“Gun manufacturers have been highly successful in employing some of the most effective marketing techniques in the book,” Liana Downey writes at huffingtonpost.com. “Gun ads have long used the technique known in the business as ‘fear appeal.'” Ms. Downey compares gun advertising to deodorant ads (seriously) and asserts that guns aren’t the answer to criminality. They’re too dangerous!
No doubt “inspired” by the publicity lavished on The Gunning of America, Ms. Downey shares author Pamela Haag’s belief that American gun owners are marketing manipulated rubes.
For citizens who have been raised in this advertising-rich environment, which comfortably equates guns and safety, sexiness, and manliness, it can be hard to see the marketing for what it is. Perhaps it is easier if we think about cigarettes—which were also presented as the ultimate sexy accessory for years (manly men, and seductive, sophisticated women), that we can start to see that there is not always truth in advertising.
Ah, the pusillanimous pussification of America! Manly men (among men) doing manly things are sexist pigs, really.
More to the point, gun ads exist in a vacuum. Unless you’re one of The People of the Gun exploring the gunblogopshere or gunzines, you have less chance of coming across a firearms-related advertisement than you have finding huntress and Texas Firearms Festival promotetrix Liberte Austin at a PETA meeting.
Does that stop anti-gun rights jihadis from vilifying advertising created for a legal product sold legally? Of course not! The fact that the courts haven’t thrown out the Sandy Hook-related lawsuit against Bushmaster — the one that claims their advertising posed a danger to society — highlights the increasing popularity of this new form of anti-gun animus.
. . . as advertising fuels profit growth, so too does it fuel the ability of manufacturers to finance political campaigns and gain political sway. Thus while sensible solutions proposed by frustrated and frightened citizens are repeatedly blocked, other laws are passed that make guns more widely available and more accessible. And so the gun grows, the cycle continues, and the rest of the world looks on in bewilderment.
Before I conclude, may I respectfully say F the rest of the world? I lived abroad for 13 years; I spent many of those traveling to every corner of the globe. I can say without reservation that America is singular in the liberty it affords its citizens.
So if the rest of the world is “bewildered” by America’s gun culture, which underpins our freedom like butter underpins French cuisine. If they look down their collective noses at our 2A-protected gun rights, see above.
My only conclusion: the same argument I’ve been making here again and again. This country needs more firearms advertising, not less. If gun makers could make the case for gun rights via advertising in mainstream media — TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, large websites, etc. — it would be case closed. As well it should be.