Follow the Money: On Gun TV (Really) and the Tailwinds of Profitability

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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. 

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