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Gun control advocates are ready to start grabbing pitchforks and torches in their attempt to drive out firearm manufacturer advertisements. They say they fear that today’s advertising is running to a tipping point where they need to rally the villagers to chase the monster pieced together by mad gun advertisers out of town.

Today’s gun ads, they claim, are a horrific menagerie of “toxic masculinity,” fearmongering and anti-government militancy. Except none of that is true.

The gun control industry’s efforts are more like a witch hunt, and more like Monty Python’s version of one depicted in the cult classic, “The Holy Grail.”

They’re too busy clanging alarm bells trying to roust of the Federal Trade Commission to realize that the monster they’re chasing doesn’t actually exist. The real monsters are the criminals, not the law-abiding gun owners who are lawfully purchasing firearms for self-defense, recreational shooting and hunting.

They want to muzzle and silence our industry so the American heritage and tradition of hunting and the shooting sports is not passed on to the next generation.

Defining Acceptable Ads

Adweek was the latest to weigh in. The advertising trade publication, which regularly highlights efforts by various gun control groups to demonize lawful gun ownership, posted a feature claiming that today’s gun ads are turning America’s children into “extremists.”

The article focuses on an effort by lawmakers to pressure the FTC to abandon their neutrality and deny gun manufacturers the ability to advertise. They say the ads of yesteryear of plaid-clad hunters unwrapping a rifle under the tree are acceptable, but today’s advertising that draws on patriotism and self-reliance is a bridge too far. They want the FTC to burn gun manufacturers at the metaphorical stake and cut out their tongues.

vintage gun ad christmas

That is a pretty big leap to suggest that Americans – even youth – exposed to firearm ads will have their minds poisoned.

Guns have been advertised for decades, even guns offered in youth models. Mechanix Illustrated ran an ad in 1954 for a Remington .22-caliber rifle, featuring a youth holding a rifle he received as a Christmas present.

vintage gun ad Remington
Mechanix Illustrated, December 1954

Sears Roebuck listed firearms in their catalog in 1897, featuring a shotgun for $7.95 and would even deliver a revolver to a mailing address.

Clearly, government regulations restricted that years ago. Even toy guns, like Mattel’s #2 M-16 were featured in 1967 with “braap, brra-a-a-a-ap, brap, brap,” sounds were advertised.

None of that turned America’s youth into murderers. In fact, recreational shooting, including the scholastic shooting sports, ranks among the safest sporting activities. Golf, walking and tennis report more injuries than hunting and trap and skeet shooting reports just 0.1 percent of injuries.

Intellectually Dishonest

That is because the shooting sports are heavily supervised. Basic foundational safety rules are a must and are drilled into every gun owner. Children are admonished to only handle firearms under the direct supervision of a responsible adult.

Critics of lawful firearm ownership are being intellectually dishonest when they say it is advertising that is causing out-of-control crime rates or horrific murders. They know this is not true.

It is not as if these are individuals who are not academically accomplished. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was once a professor at Harvard University. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was Yale Law School graduate who also served as Connecticut’s attorney general. They are not uneducated. They are just being dishonest.

They don’t want to admit that the soft-on-crime policies they espouse are not making our communities safer. They would rather latch onto every gun control notion they can and misrepresent to America that the societal ills are the fault of the firearm industry that they have made a career demonizing. It plays well to their voters when they do not have to admit their policies are failing.

It’s easier to cast blame and malign an industry, tell America that murderers are not individuals with craven hearts who couldn’t care less about the law, much less the value of human life. It is easier to ignore that the responsible firearm industry offers Real Solutions than admit law-abiding gun owners are invested in safe and responsible ownership.

Don’t believe their false and misleading claims that the firearm industry is evil. They are the ones selling pitchforks and torches.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. They haven’t changed much since Gore, Clinton and the whole dem body went after music, print and video games in the 90’s.

    The right keeps getting the knocked for playing “morality police” but it was the left that harnessed the full racism of NIMBY suburbanites to cancel 2 Love Crew and that dragged Dee Snyder through hours of pointless hearings.

    • It’s a given…Gun Control zealots always have their panties in a wad. The one viable way to deal with such blatant chidish spoiled brat stupidity is to remind Gun Control zealots everyday that history confirms their beloved Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is rooted in racism and genocide. Give those ratbassturds something to chew on.

  2. The media and the government are two parts of the same criminal conspiracy that’s tanking the United States. Don’t be surprised at any lies they tell or any people they destroy.

    They both seem to believe that there’s no point in having power if you don’t abuse it.

