(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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Now comes another in the long line of attacks on the gun industry and how it markets its products to customers. The latest is from Mark Follman at Mother Jones. Apparently attempting to blow the lid off of gun makers’ promotional strategies, Follman hangs his hat on a report titled UnTargeting Kids compiled by the Sandy Hook Promise gun control operation.

“Our nation has experienced a tremendous spike in firearm deaths just as gun marketing made a transition from selling firearms for hunting and sporting to marketing highly lethal, military-style weapons to civilians, including children,” the report says. “That marketing is supposedly aimed at adults, but the platforms those influencers appear on, including TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, are largely populated by kids.”

There’s only one problem with that. The Sandy Hook Promise report blames “military-style weapons” for the spike in firearm deaths, even though, according to FBI data, year after year, rifles (of any kind) are used in far fewer homicides than knives.

Follman gets his timing wrong, too. The Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex has been trying to blame gonzo gun ads for increased “gun violence” for more than a decade now. But the surge in gun-related homicides didn’t happen until 2020, thanks to the pandemic, the George Floyd Summer of Love, and the deterioration of so many cities thanks to lax law enforcement and permissive “progressive” criminal justice systems.

The majority of crimes involving guns are committed by people involved in gangs or drugs, mostly using cheap pistols…the same as it has been for decades now. So-called “assault weapons” have been used in a handful of horrific, high profile mass shootings, but they’re not used in a statistically significant number of gun-related homicides.

Follman, however, doesn’t let facts get in the way. Instead, he turns to the Gun Control Industry’s favorite former insider for his insights . . .

““That this type of marketing has contributed to creating today’s radical violent extremists is inescapable,” former gun company executive Ryan Busse argued in The Atlantic, referring to the 18-year-old avowed white supremacist who used a Bushmaster rifle in May 2022 to murder 10 Black people and injure three others at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.”

Except that you don’t see gun ads anywhere unless you actively seek them out. There aren’t gun TV commercials, there are no gun ads in magazines or newspapers, or on most websites. You only see them if you’re already on gun-related websites, read gun-related magazines, or choose to follow gun companies on social media (and even there, most platforms throttle their content).

Then there’s the inconvenient fact that no one has ever proven that any mass shooter so much as saw one of these allegedly edgy ads, let alone the more extraordinary claim that a gun ad somehow influenced one of them to commit mass murder.

By the way, Mr. Follman, you should reach out to Mr. Busse and get a comment from him to update your article. Now that he’s running for Governor of Montana, he suddenly claims he doesn’t support an assault weapon ban. How does that square with those prior claims of his?

Follman’s article includes the usual hand-wringing about the popularity of video games that include guns. But what limited relationship firearm manufacturers had in that area ended over a decade ago. Now developers use popular guns in their games without permission or payment either to or from gun companies. So Sandy Hook Promise got what it says it wanted a long time ago. Any inclusion today of popular guns in video games today isn’t the fault of gun makers.

So Follman’s piece is riddled with incorrect “facts,” a faulty chronology, and tries to blame gun makers for something they have no control over. That doesn’t make for a particularly effective hit piece. Better luck next time.


Konstadinos Moros is an Associate Attorney with Michel & Associates, a law firm in Long Beach that regularly represents the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) in its litigation efforts to restore the Second Amendment in California. You can find him on his Twitter handle @MorosKostas. To donate to CRPA or become a member, visit https://crpa.org/.

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  1. I thought we put this to rest. Movies, video games, music do not cause violence.

    Mother Jones sounds like my grandfather. Hell fire and brimstone southern baptist preacher blaming all the evils on hollywood. And the space program.

    • “I thought we put this to rest. Movies, video games, music do not cause violence.”

      we did already. The First Amendment advocates fought and won that one. And Follman should be thankful for that because if they had not won that battle today he would not be permitted to have published his missive of stupid nor would the media be permitted to publish coverage of mass shootings to create a generation of mass shooters by their continuing converge teaching them and its been proven that almost every mass shooter in the last 30 years has relied on that media coverage to learn something from and be emboldened by its promise of ‘living on’ through such coverage to give them the infamy ‘fame’ they crave.

    • In 1905, everything was over the counter – narcotics, guns, ammo and explosives. The amount of time that human brains were exposed to realistic images of extreme violence – zero. Spree killings by well-fed, middle- class kids with adequate housing – probably not zero, but close to it.

      Nightly realistic violence on primetime TV first appeared in the late ’50s – early ’60s. The amount of time human brains were exposed to realistic images of extreme violence – many, many hours. The modern era of school shootings began in ’66.

