Truth and the gun lobby’s marketing lies: Op-Ed

Truth and the gun lobby’s marketing lies: Op-Ed

Gun Rights

About one year after students across America walked out of school to protest gun violence, the Connecticut Supreme Court dealt a stunning blow to the gun industry by ruling that families of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School could proceed with a lawsuit against Remington, the company that made the gun used to kill their loved ones. The families argue that Remington violated Connecticut’s unfair trade practices act with an unlawful marketing campaign to sell civilians assault weapons the company promoted for offensive, military-style missions, lauding their “military-proven performance” and touting them as “the ultimate combat weapons system.” It remains to be seen whether a jury will ultimately agree that such ads helped prompt the Sandy Hook shooter to use the weapon for the purpose it was designed for — killing large numbers of people in a short amount of time. But, crucially, the decision means the families can have their day in court and a chance to persuade a jury. That’s how our civil justice system works when it comes to unscrupulous marketing — whether it’s guns or tobacco and drug companies lying about whether cigarettes or opioids are addictive. Given the toll of gun violence in America — nearly 40,000 deaths and more than 100,000 non-fatal shootings per year — scrutiny of gun industry advertising and the role it plays in fueling that violence is welcome. And it’s not without precedent. During the 1990s, as the industry promoted irresponsible and dangerous conduct that put kids at […]

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