Consumerism and Guns

Consumerism and Guns 1024x681 Consumerism and Guns

First, let’s get one fact straight; the most dangerous promoter of guns is not the NRA.  Yes; you read that right! The most dangerous promoter of gun violence in society today is not the National Rifle Association or even the gun-makers themselves; it’s Hollywood!  Movies are how guns are marketed and sold to all of us as consumers.  Don’t agree?

Then ask yourself this question; when was the last time you saw an advertisement for a gun in your favorite magazine? Unless you are reading a law enforcement or specialty magazine, the answer should be never!  When was the last time you watched the evening news or your favorite T.V. show and you heard “This show is sponsored by Smith & Wesson, or Glock, or Sturm, Ruger & Co”?   No, that’s the domain of the pharmaceutical industry!

Marketing Through Portrayals of Gun Violence

Ever watch the movie “Natural Born Killers” which glorified mass shootings?  What about “The Dark Knight” which glorified violence and seemed to make a mass murderer like The Joker seem almost cool? By the way; it also just happens to be one of the top 10 highest grossing films of all time, further proving that as Americans, we have become desensitized to this type of violence.  Hell, we might even like it!

No people; when it comes to guns and the marketing of them to consumers, gun makers and the NRA can just concentrate on cowering politicians into voting against common sense legislation that protect its citizenry  while Hollywood handles the advertising – all at no cost to them!  Now if I can only get them to promote my blog for free!

Without a doubt, what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School was not a Hollywood movie and it is something that will never leave our psyche as a nation, as parents, and as educators for as long as we live.  However, we cannot ignore the fact that those events played out as a real life retelling of fictional stories told over and over again… at the movies.

What Were These “Wacko’s” Thinking About?

How many of you have asked yourself this question while pondering the Sandy Hook School Massacre, or the Aurora Colorado massacre, or the massacre at Columbine when they happened?   I mean, what could have been going through these demented killers minds as they plotted out which weapons to buy, or how much ammunition they would need, or what body armor to wear in order to carry out such horrific acts of terror?

How many violent movies had these young men watched where some wacko villain like the Joker from the “Dark Night Rises” planned his revenge and then went out in a blaze of glory?  1, 10, 100′s?

Consumerism Is the Common Thread

There is no one “fix” that could have prevented the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary, but without a doubt, the ability to consume automatic weapons such as the one used at Sandy Hook, the Bushmaster AR-15 shown in the picture above with a cartridge that holds 30 rounds, is something we as civilians and consumers should not have access to!

While we’re at it, why should any civilian need to buy body armor for anything other than committing a crime?  These are all items that should only be in the hands of the military and law enforcement; plain and simple! And please spare me the 2nd Amendment non-sense argument!  But, if you do want to use that argument, then I say go buy yourself a musket and some gun powder like our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment into the Bill of Rights!

Civil War Soldier with Musket and Gun Powder 150x150 Consumerism and Guns

Not a Community of Common Sense

The fact is; businesses must produce goods and consumers must buy those goods in a process that creates the economic backbone of this great country of ours and without a doubt, you cannot sell goods without marketing and advertising.  That is how “consumerism” is born each and every day of our consumer lives!

While I could write an encyclopedia of all the places blame might lay for the culture of violence we live in today, I rather just tell you to awaken to the fact that we are not a community of common sense!  We need to break them down and then rebuild common sense back into the fabric of our communities!

As I said in my last blog post titled “Don’t Call it Gun Control: Just Control The Damn Guns”, common sense isn’t so common.  So here is the last question I will pose;

If The Cambridge Dictionary defines “common sense” as the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way; are we left to surmise that we have lost any common sense as a country?


  1. While I am looking forward to responding to the question you posed, I first have to respond to the classification of an AR-15 as an automatic weapon. It’s not. An AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle and also is referred to as an assault weapon, as defined in the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004.

