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Friday, January 17, 2014

Griper Blade: How the Gun Industry Profits Off the Carnage its Product Creates

NRA's Wayne LaPierre
It's one of the gun lobby's and firearms industry's most successful scams; the "fear buying" marketing campaign. The way it works is this, you convince a certain cowardly subset of the population that there's some imminent threat to their safety or that the government is minutes away from scooping up all their guns and said cowardly subset will run out in a fit of panic buying, like people who get into fights over water before a big storm.

And how do we know it's the same subset every time? Because the numbers are too contradictory any other way. After a string of high profile and extremely shocking killings in 2013, it started to look like some real action was about to take place in the arena of gun safety. That this didn't happen is a matter of national shame, but the panic buying set in, making 2013 a banner year for firearms sales.

So, did everyone run out and buy a lot of guns and ammunition? Actually, no. Hardly anyone did. A study launched by the General Social Survey showed that gun ownership was actually at a 40-year low. Logic dictates that these are the same panicky grandmas out buying guns in a Pavlovian response to perceived danger -- danger that the guns would become illegal, danger that some other unhinged shooter would attack them, or both. And the gun-buying was in no way rational. If you're extremely skilled, you might be able to use two firearms at once, but record sales after record sales, combined with the number of gun-owning households in free fall, suggests these people have a lot more guns than two, which means a lot more guns than they can use at any given time.

So the "safety" conferred by gun ownership starts to look a lot more talismanic than utilitarian. In other words, the "guns keep you safe" argument basically becomes superstition...[CLICK TO READ MORE]

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