Demonizing Gun Ads Is a Misguided Witch Hunt

By Larry Keane

Century C308 SIG Bravo 5 SilencerCo Saker 762 ASR
Gun control advocates are ready to start grabbing pitchforks and torches in their attempt to drive out firearm manufacturer advertisements. IMG Jim Grant

U.S.A. -( Gun control advocates are ready to start grabbing pitchforks and torches in their attempt to drive out firearm manufacturer advertisements. They fear that today’s advertising is running to a tipping point where they need to rally the villagers to chase the monster pieced together by mad gun advertisers out of town.

Today’s gun ads, they claim, are a horrific menagerie of “toxic masculinity,” fearmongering and anti-government militancy. Except none of that is true. Gun control’s efforts are more like a witch hunt and more like Monty Python’s version of one depicted in the cult classic, “The Holy Grail.”

They’re too busy clanging alarm bells to roust the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to realize that the monster they’re chasing doesn’t exist. The real monsters are the criminals, not the law-abiding gun owners who are lawfully purchasing firearms for self-defense, recreational shooting, and hunting.

They want to muzzle and silence our industry, so the American heritage and tradition of hunting and shooting sports is not passed on to the next generation.

Defining Acceptable Ads

Adweek was the latest to weigh in. The advertising trade publication, which regularly highlights efforts by various gun control groups to demonize lawful gun ownership, posted a feature claiming that today’s gun ads are turning America’s children into “extremists.”

The article focuses on an effort by lawmakers to pressure the FTC to abandon its neutrality and deny gun manufacturers the ability to advertise. They say the ads of yesteryear of plaid-clad hunters unwrapping a rifle under the tree are acceptable, but today’s advertising that draws on patriotism and self-reliance is a bridge too far. They want the FTC to burn gun manufacturers at the metaphorical stake and cut out their tongues.

That is a pretty big leap to suggest that Americans – even youth – exposed to firearm ads will poison their minds. Guns have been advertised for decades, even guns offered in youth models. Mechanix Illustrated ran an ad in 1954 for a Remington .22-caliber rifle, featuring a youth holding a rifle he received as a Christmas present. Sears Roebuck listed firearms in their catalog in 1897, featuring a shotgun for $7.95, and would even deliver a revolver to a mailing address.

Clearly, government regulations restricted that years ago. Even toy guns, like Mattel’s #2 M-16, were featured in 1967 with “braap, brra-a-a-a-ap, brap, brap,” sounds advertised. None of that turned America’s youth into murderers. In fact, recreational shooting, including scholastic shooting sports, ranks among the safest sporting activities. Golf, walking, and tennis report more injuries than hunting, and trap and skeet shooting report just 0.1 percent of injuries.

Intellectually Dishonest

That is because shooting sports are heavily supervised. Basic foundational safety rules are a must and are drilled into every gun owner. Children are admonished to only handle firearms under the direct supervision of a responsible adult.

Critics of lawful firearm ownership are being intellectually dishonest when they say it is advertising that is causing out-of-control crime rates or horrific murders. They know this is not true. It is not as if these are individuals who are not academically accomplished. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was once a professor at Harvard University. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was a Yale Law School graduate who also served as Connecticut’s attorney general. They are not uneducated. They are just being dishonest.

They do not want to admit that the soft-on-crime policies they espouse are not making our communities safer. They would rather latch onto every gun control notion they can and mispresent to America that the societal ills are the fault of the firearm industry that they have made a career demonizing. It plays well to their voters when they do not have to admit their policies are failing. It is easier to cast blame and malign an industry, tell America that murderers are not individuals with craven hearts who couldn’t care less about the law, much less the value of human life. It is easier to ignore that the responsible firearm industry offers Real Solutions than admit law-abiding gun owners are invested in safe and responsible ownership.