    I only bring this up because words are important. They have a specific meaning and when people who use written word as their only means of communication misuse words, it muddies the waters. The media has become sloppy at carelessly throwing words around, but I’d like to believe that bloggers are better than the media.

    And I agree with you. We are no longer a nation of people who use common sense. But then, how can we when it’s not taught in the public schools, which is where too much of what children learn is taught? So, where can our children learn common sense? Wild card here — how about at home?

    Actually, children are born with common sense. Common sense is an outcome of thinking about situations. Taking in data, processing it and reaching conclusions. Schools don’t teach thinking. They teach regurgitating. Thinking, questions, and probing aren’t encouraged, but stifled. Our great country’s leaders don’t want citizens who question them. They want consumer/producers.

    So it’s up to you, the parent to keep asking your child why? and how? and where? so your child will keep asking why? and how? and where? Oh, I know in your hectic schedule, how will you ever have the time? Well, there is always during the drive to or from an activity? Or during a sitting-at-the-table meal, whether it be breakfast or supper. Or even more radical, take back some family time by saying no to another time-sucking activity.

    Your children are smarter than the machine wants you to believe they are. Treat them like the little people they are, keep common sense (thinking) happening, and imagine the better world we can make.

    • Again, an excellent and thoughtful response Ann. And you are right; words are important. So in response to the automatic weapon question, I respectfully counter that there isn’t much difference between a fully automatic M-16 machine gun that I used when I served in the US Army (USAR 83-89) and the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.

      Both shoot the same high-powered .223-caliber ammo and can be loaded with large-capacity magazines of 30 rounds or more, like Adam Lanza used at Sandy Hook Elementary. Technically speaking, the exception being different internal workings that allow for fully automatic mode in the M-16. So in my mind and those of many others, they basically are the same gun. Semantics if you will.

      And if words are important, then please allow me to ‘enhance’ your statement of schools and parents not teaching ‘thinking”. In my home, even though my kids are only 6 and 8 years old, for several years now, they have been taught “critical thinking” through analysis.

      You describe it perfectly in your post and I know that if they don’t get it from me, the world will not teach it to them! It’s important to me that they learn how to analyze data and then use reflective thinking as a way of deciding whether a claim, idea, or theory is always true, sometimes true, partly true, or completely false.

      If I do nothing else for my children in this lifetime, I will continue to teach them critical thinking. Thanks for the post Ann :)

      • I understand what you’re saying about the guns being so similar, but they are different. They’re classified differently. Their intended use is different. They were treated differently under the assault weapons ban. And the process of getting getting each is much, much different.

        I know, on the one hand, it’s just semantics, but on the other hand, it’s the difference between fully automatic assault rifles being use exclusively by the military and semi-automatic rifles (assault weapons) being banned from public consumption.

        The over-sized, highly powered magazines are a whole different story that I don’t know enough about to participate in an intelligent discussion.

        And I have no doubt that you are a superior person and parent who doesn’t see teaching end when the children leave the school grounds.

        • Thanks for the vote of confidence Ann but I wouldn’t use the word “superior” because I do not see myself in that light. All I want to is be the best parent I can be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to my own children!

          When you are a parent, as I’m sure you will agree, the ‘teachable moments” never end :)

          • Bob says:

            I believe you’re right about consumerism, but I don’t know if I stand behind you on your gun perspective. I was raised in a different country, with drastically different gun laws than the USA but there are no statistics to prove that we have any less gun violence as a result. As well, if you look at cities like LA, and Chicago which have tight gun laws and increased gun violence, along with nations like the UK which also has increased gun violence comparatively – then I think that there is more to the issue of violence than just guns; whether they’re semi automatic or fully automatic. While in Australia last month, there were three fatal shootings, and there are extremely strict contingencies on gun ownership there. If we break down to facts, crime has reduced by 50% over the last 20 years, but the media has made it look worse than it is, so we’ve become a nation of fear.

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