    • It seems to me we can attack them on free speech grounds, particularly since it’s an interference of the practice of a civil right.

      We can destroy their dangerous goods argument by pointing out that smoking and drinking are not enumerated civil rights.

      If it’s legal to sell books like ‘The Anarchist’s Cookbook’ on civil rights grounds, then any damn advertisement for a gun should be legal on 2A grounds…

  3. not to mention how these first timers saved lives with their shooting skills in the wars that followed—–and not caused the deaths of many, (i believed these butthead were called ‘the wiz kids’), with their pencil pushing b.s. during vietnam.

  4. Sue car manufacturers, you say this latest Corvette has better handling than ever? Well that must mean if I drunk drive the car it will be easier to handle than others. Bring on the whiskey!

    • They’re building death machines. They build race cars that are meant to be driven on our neighborhood streets. Nobody needs a car with hundreds of horsepower that can do more than twice the maximum speed limit. They even sponsor race teams to show off how fast they are. Car companies should be sued every time one is involved in an accident, especially if speeding is involved. How many would they sell if they had a governor that limited them to 75 (85 in TX)? For the safety of everyone, these ‘dentist killers’ need to be banned.

  5. Warren and Blumenthal would be two (of the many) demtard morons in the US Senate. Their silly “academic credentials” or not. Perhaps Mr Keane has not known many shysters but being a board approved lawyer is no indication of intelligence (or honesty). In fact…

  6. Part of the problem is the lack of accepting personal responsibility. There are those who cannot accept people are responsible for what they do or don’t do. Too many excuses for actions.

  7. an effort by lawmakers to pressure the FTC to abandon their neutrality and deny gun manufacturers the ability to advertise. They say the ads of yesteryear of plaid-clad hunters unwrapping a rifle under the tree are acceptable, but today’s advertising that draws on patriotism and self-reliance is a bridge too far. They want the FTC to burn gun

  8. You can’t turn on your TV without seeing an ad that ends in ” Talk with your doctor today, see if
    (______ fill in the latest drug name here) is right for you !”…. this from a group that collectively is responsible for over a million deaths per year, between medical mistakes and drug re and inter -actions.

  9. This country is SUE happy. Groups backed by rich lunatics, who cannot win legally, hire lawyers, who should all be fish bait, to find any way possible to hurt companies. If this continues against the gun companies, I see lawsuits against everyone who makes a product used in the commission of a death. More people die every year from hammers, than guns, so do we start going after the manufacturers. Then the Auto companies are next. All this while our POS Government allows thousands of people to die from fentanyl coming across our border, “with their blessing”.

    • THe use of FENATYL is a voluntary action just like the consumption of alcohol and the use of tobacco, chrystal meth or Marajuana- no ‘help’ from anybody else required.

      If the demand was not there there would be no suppliers.

      As long as there is a market and the rewards are great enough there will ALWAYS be a supply chain no matter the risk or punishments assocuated withn the supply chains.
      The only answer to the drugs problem if we are serious about it is to chase the users, and chase them hard and start using increasingly Draconian punishments for using .

      • pulling a trigger is also a voluntary action so hold that person responsible for it not the hardware they use. drug addiction is one problem drug runners and dealers are another.
        seal the border like a real country and stop allowing it to flow in unchecked .

  10. Seems to me that alcoholic beverage manufacturers market their products of people laughing, gathered around in lovely social events. I want to do that! If I go buy XYZ booze, I won’t actually be the lonely drunk slob slowly dying of alcoholism alone in my moms basement.

    People should start suing Alcohol manufacturers. Their ads appeal to the weak minded who are prone to addictive behaviors and unrealistic and dangerous methods of obtaining happiness.

    Disclaimer: I’m not actually a lonely drunk slob slowly dying of alcoholism alone in my moms basement. Hell, I don’t even drink, I have my own basement and moms dead.

  11. The whole bloody idea of hiring lAWYERS it to ensure that you can win you case LEGALLY surely.
    Neither LAWYERS or the POLICE make LAWS – that’s the job of the ELECTED LEGISLATURE. All lawyers do is to,present your case to a properly appointed judge or jury of your peers and ensurevthat you have had a fair and transparent trial.
    All the POlice do is to take into custody those they consider have broken the law or too prevent the law from being broken . They are neither Judge or Jury and after arrest and the presentation of evidence their job is done.
    I find it odd that the more extreme GUN OWNERS only consider JUSTICE being done when the law come down in their favour. At all, other times the law is on the side of COMMIES. LEFTIES, LIBERALS and DEMOCRATS.

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