EDITORIAL: Gun makers show their disdain for public safety

·2 min read

Aug. 2—Every year America becomes more susceptible to gun carnage.

Each new mass murder at a school, mall or church brings more reluctant acceptance that such massacres are simply part of modern American life.

That trajectory doesn't have to continue. It won't be easy, but the goal of reasonable limits must start.

Gun manufacturers are certainly not willing to take any steps to improve safety.

Last week gun makers reaffirmed their disdain for public safety and their greedy pursuit of profits.

Gun makers have taken in more than $1 billion from selling AR-15-style guns over the past decade, often marketing them as a way for young men to prove their masculinity.

A House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week unveiled their investigation of leading gun makers, showing the industry uses gun ads that mimic first-person video games or claim the gun buyers are "at the top of the testosterone food chain."

Another advertisement says: "Consider your man card reissued."

The ads are aimed at the demographic that is often behind mass murders and whose gun of choice is assault-style weapons that evoke a military feel.

The gun makers also fail to collect data that could be used to make their products safer.

Yet they told the House committee they bear no responsibility for gun violence. "I believe that these murders are a local problem that have to be solved locally," one industry executive said.

Of course those who pull the trigger bear responsibility for their crimes. But that doesn't mean Congress and gun makers are not responsible for the proliferation of AR-15-style weapons and an increase in mass killings.

So far, Congress has shown no backbone, instead rolling over for the gun lobby. Congress even went as far as providing gun makers unique protection from legal liability. The protection gives gun makers no incentive to stop their irresponsible marketing or to track data on their guns that could help increase safety.

This even though a majority of Americans routinely voice support for more regulations on guns and gun sales.

The political inaction is frustrating, but people must continue pushing for small, incremental steps toward reversing the deadly trend of gun violence becoming an acceptable part of America's fabric.