5 Ways the Gun Industry Markets Products to Men’s Basest Instincts
Guns make men feel powerful and in control. A pull of the trigger can instantly bring death, giving the shooter an ability that is almost godlike. Yet gun culture does not think gun owners want to feel godly, or even like mature, civilized adults in any sense. They are just human, after all, susceptible to all the basest instincts of human nature. Mass marketing, assisted by social media, shows us how pervasively the gun industry turns gun purchasers into brutes.Whether it’s the multimillion-dollar corporations that manufacture guns or the mom-and-pop internet shops that sell every gun accessory imaginable under the sun, the ways in which gun businesses market their products is morally questionable at best.
1. Sex, sex, sex.
Of all the possible ways to market guns to purchasers, sex might not be the first to come to mind. But in the world of guns, sex sells. Women’s bodies appear in all facets of gun marketing, from the merchandise reviews sporting gun-toting blondes to this shotgun advertisement that looks like it came straight from the cover of a porn parody of Westworld.
Photo Credit: Mother Jones, EEA corp.
2. Fetishizing death.
Gun purchasers overwhelmingly claim to buy their weapons for hunting and self-defense—a far greater combined number than those who simply plan to target-shoot, according to Pew Research Center. Guns are designed to maim and kill living things, which explains all the morbid imagery like skulls and bones. But shouldn’t we be at least a little concerned about gun purchasers taking such a fetishized view of death?
5. Rampant racism.< p dir="ltr">Not all gun lovers are racists, but there is plenty of white pride rhetoric among Second Amendment advocates, and racism is deeply embedded in the history of that particular clause. Whether they’re proudly proclaiming to be infidels (specifically, enemies of Islam), or boasting that “Blue Lives Matter,” anyone who hopes to sell such products capitalizes on Americans’ racism. Racism is an ugly extension of tribalism—one the gun industry is more than happy to cash in on.
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