With the gun debate currently front and center all over the country, everyone is rushing to take sides. The anti-gun crowd in particular has been ramping up their shameless demagoguery, and pulling out all the stops. From Rolling Stone: The Gun Industry’s Deadly Gun Addiction
As recently as 2008, shotguns, rifles and other traditional hunting weapons made up half of all new civilian gun sales in America, according to SEC documents – a brisk billion-dollar business. Today, hunting guns account for less than a quarter of the market, and the hunting industry is forecasting a 24 percent drop in revenue by 2025. Gunmakers are on the wrong side of the same demographic curves that haunt the modern Republican Party. Its customer base is too old, too white, too male and too Southern. According to Gallup, 61 percent of white males in the South own guns today. Nationwide, just 18 percent of Latinos do. “The white males are aging and dying off,” says Sugarmann. Flooding the market with battle-ready guns, he says, “is an effort to find one new, shiny thing to sell them.”
Like most political articles from Rolling Stone nowadays (and much of the media for that matter), they denigrate the pro-Second Amendment crowd as nothing more than racist old southern white men clutching onto grandpappy’s shotgun, ranting about that colored fella in the White House. It’s a talking point picked straight from the anti-gun campaign of Mike Bloomberg, and used to the point of being a cliché during your average night on MSNBC.
As has turned par for the course for many anti-gun articles, Rolling Stone just makes it up as it goes along. For instance, take this choice quote:
AR-15 enthusiasts brag they can fire up to 400 rounds in 60 seconds. Paying roughly 50 cents a bullet, such shooters are blowing through $200 worth of ammo in a hot minute.
400 rounds in 60 seconds from a semi-automatic rifle? I sure would like to meet these bragging AR-15 enthusiasts with the magical superpowers and superhuman strength necessary to squeeze the trigger of a semi-automatic rifle an unachievable seven times per second. Not only is this an idiotic and blatantly false assertion to make, but it fails to take into account there is no such thing as a 400 round magazine. So at some point during that mad-minute, the shooter will have to stop and reload. If they are shooting 30 round magazines, that is fourteen magazine changes during that minute as well. If you believe there are shooters out there reloading fourteen times and firing 400 rounds in one minute with an AR-15, I have some autographed Beatles records in my basement I’d like to sell you.
The article drones on with a few other made-up assertions such as this:
Much of the industry’s recent success is linked to politics – in particular, to the gun-buying public’s anxiety about the first black man in the White House.
Yes, that is really the explanation they provide for skyrocketing gun sales. Not the president’s rhetoric on the need for more gun control, or Democrats around the country going so far as to propose confiscating guns they don’t like, but the color of the president’s skin. That’s rich coming from the crowd who seeks to ban certain guns simply because they are colored black. The racism charge has become the last stand of fools making baseless assertions who know they will lose the argument as soon as actual facts are proposed. It’s easier to accuse someone of the unprovable than argue the indefensible. But they’re not done there.
This sales boom papers over a perilous trajectory for the industry. A generation ago, more than half of American households owned a gun. Today it’s barely one in three. Millennials, in particular, do not share their parents’ love of firearms: Less than 20 percent of Americans born after 1980 report having a gun in the home.”
You won’t find any citations backing up most of their assertions because, as I said earlier, they’re just making it up as they go along. As Celia Bigelow stated in an article at Townhall, nearly half of all citizens own a gun, not one third. And gun ownership has been rising in recent years, not falling. But hey, why let facts stand in the way of the narrative?
After setting up the article with a number of anti-gun talking points (based on no facts I can find), the article attempts to make five assertions to demonize gun owners and the industry as a whole.
1. Hook the Kids
To goose future growth, the gun industry is aggressively marketing guns to children as young as the first-graders slaughtered in Newtown.
