This past weekend, the National Rifle Association held its annual convention in Houston, Texas. Around 70,000, pro-gun supporters turned out to see speakers like Bobby Jindal, Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin spread second amendment gospel.
But there was also tons of shopping. Gun owners always be shopping! A large part of the convention was taken up with gun shops shilling their wares to an uber-devoted customer base. And because this is America, land of opportunity, gun companies have begun pandering to a heretofore largely ignored population — female gun owners and supporters. In NRA terms, this means producing a bunch of pleasantly pink guns, accessories and clothing to show support for guns. The conference took place just one day after a man shot off an AR-15 rifle inside the Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, in a thwarted suicide attempt (he was later killed by security). Glenn Beck told an audience at the NRA Convention that the man’s death was a set up by the progressive left. And it also took place on the 43rd anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, in which four unarmed students were killed and dozens maimed by the Ohio National Guard. Keep reading »
This week, the National Rifle Association debuted Natalie Foster as the new video commentator for its website, the NRA News Network, to drum up support for the Second Amendment.
Blonde and telegenic, Foster already blogs for her own site, Girls Guide To Guns, “dedicated to women who dig fashion and fire power,” in which she writes about gun ownership as well as girly tips, like New Year’s cocktails and how to look “extra cute” at a gun range. Her site also includes a list of female-friendly shooting ranges. The NRA News Network (which, by the way, is not exactly espousing “news” if these people are editorializing commentators, which they are) also debuted two other new commentators who are both men. Colion Noir, who is black, is an “urban gun enthusiast” and Dom Raso is a veteran. Altogether, the three are meant to appeal to demographics the NRA desperately wants to reach.
But it’s Natalie Foster who is most disconcerting. I don’t doubt the sincerity of her love for shooting at all. In fact, her website is actually kind of cool. But Foster’s involvement with the NRA is calculated to only pose gun ownership as good for women, appropriating the language of the feminist movement to do so. In her intro video, she drops the E-word, explaining how she was “empowered” by learning to shoot a gun. She also poses gun ownership for women as a choice akin to abortion: “Our culture is all about women being able to choose for themselves and if you’re going to be able to choose what you do with your body, why aren’t we able to defend our bodies?” Foster isn’t free from gun-related machismo, either: She swoons over her favorite gun and says shooting it makes her “feel like a badass.” Keep reading »
Just weeks after the Newtown tragedy, and merely days after another shooting at a California high school, the fine folks of the National Rifle Association have decided that now is the perfect time to release a new mobile target practice app, aimed at helping gun owners to become more accurate shots. The app is packaged as an “information” tool, providing gun owners with safety tips (like “keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot”) and state-by-state gun law information. But the target practice portion of the program is on there, too. It looks a lot like any other first-person shooter video game — you know, one of the many things besides actual guns that the NRA blames for gun violence — except this one is put out by the National Rifle Association, and it’s ostensibly aimed at improving the skills of real-life shooters.
And the truly great thing about the app? It allows users to switch up between guns. So you may start out with an M16, but for just a $1, you can upgrade to an AK-47. So awesome — anybody with a smart phone can practice shooting an assault rifle.
And oh, the Target Practice app is recommended for shooters ages four and up. Sick. [Gizmodo]
This morning, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre held a press conference, meant to be the NRA’s response and “meaningful contribution” to the Newtown shooting that occurred one week ago. Rather than surprise the audience by actually taking some responsibility for promoting a gun-crazy, shooting-first-and-ask-questions-later culture, LaPierre did what was sadly expected: he denied any culpability for the incident and proposed that schools start hiring armed police officers to protect children. Keep reading »