Follow the Money: On Gun TV (Really) and the Tailwinds of Profitability
Welcome to America. Photo by Getty
Blood on the tracks in America, and still more evidence it leads right to grisly profits. To wit: The NRA and other gun whores outspend gun control advocates 6 to 1, paying, for example, just nine lawmakers over $22 million to leave them alone, and spending an additional 14 million to take down legislative candidates who oppose them. Astonishingly and unspeakably dishearteningly, their propaganda is working better than ever: Gun company stocks surged after the latest massacre, and gun manufacturers admit behind closed doors that Sandy Hook and other atrocities have proved good for business - after, of course, adding their obligatory statements on the small bloody bodies at Newtown that "obviously we are all shocked” but hey they're obliged to “respond to market pressures.” And, clearly, a berserk national climate. The Christmas card from one gun-crazed wingnut Nevada legislator says it's so.
The same goes for the Shopping Channel's new, surreal, about-to-be-24-hour - "People are super busy" - Gun TV, wherein your drunken 3 a.m. binge shopping can get you not just that cool Purifry Fryer but the latest in assault rifles with just a click from the comfort of your Lazy Boy. "Make your product a best seller!" the promoters urge gun peddlers, again carefully arguing they're just giving the paranoid masses what they want: “We saw an opportunity in filling a need, not creating one.” Evidently anticipating a tad of PR blowback, the show has improbably branded itself as one focused on firearm safety: Its parent company is called the “Social Responsibility Network”; its media kit describes the network as similar to iTunes, but for guns; it clarifies it won't deliver your weaponry right to your door but through a gun wholesaler, who will then dutifully apply our grossly inadequate screening standards; and it proudly notes that for every godless hour of hawking guns, it will include three minutes of safety training. Yes. Our country is insane. There a few things you can do, other than rant. They may or may not change anything. Sorry, but at this point all bets are off.
Map by Slate