I can’t tell if this assertion is a bit of progressive revisionism where they pretend youth have not always been involved in shooting and hunting, or merely making the ridiculous claim that exposing children to guns and teaching them the fundamentals of firearms (including safety) is somehow immoral and dangerous. I was 8 years old when my father taught me the basic fundamentals of shooting, and how to safely handle firearms. I started deer hunting at age 12 after passing Wisconsin’s mandatory hunter’s safety class. My parents even signed me up for a sharpshooter class held at our town’s National Guard Armory when I was in the 8th grade. Because I was properly educated on the fundamentals of firearms, I never had the urge that too many youth in the gun-free cities of Chicago and NYC do to get a gun and go cap someone. Sure I saw gun violence glamorized in movies and music, but because I actually had experience with guns, I knew it wasn’t true or realistic. Guns were something to be respected, not feared. So I can see why Rolling Stone would oppose educating youth about guns. Ignorance breeds intolerance. Its a lot easier to convince people to join the anti-gun crusade when they don’t know the difference between a machine gun and a semiautomatic, think a clip and magazine are the same thing, or think handguns are held sideways when fired.
2. Seduce the Ladies
Gunmakers are acutely concerned about the gender gap. Just 15 percent of women nationwide personally own a gun – a third of male gun ownership. For the industry, women are seen not only as lucrative customers in their own right, but also as gatekeepers to the coveted child market.
Gatekeepers to the coveted child market? Try gatekeepers to their own bodies and personal safety. Women represent the fastest growing demographic with female gun ownership up 77% since 2005. Gun ownership among women isn’t 15%, it’s 23%, nearly a quarter of the population. More and more women are realizing a gun is a great equalizer against a man of superior strength. With a sexual assault occurring once every two minutes in our country, who could possibly blame a woman for defending herself with a gun? The anti-gun crowd apparently can, because on the liberal hierarchy, anti-gun trumps feminism and empowering women. As Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar and Amanda Marcotte informed us, women are simply too dumb to handle a gun or defend themselves and are better off being raped, assuming they don’t have a rape whistle or call box nearby. Apparently they have never heard of Amanda Collins, or how she was raped with a call box over her head, 50 feet from a closed campus police office.
3. Turn Shooting Ranges into Live-Action Video Games
For a younger generation raised on graphic video games, shooting at paper targets or “plinking” bottles and tin cans doesn’t carry much appeal. So the industry has come up with some new ways to make shooting more like playtime.
Yes, the “if it feels good, do it” crowd is actually making an argument against having fun. Much like listening to the new Green Day album or reading the politics section of Rolling Stone, shooting is apparently supposed to be an unpleasant experience, designed to grate one’s physical being and emotional intellect, and therefore be unpleasurable. They are practically breathless as they describe the horror of gun owners having fun at the range, shooting something other than targets or pop cans. The largest target of their disdain seems to be the zombie theme popping up all over. I’m going to take this as an admission they are not fans of The Walking Dead either, since they have to use guns to defend themselves against zombies (sorry, “walkers”), and fend for themselves without government help. Which brings me to their next point.
4. Prep the Preppers
If zombie hunters train for apocalyptic scenarios as entertainment, there’s another dedicated breed of buyer who is stockpiling weapons out of true fear of social collapse driven by dark forces outside of their control – whether it’s a superstorm, rampant inflation or an out-of-control government.
Peppers, the sometimes nutty and never-leave-anything-to-chance group of people who stockpile food, supplies, and guns, in case of a societal collapse or disarray. The anti-prepper argument follows the old liberal mindset that one does not need a gun or stockpiles of food or supplies, that’s what the government is for. Unfortunately for them, and as I discovered in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Bloomberg’s gun-free utopia of New York City, this could not be further from the truth. I saw numerous homes with signs stating things like “Looters will be shot.” In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane with no electricity or lights and with many homes evacuated, looters had a field day. Bloomberg, in an effort to try and downplay the situation, prohibited the National Guard from helping the overwhelmed NYPD (because they had guns), leaving residents to largely fend for themselves. In some areas the National Guard would not go after dark after hearing reports of gunfire. I guess it’s easy to mock those poor dumb peasants out on Far Rockaway when you’re sitting high and dry at Rolling Stone headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.