Do not believe their false and misleading claims that the firearm industry is evil. They are the ones selling pitchforks and torches.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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I appreciate these warnings. You and the most of the content producers here at Ammoland are great on warnings but lack as how to pushback against the oppressive conditions you report about. I could look the subscription numbers up online but it seems to me there’s enough readers/subscribers here when prompted could, would and should pushback against the dastardly bastards wanting to turn us into proper serfs. I rarely see these articles with suggestions and contact info where to send our opposition or support for a reported issue just like this one. We should be more like our antagonists on… Read more »

Rob J

Agreed. If these articles included contact information for the pertinent parties this site could become a powerful lobbying tool with a few simple links. Linking to federal legislation reported on would also allow us to publicly comment on the legislation as well as the legislators involved. Cosponsors of legislation are rarely swayed, but most legislation is passed by vote where legislators rarely question, or even look up from their docket list in an effort to speed through a day and simply vote by rote. Every state legislative site has the ability to look up ones local and federal reps to… Read more »


Follow the money , first they destroyed Remington and now they are going after Smith & Wesson. They are systematically trying to put manufacturers out of buisness to destroy the entire industry . Judges that allow this are POS and need removed from the bench . All automobile manufacturers should shudder at this practice by judges because they can be bankrupted the same way by judges that condone these actions of making a innocent participant’s in a crime responsible for the actions of a criminal . Whatever brand of car Darrel Brooks used to kill women and children on Christmas… Read more »


I was going to say something similar about car manufacturers, but we all know they will be bailed out by the government. I mean, everyone NEEDS a car. We don’t NEED a gun. (The sarcasm was free by the way.)


you will need a big slingshot to launch that electric car at the armed government agents


Hence sarcasm…

BTW – you had a downvote. Given accuracy of your comment I cancelled it. If you get more downvotes, do not assume it’s me.


why cant the gun grabbers just leave us alone, and focus on the true criminals and the true crimes, that they themselves are creating, and they are doing. the gun grabbers I.E. the government, is infringing and breaking more laws, trying to say this is legal, and then days later they say well it is no longer legal, after we said it was, now it is not. what the heck make up your minds already. Quit entrapping and infringing law abiding gun owners turning them into criminals. Is there not enough crime, and criminals for Law enforcement and government agencies… Read more »


Because they’re are the true criminals…you can’t very well “go after yourself”…

Can you see that? A bunch of nerdy-hippie-socialist running around chasing their tails?


left out doing drugs,


I can answer your first question and it’s very simple. Unlike real criminals, we won’t kill them, and they know it.

A question I have pondered a lot is “When it’s the government breaking the law, who are you supposed to call?”


one day soon we will be forced to choose rights or slavery ,and we will have to kill them …I prefer to die free than live as a slave….pesky native American genes


“why cant the gun grabbers just leave us alone, and focus on the true criminals and the true crimes, that they themselves are creating…” In my opinion, they are focusing on the criminal element, just not in ways that a free-thinking patriot understands. The left needs criminal activity to continue and increase to support their agenda and as stated above, they don’t want to can’t ever openly admit that their policies influence violent criminal activity. Gun control legislation is not about public safety; never has been, never will be. Socialists need the public to be in constant fear of criminal… Read more »


they want power plain and simple, if you can protect yourself and family they have nothing, so they do whatever they can to make out that you are the problem…and one day they will be right, they will go after someone minding their own business and hell will come riding in to eat them alive….how many are in jail because they would not do as told..not because they did something to someone else

Xaun Loc

A lot depends on which ads you are looking at and even more depends on your predisposed point of view. Quite a few gun industry ads are just begging for the anti-gun crowd to shove the ad in the face of some suburban soccer mom to prove how evil we are. Ads with headlines like Kel-Tec’s “NEVER BACK DOWN” or Fobus’s “CONCEALED CONFIDENCE” don’t require much effort to demonize. Even Kimber’s “FEED YOUR APPETITE” is easy enough to twist. None of these are extreme all of these come from mainstream firearms companies advertising in mainstream ‘Fudd’ firearms magazines. Then we… Read more »