      Monkey see, monkey do.

      (Ironically, a very similar comment got XZX permanently banned on Mother Jones, back in 2015…)

      • Realistic violence.on 50’s and 60’s broadcast prime time TV? Ridiculous. Cowboy fires shot, victim is blown out of window or grabs stomach and falls down, with no blood, viscera, or organs shown. 1 shot, instant, silent death. It’s as realistic as kids playing with finger guns. The good guys always won in the end.

        • Lol, as the 60s rolled on, did it finally get realistic and frequent enough to suit you? And was there more of it than in the 40s?

    • Video game influences?

      If PacMan influenced me, I’d be sitting in the dark, popping pills, seeing ghosts, and listening to trashy techno music.

  2. Follman apparently is from planet Dacian where he lived in its only city of Capitalvania on the continent of Looney Toons.

  3. 1) stay off TikTok.
    2) it doesn’t matter at all what social media or any enfluencer has to say. That doesn’t mean the ability to buy or posses a firearm.
    3) people under 18 cannot legally buy firearms. Even if manufacturers were advertising to kids, it would change anything. This is a non starter. The problem though is that these people consider 26 year olds to be children.

    I consider every single little thing about this situation to be nothing short of complete ridiculousness.

    • “I consider every single little thing about this situation to be nothing short of complete ridiculousness.”

      I suspect that is one of their goals. I also suspect the Peep and Veep have been playing rope-a-dope. Are you ready for the Dynamic Duo, assisted by every cosmetic tool and performance enhancing chemical known to man? Biden will be bounding up stairs and in command of details, ditto the person FKA as The Word Salad Lady…


    • “people under 18 cannot legally buy firearms.”

      This claim is based on the false premise that the proclaimed bans are legal.

  4. The Trace, of all publications, has published a little article about gun deaths that puts to rest the old trope of “more guns=more death”.


    They’ve published that “gun deaths” went slightly down. If we remove suicides from the statistics, “gun murder” drops even more between 2021 and 2022. And it looks like it will have dropped even more this year over last year.

    But wait…there’s more guns in America than ever before. Dramatically more. America’s been on a huge buying spree, with more than a million guns a month sold for years now.

    So, by the Trace’s own stats, MORE GUNS EQUALLED LESS DEATHS.

    • They really get all pissy when you point out that a ballpark 100 million more guns are today “on the street” then there were in the early 1990s. While the ‘violent crime’ rate is today roughly one-half what it was then… 🙂

    • The ‘Trace’ is very heavy into the main core lie of anti-gun, that being the false premise of correlation=causation. The whole anti-gun ‘movement’ industry is based on that false premise.

  5. Yep, and the Remington settlement has emboldened many dipwads to suggest that this kind of nonsense is valid.
    I enjoy the look on their faces when I ask what media they have ingested lately that could cause them to kill their mother. The amount of people who don’t know how Lanza got his gun was astonishing, now after Rittenhouse I just expect it.

    • I think the suit against Daniel Defense will cool off a lot of that. Marty isn’t rolling over and he’s being pretty aggressive in his defense.
      The Remington settlement was just perfect timing. They were already near bankruptcy and knew filing was right around the corner. There was no way they could fight it and their insurer made the choice for them.

  6. The Left has never supported the 1st amendment. But they do support flag burning. Calling black people n!ggers. And the Left supports burning a cross on the private property of a black person. Now go look up the VA cross burning case that the ACLU supported.

  7. so let’s take a look at the left wing violence speech Follman wants to ignore, ya know, actual real ‘indoctrination’ into violence by speech…and not his made up delusional stuff about gun ads…

    • Well, there’s something you don’t see everyday, but to paraphrase an old stoner, It’d be a whole lot cooler if we did.

  8. Interesting how the left conveniently ignores the drug crisis, human trafficking, abortion deaths, increase in violence, illegal immigration, defunding the police and a host of other failed Democrat policies that are major contributors to deaths at all levels of the age spectrum. They cause the problems and then simply focus on the one item they are really interested and that is disarming America so they will have no resistance when they trash the Constitution completely. The new constitution will be titled the Do As I Say, Not As I Do Freedom Covenant. In short just do whatever I tell you that comes to mind that makes ME feel good.

    • Yup. All about power/control, particularly on a certain voting block (Americans of African descent) since the mid-sixties and LBJ’s (that SOB) “Great Society”. Evil neo-Marxist leftists and “The State” (Big Gov) over individual common sense. In this light, mentioning GANGS is clearly racist hate speech.

