Only Anti-Gun Groups Are
Allowed To Use Fear for Marketing

By Jennifer Sensiba. June 20, 2022

A recent op-ed at the New York Times explores the marketing of firearms. The Gray Lady is horrified that the firearms industry works to "target buyers with rhetoric of fear, machismo and defiance." As the three-man team who braved the wilds of the internet to report the terrifying details have uncovered …

Gun companies have spent the last two decades scrutinizing their market and refocusing their message away from hunting toward selling handguns for personal safety, as well as military-style weapons attractive to mostly young men. The sales pitch — rooted in self-defense, machismo and an overarching sense of fear — has been remarkably successful.


The authors have also uncovered sales pitches that appeal to women and minorities (which kind of erodes the article's earlier warnings about mucho macho masculine marketing. But the authors' use of anti-gun groups as sources of "research" supporting their narrative tends to blow any pretense of objectivity out of the water.

Josh Sugarmann, founder of the Violence Policy Center, a gun control group that tracks firearms advertising and marketing, said the firearms industry became adept at exploiting disquieting developments to spur sales.

"If you look back, it hasn't just revolved around mass shootings. They tailored their marketing to Katrina, Y2K, 9/11, pretty much everything," he said. "Their goal is basically to induce a Pavlovian response: 'If there's a crisis, you must go get a gun.'"

We'll get back to that quote in a minute, but there are a couple of aspects of selling firearms that the article fails to address. Like most great lies, it's not a matter of saying things that are untrue, as much as not putting actual truths in context [...] .....

"It's almost as of the media operates using a blatant double standard that supports their own particular editorial stances. But, as anyone on the side of the right to keep and bear arms can tell you, being subjected to double standards is nothing new."


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