even the untrained to kill large numbers of people quickly. They advertise their products as effective at stopping large numbers of attackers, allowing the buyer to become the protector of a single person’s family or neighborhood.
And of course, since mass murderers buy these weapons in droves, you have to buy the same weapons to have a fighting chance against them. Maybe buy one not enough.
It’s been clear for some time that mass shootings in America are the product of a gun industry that has increasingly turned to a militia version of gun ownership, a rabid version that imagines disaster or revolution and seeks weapons that can stand up to law enforcement or the military. opponents or simply neighbors looking for food. The five men in paramilitary uniforms in the Sig Sauer ad are not hiding in a city office under fire as they try to hunt deer. They are there to kill the enemies of the people. This gun, boasted in Sig Sauer advertising, will allow you to kill human enemies.
None of this is new. The takeover of the militia movement in mainstream Republicanism, so that even national Republican lawmakers insist that assault rifles are necessary if angry American citizens need to kill American lawmakers, and most notably the transition of the National Rifle Association from a sports advocacy organization to a militia-promoting, apocalypse-oriented professional. – assassination squad, parallels the gun company’s move into the “good kill” market, which is based specifically on the theoretical need to kill other people at some point with enough speed and force to ensure you can’t be stopped. Companies market their products to targeted mass murderers and get new windfalls every time an American goes out and proves that their products can actually knock down the police and execute arbitrarily chosen enemies.
It is a market that should not exist in any modern country; it is transparently based on the ability of individual citizens to decide under what circumstances mass murder would be necessary as a response. It’s stupid. This is absurd. But the preconditions for a far-right national revival, mass execution of ideological enemies, have enough support in the government itself — and in the Supreme Court — that they are now written into the national psyche as a new “right.”
It would have been unrecognizable to previous generations, but here we are; even regular mass shootings at schools and supermarkets are angrily cast aside as necessary casualties to ensure OK good assassinations can happen if and when they become necessary. Gun manufacturers make money by handing a fist or a corpse over a corpse, selling assault weapons to Americans who want to protect themselves from all the other assault weapon-armed Americans in their midst.
The first lawsuits take the form of a Uvalde teacher, the victim’s father’s target is Daniel Defence’s advertisement
Texas Republicans’ response to Uvalde school shooting: $50 million for police bulletproof shields
America saw 11 mass shootings last holiday weekend, ranging from alleged “rights” to murder
Senate accepts the inevitability of school shootings with a non-gun bill