Gage Skidmore / Flickr Dana Loesch...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

 

On the night of the Oscars, Dana Loesch, failed actress and current spokeswoman for the front group of the multibillion dollar gun industry (the NRA), attacked hollywood and the media for “undermining what our flag represents” by “using their first amendment right.”  The wannabe actress Loesch appeared in a cheesy, low budget video to perform some good old fashioned, nationalistic fear mongering.

Loesch’s Z-movie performance was met with criticism and derision. And rightly so.
Loesch is following the script the NRA has long used—fearmongering as a marketing ploy—ginning up conspiracy theories that liberals are leading an effort to seize all guns and eradicate the second amendment; but nothing could be further removed from reality. The nation is nowhere near being a gun-less society.  In fact, the United States has one of the highest rates of civilian gun ownership than any developed nation. And it comes at a high cost.

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What’s more, a growing body of research suggests that simply owning a gun is correlated with an increased likelihood that you’ll be a victim of violence. A study published in 2014 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who live in homes with firearms are over three times as likely to die from suicide and two times as likely to be a victim of homicide as those who don’t have access to firearms. The study analyzed the results of 16 other studies and found that in all but one, access to guns was linked to a higher probability of murder or suicide. In another study published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior, two Harvard researchers conducted a review of 26 studies on gun availability and homicide in multiple countries and found that most of them “are consistent with the hypothesis that higher levels of gun prevalence substantially increase the homicide rate.”

Despite these costs, the NRA and the gun violence profiteers they represent are winning and not because their fear mongering tactics are actually working.

A majority of americans support gun safety laws. The NRA’s efforts have been successful due to the fact the gun industry pours millions of dark money into the coffers of Republican politicians to safeguard their bottom line.

In the 2016 election cycle, the gun industry spent over $50,000,000 on primarily Republican races.  At first glance, fifty million dollars seems an exorbitant sum of money but given the return on their investment, the gun corporations’ donations investments have paid off handsomely.

America’s Gun Business, By the Numbers

$13.5 billion

Annual revenue of gun and ammunition manufacturing industry, with a $1.5 billion profit. (IBIS World)

$3.1 billion

Annual revenue of gun and ammunition stores, with a $478.4 million profit. (IBIS World)

10,847,792

The number of pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and miscellaneous firearms manufactured in the U.S. in 2013, the latest full year available. That’s 4,441,726 pistols, 725,282 revolvers, 3,979,570 rifles, 1,203,072 shotguns, and 495,142 miscellaneous firearms. (ATF)

And it’ s not just profits…

Hundreds of new state gun laws have passed in the five years since the Newtown massacre, and most expand access.
The gun industry’s record profits and legislative victories have come at a tremendous cost to Americans, one that has yet to be fully calculated.
Then there are the costs that the available research doesn’t capture at all. What about the trauma to entire communities, whether from mass shootings or chronic street violence? What about the steep societal cost of fear, which stunts economic development and provokes major spending on security and prevention? “This is what big-city mayors worry about,” says Duke University economist Philip Cook, who coauthored a study 16 years ago that asked people how much they’d be willing to pay to reduce gun violence where they live. “How can Camden get out of the profound slump it’s in?

The first answer has to be, ‘We’ve got to do something about the gun violence.’”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. She really is the epitome of EVIL! Like I always say, the NRA is a terrorist organization and should be abolished and banned from dictating to Republicans how they should govern with the bribe of “donations”. The corruption running rampant with this administration is ASTOUNDING!!!

  2. That sounded like a death threat to the public at large, complete with reassurances that it was going to happen.
    I’m sure the legal system is going to take note of this, and if they’d like info on how it made me feel, I’ll be happy to be disposed under oath.
    No, I’m not afraid of her, but she should be looking over her shoulder a LOT! The NRA has finally shown its true colors and they’re not bright ones. They’re pitiful, phony, full of threats, including death hints, and deserving of a very long prison sentence.
    I have recorded her little tirade and will be sending it to TWO Attorney’s Generals, one state, one Federal, and willing to replay the video for them.

    Now, more than ever, the NRA must be so decimated that it goes broke and I receive even more desparate emails asking me to join them and fill out their “surveys”, which I see as an admission that they’re being hurt badly by the people leaving them in such great numbers.

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