Treat Gun Manufacturers Like We Did Big Tobacco

The Freedom Group earned $94 million after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which killed 20 first-graders ad six school employees, and led to a surge in gun purchases.

The Freedom Group earned $94 million after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which killed 20 first-graders and six school employees and led to a surge in gun purchases, thanks to the NRA.

The Freedom Group is one of the gun manufacturers profiting from the epidemic of mass shootings in the United States. The company not only marketed the assault rifle that Adam Lanza used to kill 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but it also earned $94 million in the aftermath of that shooting rampage, as gun fetishists went on a buying frenzy after the NRA warned them President Obama would soon confiscate their weapons.

Freedom Group also marketed one of the guns used by the terrorist couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino on Dec. 2. And, as The Trace reports, the company is once again enjoying increased profits as gun sales surge amid fears that Congress might try to do its job and regulate the sale of guns. But after Senate Republicans voted last week to allow suspected terrorists to continue legally buying guns in the U.S., that’s just another scare tactic by the NRA — one that works every time on the NRA’s paranoid members.

I look forward to the day when the gun manufacturers face the same stigma that the cigarette manufacturers do, and I hope they’re made to pay a settlement to each state, just as Big Tobacco did, for the harm their products cause to public health.

In 2012, the American Psychological Association issued a resolution declaring that firearms pose a substantial risk to America’s public health. The APA also cited an analysis that estimated that gun violence imposed total costs of $174 billion on the United States in 2010 alone — an average of $645 per gun in the United States, $5.1 million for each fatality, $433,000 for each gun injury requiring hospital admission, and $116,372 for each firearm injury requiring emergency department admission only.

The gun manufacturers need to start repaying the money their products have been costing every taxpayer in America.

The APA noted something that will help you understand just how far the National Rifle Association and the Republican Congress will go to ensure that the epidemic of gun violence continues in the United States:

The APA noted that it cannot reasonably suggest the best ways of curbing gun violence because the nation has no reliable data on this issue. No data? Why? Because state law and federal law prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health from collecting data about gun violence. You can probably guess which organization pushed for these limits on collecting data. If you guessed the NRA, give yourself a pat on the back, you’re a genius. And which political party do you suppose codified these limits into law? Right again. The Republicans collected their campaign blood money from the NRA for creating the laws that the NRA told them to create.

This is how the NRA runs things. Last week, the NRA told Senate Republicans to vote against a bill to prevent suspected terrorists on the U.S. Watch List from buying assault weapons or any other gun they desire. So that’s just what Senate Republicans did on Dec. 3—the day after a man and his wife, swearing loyalty to ISIS, killed 14 people in San Bernardino, using guns they bought legally in California. When the NRA says to vote for terrorists and against American kids who are being mowed down weekly in mass shootings, Republicans don’t bat an eye. They do what the NRA tells them.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The Republican Congress and the NRA are sick puppies. The cynicism of restricting the CDC and NIH from collecting data on gun violence is breathtaking, and utterly transparent. They know that when such data are collected, it will be abundantly clear that gun violence places unacceptable monetary and public health burdens—not to mention emotional burdens—on all of us in the United States. Just so that a minority of men who never grew up and who are scared of approaching life without a gun can indulge their fetish.

Is this how you want to live?

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2 thoughts on “Treat Gun Manufacturers Like We Did Big Tobacco

  1. katywarner says:

    Incredible. This is a great argument, Sonny.

    • Thank you for your comment, Katy, and for taking the time to read my blog.

      After closely studying America’s love affair with the gun for the past three years, I’m sensing a recent groundswell that makes me think we may finally be nearing a tipping point. I had noticed it even before last month. But the back-to-back mass shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic and then in San Bernardino, California, shook some people from their long sleep. The number of well-run advocacy groups fighting back against the NRA is also multiplying rapidly.

      Watching President Obama’s emotional speech as he signed an executive order to strengthen background checks was one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve had in a long time. I believe the time is coming when we’ll wrest control of our nation and our Congress away from the greed and cynicism of the NRA. We’re long overdue.

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