Let's put aside the issue of gun control for a moment and talk about something else: Truth in advertising. See, the gun Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday, was a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle. Bushmaster's ad campaign for the past 2 years, "Consider Your Man Card Reissued," essentially equates manliness with owning a military-style semiautomatic weapon. A military-style semiautomatic which can fire "dozens of high-velocity rounds" in mere seconds. Bushmaster implies that ownership of their product makes a man so manly his "man card" will be reisussed. I'm not arguing whether or not a man has the right to own this weapon. I'm just wondering how owning this weapon makes a man MORE of a man.
Is masculinity defined by the capacity to kill? What manly pursuit would require a "real man" (not including those in the military, of course) to own this weapon?
The Bushmaster .223 rifle isn't commonly used for hunting or target practice. However, Bushmaster's semiautomatic rifles have been used in "at least four mass shootings since 1999." Perhaps you recall the 2009 rampage in southern Alabama that killed 10 people? Or the 8 people who lost their lives in a 2010 Virginia shooting spree? Bushmaster semiautomatic rifles. Also the weapon of choice for the "Beltway snipers," John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo, who killed 15 people in 2001 and 2002. (Bushmaster settled a lawsuit by the snipers' victims' families in 2004 for $500,000.)
Where these horrific crimes "manly" acts?
Here's the thing: We have regulations when it comes to advertising cigarettes and alcohol. Right? Joe Camel has been replaced with grisly photos of ex-smokers with throat cancer. Shouldn't ad campaigns for firearms be subject to the same standards? (Hey, isn't there a federal organization called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?!)
Instead of "Consider Your Man Card Reissued," here are few catchphrases Bushmaster should consider for its next ad campaign:
Or better yet, don't advertise the damn thing at all.