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Is anybody confused about the message here?

gun ad
As the Mother Jones editor said: Subtle.
Mark Murrmann at Mother Jones magazine has dug out a number of chilling gun ads that ought to make every responsible gun owner, every person thinking of buying a gun, refuse ever to purchase anything from the companies involved ever again. These ads contribute to the view of many Americans that every person who owns a firearm is a "gun nut" motivated by a penchant for violence or imbued with either an over-abundance or a lack of testosterone. These ads no doubt appeal to the militia crowd, the crackpots who think black helicopters are on the way with U.N. shock troops who will make Americans kneel to foreign tyrants and force them to accept Obamacare. The ads no doubt appeal to armchair corporals with dreams of secession on their minds, who count George Zimmerman as a hero, who secretly hope they'll someday be in the front lines of a real Red Dawn. Incendiary, juvenile and menacing doesn't begin to describe these ads. Grotesque doesn't do justice to the creepy mind-sets that created them.

Is anybody confused about the message here?

You're not real until you own one of these.

The weapon in this ad is similar to the Bushmaster M4 semi-automatic carbine that was said to have been found by police in Adam Lanza's car after Friday's slaughter at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. If reports are accurate, it was owned by his mother. It is also similar to the Bushmaster rifle used by the Beltway Sniper in the Washington, D.C., area 10 years ago.

Is anybody confused about the message here?

National Rifle Association chief Wayne La Pierre told a cheering crowd in February this year at the Conservative Political Action Conference that Barack Obama has been hiding his true intentions about gun-owners until he wins a second term.

La Pierre has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Rifle Association for 21 years. Gun-owners with good sense long ago said goodbye to the lunacy that this ever-more right-wing organization represents. I was one of them.

But we have to do more now. The NRA is a key obstacle in the path of reasonable gun reform. By pushing its extremist, conspiracy-mongering political agenda and operating as a de facto marketing arm of companies like the ones promoting their wares in the ads above, the NRA constitutes a threat to the continued right of millions of Americans to hunt, target-shoot and keep firearms for self-defense. Responsible gun-owners and Americans who have never touched a gun in their lives should and can work together to confront the NRA head-on. That will include making it as tough on political candidates who kowtow to the organization's agenda as the NRA does to those few candidates who challenge it.

The killing of 20 children in Newtown is about more than guns or interpretations of the 2nd Amendment. The history of violence in America—all the way back to another slaughter in Connecticut 375 years ago when 700 Pequot Indians were shot and burned to death at Mystic—is not one we've ever come to grips with.

Other nations, our neighbors to the north in Canada, for instance, have stricter gun laws with per capita gun ownership about one-third as high as in the United States. But the number of gun murders there are not one-third as high. They are 1/100th as high. As gun-owners and other Americans join to fight the gun extremists, we need to work together to undermine the values and other factors behind those statistics.

No single law or handful of them will alone achieve the result the vast majority of Americans desire, which is never ever again to be greeted by news like that which crushed our spirit Friday. Success will instead require a long-term commitment to reformatting our current approach to violence and gun safety across a range of public policies. Rooting out the attitudes that produced those ads above will not be accomplished overnight. But they must be demolished if we are to reduce the violence that plagues us.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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