I testified to Congress about the gun industry. It rattled me to my core | Ryan Busse

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FFrom 1995 to 2020, I worked for firearms manufacturer Kimber. As the industry began to embrace extremism and conspiracy, I did what I could to fight from the inside. When industry marketing celebrated armed vigilance for selling guns, I was gone.

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I am still a proud gun owner who believes in responsibility. These days I use my platform to advocate for commonsense gun safety measures and call out dangerous and toxic marketing in the industry—which is why I was invited to testify before the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week. it was done.

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Like others, including the CEOs of Two Gun Company, I was asked to present written testimony For official congressional records. I was warned that I would swear and be prepared for the possibility that a large, high-profile hearing would last several hours and involve direct attacks on me. It all happened – but not because witnessing was so frightening.

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The reason I found the hearing so frightening was that it became clearer than ever that gun companies and their executives have completely abdicated responsibility and common sense. His Industry Is Marketing Naked – And Maybe In The Process to even make – The next generation of mass shooters, all at their lowest level service.

At the beginning of this type of hearing, each witness has time to address the committee. I described how guns like the AR-15 were an untouchable before 2008. However, in less than 15 years, they have become both a powerful authoritarian symbol and the bread and butter of the industry.

I talked about how there is no longer a place in the firearms industry for anyone who believes in moderation or responsible regulation. If they did exist, they have long been afraid of submission or being forced. Despite guns being at the center of radical domestic terrorism, no industry to protest the “come and take it” flags of the January 6th Uprising, the armed men who attacked the Michigan capital, or Kyle Rittenhouse. No reprimand. His Smith & Wesson Military and Police-Line Rifles.

This is what I saw during last week’s five-hour hearing. Alarmingly, but not shockingly, two gun industry leaders called in to witness – Marty Daniels, CEO of Daniel Defense and Christopher Kilroy, President and CEO of Ruger – spoke about the role of guns and industry marketing in our nation’s deteriorating state. refused to take any responsibility. Mass shootings and gun violence.

In light of the white-supremacist shootings in Buffalo, New York that killed 10 black grocers, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked Daniel about one of these Advertisement for his company, which featured a gunman with a Norse tattoo favored by white supremacists and QAnon shamans. Daniel was surprised. Sadly I wasn’t surprised.

Despite the fact that they are both board members of the industry’s trade group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Kilroy and Daniel created a gun with the same floral pattern as fellow industry partners to market the extremist “Boogaloo Boys”. Members refused to decline. Worn by far-right groups.

The NSSF, which represents virtually all gun companies, itself has reached a greater extreme in recent years: the group claims to support gun safety but is in fact Spent about 5% of its revenue on security initiatives in recent years. Much of the rest of the budget is spent creating a marketplace where any new gun customer or any new firearms marketing is adopted, no matter how extreme or irresponsible.

During the hearing, Daniel and Kilroy declined to condemn advertisements produced by NSSF members, including the Spikes Tactical ad. illustration of an armed confrontation With Antifa. in a particular disturbing post by Daniel Defense is shown A young child holding an AR-15, with a biblical text: “Teach a boy the way he should walk, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.”

The photo was posted on social media on May 16, days before an 18-year-old man used a Daniels defense rifle to kill 19 schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas. The photo has since been removed. When asked about the ad, Daniel defended it, saying it was meant to teach children about gun safety.

Sadly, industry extremism is now being supported by Republicans, who invited a witness from the Gun Owners of America (GOA) – a group that calls for dismantling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Says – their expert as one.

As someone who used to be on the inside, I’m here to warn you that there’s more to the way of this marketing, and it’s likely to get worse. No one from the industry is going to stop it. It is up to responsible gun owners and others who care about our country to speak out for the liberties of all citizens against this gravely irresponsible behavior and in favor of common laws such as universal background checks and excessive risk protection orders. Huh.

If we don’t do that, I fear the next Congress hearing will be even more disturbing.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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