Last time we met I told you about the thoughtful, well-balanced, and thoroughly researched Rolling Stone article by Tim Dickinson, "The Gun Industry's Deadly Addiction." Geez, I couldn't even type that with a straight face. The article was more of the same knee-jerk guns-are-bad-and-their-enthusiasts-are-worse clap trap.
To re-cap: despite other industries profiting from things that may ultimately contribute to the harm of people, the article's author just really doesn't like when the gun industry turns a profit. He also seemed to think that one or two scary statistics should mean we all give up our 2nd amendment rights. If you were hoping that was where Mr. Dickinson's dopiness ended, you're wrong.
Let's take a look at his first (as it was numbered in the article) problem with the gun industry: "Hook The Kids." Mr. Dickinson says that "to goose future growth" the industry supports such horrific things such as Take Your Daughter To The Range Day, and Live Action Cowboy Shooting. I know, I know, why not just give the kids dirty needles and freshly brewed meth if we're going to subject them to such abhorrence, moral degeneration, and deleterious things like a day at the range with dad, or having fun and learning some history while practicing a sport that requires extreme adherence safety, skill, mechanical understanding of an instrument, attention to detail, and self-confidence?
So, I wonder how Mr. Dickinson would refer to the failing Head Start Program? "Free" preschool for the under-privileged, that results in a net gain of nothing, or worse. From the HHS study: "access to the program failed to raise the cognitive abilities of participants on 41 measures...access to Head Start for the three-year-old group actually had a harmful effect on the teacher-assessed math ability of these children once they entered kindergarten...For the four-year-old group, access to Head Start failed to have an effect for 69 out of 71 socio-emotional, health, and parenting outcomes." This program was pushed in President Obama's 2013 SOTU speech, and has a $8 billion budget this year. But it doesn't work, so what's the point? Hooking the kids on government-provided education that renders a huge debt and gets them nowhere? Kids go on to college where they've racked up $864 billion in federal student loan debt for college. The gun industry is around a $12 billion/year industry, there is no outstanding federal gun-owner loan debt or a failing tax funded youth gun education program. So, exactly who is hooking whom, Mr. Dickinson?
Perhaps Mr. Dickinson, or others of his ilk, would counter that shooting and hunting are dangerous sports, that children ought to be shielded from. Children with "monster clips" or who fire "real-life rifles" must be facing certain death, right? Turns out, not so much. Families Afield puts out numbers on injury in sports. Their table includes hunting. Of the 16.3 million participants in hunting in 2012, there were 8,122 injuries, which is a rate of 50 per 100,000 participants. Only camping and billiards had lower injury rates. The highest? Football, at 5,265 injuries per 100K. Basketball is second, with a rate of almost 2000. There are seven sports which all have rates of injury between 1100-1700 per 100K (in ascending order): softball, cheerleading, baseball, bicycling, wrestling, soccer, skateboarding (and many more sports between rates of 50 and 1100). Even bowling has a rate of injury higher than hunting - 62 per 100K. BOWLING. For the love of all that is good - BOWLING.
Nope, none of those sports are marketed toward children (this is called "sarcasm"). If we wanted to have a standard to judge, which of these sports were acceptable to American life, especially youth, where could we look? Well, how about the U.S. Olympic team? Of all the sports named above, only cheerleading and skateboarding do not have Olympic events. We do have a U.S. Olympic shooting team. Their mission? Winning medals (we'll call that marksmanship) and promoting shooting sports. Huh, fancy that. We even sometimes combine shooting with other Olympic sports. (see picture with this article)
Problem number two: "seduce the ladies." The author says only 15% of women in the U.S. own guns. Since he doesn't link or cite his sources, I don't know where he pulled that out of. But Gallup says 23% of women in the U.S. own guns. The author says the gun makers like us because we are a purchasing power unto ourselves, as well as the "gatekeepers" to the kids. Plus, we'll buy anything in pink. I've said this before, but I think pink guns are great, because of the element of surprise and disarming - if you will- effect a pink firearm could have on an attacker. Besides whining that gun makers are putting out guns in more fashion-forward colors, Mr. Dickinson accuses the gun industry of playing on our fears of assault, attack, or home invasion to get us to buy weapons. I have three gun magazines right here (American Rifleman, SWAT, and American Hangunner) pretty much the only women you'll see in them are the ones being used to sell products to men, except maybe for a singular female in an "I carry" ad. And, flipping through the current issue of American Handgunner, I don't see a single pink sparkly Hello Kitty gun.
I'm sorry, but again, the seducing and hooking comes from the other side. Does anyone remember the Life of Julia? The original has been removed from the President's website, and versions with rebuttal narration can be found on youtube. Julia was a composite American female, and she was insulting and a ridiculous infantalization of women. She did, however, happily heap her plate high with helpings from the government-dependence buffet. Her life started with her going to Headstart (see above), she took out government loans for college, she got contraception via Obamacare, at age 31 she decided to have a baby - she appeared to be single. She didn't need a husband or a partner, she was married to the government which provided for her every need. She sent her kid to Headstart, she got old and went on Medicare, she still had no partner, she had the government to keep her warm at night. She collected Social Security. She got sick and needed a new heart, at which point an Affordable Care Act panel decided she was too old for that, and it floated her on an ice slab out to sea. Hmm, I may have added this last one, but the rest was The Life of Julia. From cradle to grave she relied on the government. Though, that Julia would have even made it to the cradle given the abortion agenda of the left, and Sandra Fluke - it's most famous spokeswoman - is dubious. Ms. Fluke was insistent that without tax payer funding, via insurance mandates, of contraception, such things were unaffordable. Condomdepot.com has a box of 100 Trojans for $39.99 (free shipping on orders over $25). Seems reasonable. Give up a latte every other month, and you're set. She, of course, said the pill was needed for some medical conditions (which it is, occasionally), upholding the leftist line, and playing on women's fears that without "free" birth control pills they won't be able to treat medical issues, or will be forced to have a baby (I find myself, once again, having to ask why the "choice" isn't the one of whether or not to have sex).
The fear, the REALITY, that some criminal may attack me or break into my home, is one in which I have no choice. If it happens, the only choice I have is how I can contribute to stopping the attack after my safety is breached. Alarm system companies, insurance companies, and self defense schools all play on these same fears according to Mr. Dickinson logic.
So, again I ask: who is hooking whom? One side asks for others to fund things to "protect" women from the consequences of their own actions - the subtext of which is that I cannot even control my own sexual urges during a college career (not to mention that I apparently can't get to college without government help, and if I do decide to have sex, the government has to help me there, too). The other side asks that our 2nd Amendment rights be left unmolested, so that we may defend ourselves against the potentially harmful actions of others.
The gun industry has not hooked kids or seduced women, they've simply helped facilitate a sport and skill the whole family can participate in, a sport and skill which can also translate into the ability to defend ourselves competently and without government aid, should the need arise.
Photo credit: http://www.methowvalleybiathlon.com/p/about.html
Maya Grim is a military wife, mom, gun-toter, coffee-guzzler, Catholic, runner, dental professional, has a B.A. In History, and enjoys a good kettlebell workout - because she likes to throw her weight around! Maya also serves as SGPA District Coordinator in Tuscon, Arizona.