Some aging boomers must have a thing for nostalgia. Otherwise I can’t think of any reason that Rolling Stone magazine is still being published because frankly I don’t know anyone who reads it on a regular basis. It was one of those things you subscribed to in college and then left behind.
That said, some people must read it because it cost Gen. Stanley McChrystal his career. Now they are trying to do the gun industry what they did to McChrystal’s career. The only problem (for them) is that their article, “The Gun Industry’s Deadly Addiction”, will have no impact on gun sales. Moreover, when you use Josh Sugarmann and Tom Diaz as authoritative sources, you have no credibility.
The thrust of the article is this: hunting is dying, gun owners are aging and white, fewer people own guns, the industry is trying to survive, they need to target new demographics, thus they are introducing more “military-style weapons” to capture that demographic.
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.”
Using comparisons similar to the way the tobacco industry has been portrayed, Rolling Stone asserts that firearms manufacturers are trying to hook kids on guns and to seduce women into buying guns for protection. Moreover, the move to get women customers is because they are the family gatekeepers. You get the mom, you get the whole family. Of course they use the example of the shooter from Newtown, Connecticut to make their point.
To protect herself from the faceless evil that might break into her
home, she didn’t just buy a single gun – she compiled an arsenal worth
thousands of dollars and trained with her son at local shooting ranges.
“She (Nancy Lanza) was the perfect customer,” says Diaz, “the perfect manifestation of
how they want to sell guns.”
The other three targets markets according to Rolling Stone are gamers with Zombie shoots, preppers, and narco-terrorists and criminals. They call this last “market” the gun industry’s “dirtiest – and most open – secret.”
The rest of the article deals with divestment attempts by certain pension funds and big city mayors such as Rahm Emanuel. They note that the mayor of Minneapolis is in talks with other mayors to withhold firearm and ammo purchases from any gun maker that lobbies against gun control. To which I would just use the example of Smith and Wesson as why gun makers are not going to be bullied into such deals.
If Rolling Stone promotes anything, it is the tradition of yellow journalism. I guess that makes them right in line with the rest of the mainstream media. So much for being counter-culture.