There was a big gun industry show in Las Vegas last week and Richard Feldman, a former lawyer for the NRA and the head of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, filed a report that was reprinted in Business Week. It says that the gun industry is targeting women for their sales pitches and looking forward to the 2016 election fueling sales due to “fear buying.”
“The mood is upbeat, but the crazed buying frenzy of last year is over. Demand for ammunition is still unbelievably strong, but the gun makers know it’s time to market and sell product, not simply write orders that can’t possibly be filled. The next ramp-up in sales may not occur until the 2016 presidential campaign gets going in earnest. The more likely a Hillary Clinton victory looks, the more advance ‘fear buying’ will recur. While most may vote Republican, manufacturers and retailers secretly hope for a repeat of the ‘Obama surge’ that has boosted sales since 2009.
“Even with sales softening in 2014, industry executives expect a gentle landing from the historic domestic commercial sales in 2013. Sturm Ruger alone sold almost as many guns this year as the entire industry produced 20 years ago. First-time buyers are hot prospects for additional new sales in other calibers, and there has been a dramatic upsurge in firearm product for woman.
“On the expo floor, guns are everywhere at booths in pink, yellow and chartreuse. More woman buyers [for retail establishments] are also a distinct departure from past years, and that’s likely to be a permanent change.”
I’m not an anti-gun activist. I do believe that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to own guns (though that doesn’t mean there aren’t legitimate and appropriate limits on that right, just as there are on any right). But it should be very obvious by now that groups like the NRA and Gun Owners of America are really nothing more than the marketing wing for the gun industry. They help boost gun sales by selling this paranoid delusion that the government is forever on the verge of taking the guns away. The fact that it hasn’t happened despite decades of such dystopic predictions tells you a great deal about the mentality of the people this marketing works on.