5. Supply Cartels and Criminals
The gun industry’s dirtiest – and most open – secret is that it is profiting from the sale of guns that are illegally trafficked into Mexico to arm the drug cartels responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. “Nobody has a clue how big that market is,” says Diaz. “It’s like drugs in reverse.”
In the wake of the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious, I cannot think of a more tone deaf argument to try and make. For those of you who have been living under a Rolling Stone the last four years, Fast and Furious was an Obama administration operation that forced gun dealers in southern states to allow the illegal sale of guns to straw purchasers, fully knowing the guns were going to end up in Mexico. No attempts were actually made at tracking the guns, and some reports cite agents as actually being giddy when the trafficked guns started to turn up at crime scenes. The fallout from the operation has been incredibly deadly, with over 300 Mexicans and border patrol agent Brian Terry killed by weapons the government purposefully allowed to be illegally straw-purchased and trafficked into Mexico.
Furthermore, Rolling Stone states that 90% of the guns being trafficked into Mexico originated from American manufacturers. This is actually a dishonest play on the statistics from the GAO that was started by the Obama administration. Despite clarification from the ATF that it is false, the anti-gun crowd blatantly perpetuates the lie. The 90% figure is actually rounded up from 87%, and is a percentage of a percentage of a percentage.
According to a June 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.
12% of guns recovered by Mexican law enforcement were traced to the U.S., not 87%. It’s tragic that any gun from America shows up in the drug violence of Mexico, and any gun dealer caught selling to straw purchasers or knowingly trafficking guns into Mexico should be prosecuted. But this last assertion from Rolling Stone raises another question, and contradicts the argument they are trying to make. Mexico has strict anti-gun laws, therefore it should be as safe as the gun free utopia of Chicago. So why is there so much gun violence in Mexico if there are laws prohibiting it?
There is yet another facet of their final point that I cannot help but feel Rolling Stone is complicit in. This is a publication that has spent decades glorifying rock stars and all that they represent. The crazy lifestyle, smashing guitars, trashing hotel rooms, the illicit drug and alcohol use, and the promiscuous benefits of female groupies. So I find it hypocritical that Rolling Stone would suddenly be concerned about the existence of Mexican drug cartels, violent criminals who fuel the very drug culture and lifestyles of the hip and edgy Rolling Stone has glamorized for decades. Yet Rolling Stone seems to have a selective conscience, only lecturing on lessons of perceived immorality they are not complicit in. Ever hear Rolling Stone tell a band they will not put them on the cover of the magazine until they stop their drug and alcohol abuse? Me neither. In addition, how can Rolling Stone chastise the war on drugs as being an epic failure, yet claim a war on guns would be successful? You can’t have it both ways if you’re making the argument more laws equals less guns equals less crime.
Rolling Stone is a publication founded on the culture of rebelling against the establishment. But somewhere along the line Rolling Stone went from being the acid dropping rebellious youth, rocking out to Jimi Hendricks, saying make love not war, and became the establishment. They got a hair cut, found a job, moved out of mom and dad’s basement and aligned with the modern day liberal movement of aging baby boomers. They have become the angry parents yelling “Turn down that racket!” so they can watch another riveting episode of Wheel of Fortune. To see Rolling Stone try and lecture on guns as if they have a moral foundation on which to stand is as laughable and hypocritical as if Gene Simmons started warning of the ethics of multiple sex partners, or C.C. DeVille warning kids not to put impurities into their bodies.
Rolling Stone has gone from being the rebellious rocker smashing guitars on stage, to the geriatric senior citizen spending their morning at Denny’s griping about Medicare gap coverage and the cost of catheters, before relocating to their porch, yelling at kids to stay off the lawn. They are as edgy as a Hostess Sno Ball, and as predictable as an episode of Full House.
I can’t wait for the next issue of Rolling Stone where their editors announce Nickelback is the greatest band of all time.