  9. The facts do not have to be correct, only enough to state a cause of action in a lawsuit where the plaintiffs will seek to find every advertisement and video, and any drafts or communications concerning such advertising reflecting the defendant’s merchandise published in the last 30 years. The litigation quickly becomes hideously expensive and infused with the risk that a north eastern jury that knows next to nothing about ARs will be the final arbiter of the facts.

  10. An anomaly appears: spike in crime

    Potential reasons:

    a)things that have been around for centuries: guns, ads for guns, children using guns

    b)newly manufactured civilization destroying insanity: refusal to arrest/prosecute, the sainting of felons, political and popular support of felonious activity

    Obviously the reason is a. Obviously.

  11. This article is yet another example, if anymore are needed, that there is no middle ground, no position of compromise with the Left. We occupy mutually exclusive realities.

    Up to now the conservative/libertarian position has been to live and let live. Unfortunately, we’re faced with left wing extremists who don’t believe in that, they believe in the total supremacy of their views and the absolute extinction of ours. They’ll lie and use any means available to get their way.

    You’re fooling yourself if you don’t believe they’re serious about what they intend to do.

  12. “Our nation has experienced a tremendous spike in firearm deaths …”

    Well, that is just simply not true.

    “… just as gun marketing made a transition from selling firearms for hunting and sporting to marketing highly lethal, military-style weapons to civilians, including children,”

    So hunting and sporting arms are what? Semi-lethal? Hey there Mr. Follman, here is a little truth bomb for you: If it will kill an elk, it will kill a person. Also, what does “military-style” even mean? Is my old Jeep a “military-style” automobile? Given that the “military-style” weapons you decry are no more, or less, lethal than other, similar, arms, why do you care more about them specifically?

    Or, is this opposition to marketing of these guns just you running cover for your real goal to prevent marketing, manufacturing or selling any and all guns? Hmm, gee I wonder.

  13. The Libertarians Liberals and the Left, have never supported the 1st amendment. But they do support pornography. Which has nothing to do with the 1st amendment. Just like hunting has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment.

    But if you want both you can certainly have them.

  14. I’m pretty certain most commenters on here have more assualty type weapons then I do and if .giv bans them gunms I’ll be rich. Because if a human cant have it they want it even more. Take the moon landing for instance. Once they got there the fun was over.
    To promote an industrious economy Ban everything.

    • “To promote an industrious economy Ban everything.”

      it sure worked for recreational ‘pharmaceuticals’.

      (He/she/other) isn’t a ‘drug dealer’, they are simply an undocumented pharmacist.

      Stop harassing them.. 🙂

  15. If the sales and marketing of anything was predicated on what people need, we would not have automobiles when all you need is feet. We would still be living in skin tents or thatched roof huts. And would still be cooking in an iron pot over an open wood fire. Advertisement is used to get people to want your product whether they actually need it or not.
    Another issue is the firearms themselves. Something these disarmament crowd fail to understand is the problem isn’t the weapon, but the human mind and hand behind it. Until we choose to deal with the human side of the issue, the choice of implement is irrelevant.

    • I think humans would be better off living in a mud hut cooking over an open fire.
      You really cant have freedom if you have to buy it.
      Well I see Missouri has a chronic waste disorder with their deer population.
      I wonder if that has anything to do with all the NO TRESSPASSING
      Property Under Video Surveillance.
      signs you see everywhere.
      Next up Rabies, because a long time ago people hunted coons, but now nobody can hunt coons because the rich guy trophy hunters lease all the land and 4 guys hunt 69,000 acres.
      Just a heads up, if your hound dig is a straight cooner it doesn’t bother the deer at all, they’ll spook for a bit but after they see there not the target they go back to eating soybeans, corn, alfalfa, and spreading the chronic waste disorder.

  16. Anyone wanna guess whether or not Mother Jones has done a story on the BLT crowd pushing their tran-nee agenda on the children?
    How many lives is that ruining?

    • Bacon Lettuce and Tomato crowd.
      Guilty of that and as for pushing trannies( along with the rest of the veehickle), only if the F150 broke down and I have to Chev her in the ditch because a Dodge cant dodge.

  17. Mother Jones doesn’t even know if the sky is blue or that water is wet. Mother Jones is so far Left they make the Communist Party look right wing.

  18. When the liberals tell you. “You have no 1st amendment rights outside your house of worship.”

    You will see how the Liberals have never believed in the 1st amendment. They have never supported the Bill of Rights.

  19. The belief that guns cause crime is a fundamental, unshakable, dogmatic article of faith among leftists.

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