Pointing to relatives of victims in last December's school-shootings in his state, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Wednesday excoriated the company behind a new bleeding zombie "Gun Control Lobbyist" shooting mannequin.
In a letter to the company's CEO, Murphy described the mannequin as a "despicable" money-making ploy to portray knowledgeable, passionate people as villains.
Zombie Industries, of Poway, Calif., has been the subject of controversy before for manufacturing other targets such a green alien that resembled President Obama. Murphy took off on their latest product in an open letter to the company's CEO, Roger Davis.
"I am contacting you today to ask that you immediately end the sale of your 'Gun Control Lobbyist' shooting target," Murphy wrote. "This representation is incredibly offensive to both the victims of gun violence and the dedicated people who advocate for gun violence prevention, many of whom have lost loved ones to guns or are survivors themselves."
Murphy takes exception not just to the mannequins that expel a red liquid to imitate blood when they are shot. He also criticizes the company's fictional description of the "Gun Control Lobbyist" in text that sits alongside a photo of the target on its website.
"As a pro gun control lobbyist, this guy spent his days milling around Washington D.C. distorting the truth about guns & violent crimes," the company's website reads. "He not only believed that firearms should only be in movies, he honestly thought law-abiding citizens had no right to protect themselves, their neighbors, or their nation against violent attackers." It adds, "What's worse is that he was even prone to exploiting victims of heinous crimes just to try and further his own political agenda. In other words, he was a real scumbag with no appreciation for the US Constitution or respect for an individual's freedom!"
The description also spells out a bad ending for this lobbyist: "One night while headed home, our friend found himself face to face with a viscous (sic) Zombie. Being that he believed firearms served no purpose in self-defense, he was unarmed and knew he set himself up for something worse than becoming a victim … he was about to become easy Zombie pray!"
In his letter, Murphy writes that description "could not be further from any of the people I have heard from over the past six months."
"Last December, I sat in the firehouse in Newtown, Connecticut, as parents held their breath and waited to find out the fates of their young sons and daughters," wrote Murphy.
"In the six months since that terrible day, I have spoken with these parents and so many other advocates for gun violence prevention—again, many of whom have been shot themselves —about the need for a change in the way our society views gun violence," said Murphy. "These people have suffered in a way that is difficult for anyone to internalize, and their losses are impossible to truly understand. To trivialize these experiences and attempt to portray such knowledgeable, passionate people as villains is a shameless and despicable ploy to make a few bucks."
Davis could not immediately be reached. Along with the green Zombie target that resembles Obama, the company in May announced that it would discontinue its bleeding "ex-Girlfriend" shooting mannequin, redesigning it into something else.
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