Should we be marketing guns to children?
For some this concept may seem pretty self-evident. If you want to preserve your Second Amendment right you need to market the Second Amendment to future generations.
Others can’t quite grasp the concept of positive firearms marketing to children.
The New York Times recently published an editorial criticizing the firearms industry for pursuing a marketing strategy targeting children. The article referenced a new study from the Violence Policy Center titled “'Start Them Young’ How the Firearms Industry and Gun Lobby Are Targeting Your Children.”
But of course we need to market firearms to our children.
Don't Judge (Karl Knighton)
If we don’t market the truth about guns to our children then they may eventually end up believing the false, anti-gun narratives of groups like the Violence Policy Center. These groups intentionally use lies and deceit in an effort to abolish our second amendment rights.
The “study” released primarily used advertising examples that were marketing the safe and responsible use of firearms to make their anti-gun case. They attacked everything from 4-H shooting programs to advertising youth rifles that portrayed children being safely taught to shoot by responsible parents. They twisted all the positive advertising to dishonestly link early exposure to firearms to future violent behavior.
On the first page of the report, you're greeted by a photo of a toddler surrounded by guns and ammunition and this description:
A chilling photograph of a small boy, gnawing on a pistol clutched in his tiny hands, dressed in camouflage and with a grenade and ammunition belt in his lap, was recovered from the weapon-filled home of Sandy Hook school gunman Adam Lanza….A family friend said that Lanza and his older brother were taught to shoot almost as soon as they could hold a weapon by their mother Nancy, a gun fanatic.
But these sort of reckless narratives are nothing new. Pretty much every gun-control group preaches that guns are bad, people who use guns are lunatics, and government has a responsibility to protect us from said lunatics no matter what.
These types of false narratives can only be defeated through honest marketing of firearms.
If we don’t market safe and responsible firearm ownership to our kids then all their firearms knowledge will be acquired from the narratives driven by Hollywood, television, the media, and video games. They have all used firearms to market their graphic and violent entertainment without any consideration for teaching firearm safety. They certainly aren’t doing Second Amendment advocates any favors by depicting firearms being used in some of the most horrific ways.
This type of violence marketing drives unsafe child fascinations with firearms and can result in deadly situations if children were never taught how to act safely around a gun. The violence marketing also goes on to reinforce irrational fears in the larger portion of the population who do not own or know anything about the realities of firearms.
If we don’t market the second amendment to our children then politicians will continue to reinforce irrational fears of firearms by upholding laws that restrict a fundamental right and provide no public safety benefit.
Already too many Republican politicians think it is more important to reinforce the false narratives of firearms than to expand and preserve a constitutional right. If we can’t defeat false narratives within the Republican Party, how can we expect to defeat those ideas in anti-gun strongholds?
We now know from experience that registration systems for people who carry concealed make zero positive difference in public safety. We have found that to be the case with many gun-control laws, including state handgun bans, assault weapons bans, and firearm registration systems. It makes no sense for conservatives to support a government program that limits a constitutional right anytime, but it is far more maddening when that right is being limited for absolutely no rational reason.
If we don’t market a positive firearms culture to our children then politicians will continue to make important decisions on firearms based on “controversy” and “optics” instead of constitutionality.
Well the “optics” the media drives is the gun control narrative that guns are dangerous and people that carry them are crazy. When lawmakers oppose legislation because of false narratives then they are ultimately endorsing the lies of the anti-gun fanatics.
States with strong conservative majorities should never have to beg their representatives to push laws that expand individual freedoms or strengthen the second amendment. Representatives and governors in every state who are standing in the way of defeating second amendment infringements need to ask themselves this: Why are they serving the gun-control agenda?
If our politicians can’t make the necessary common sense changes, then maybe the firearms marketing and education we give to our children will make the real difference in the future.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.