It's the old leftist anti-gun standby: Pretend as if the 2nd Amendment was drafted only to protect hunting and self defense against criminals. Ignore the fact that the Founding Fathers explicitly created gun rights for the purpose of repelling and overthrowing a corrupt government. Pretend as if Americans are not supposed to have access to military grade weapons when that is exactly what the 2nd Amendment was enshrined to protect.
Under the Constitution, the American militia was intended to act as the defense force for the nation. And, the militia was made up of every able bodied male citizen. The militia was the military (in a sense), and the militia had access to all the weapons needed to fulfill their role. This included repeating rifles (automatic rifles), cannons, explosives and even naval ships in private hands. The Founders never intended for a standing military to exist, nor did they ever intend for a standing military to act as a proxy in place of an armed citizenry.
As James Madison noted:
“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”
- James Madison, January 29, 1788, Federalist No. 46
And, as George Mason asserted:
“I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.”
- George Mason, June 4, 1788, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention
It should be treated as a revealing condition that the establishment and corporate media consistently attack the civilian ownership of guns which they argue are “made for war.” These guns which they refer to as “assault rifles” (because it sounds scary) are used in less than 3% of all gun crimes in the US. They are also a small percentage of overall mass shootings in the US, yet they garner almost 100% of the anti-gun lobby's attention.
None of these facts mean anything to the leftist propagandists at Rolling Stone, however. They pursue the same mission as any other gun grabbing group, which is to misrepresent the gun issue with as much enthusiasm as possible. In an article titled 'Mass Murder Is A Choice, The Gun Industry Made It', Rolling Stone seems to assert that the big bad bogeyman behind gun deaths is the gun industry (a throwback to the old 1990s narrative of an evil conspiracy of gun makers forcing poor Americans to buy guns they don't need). Rolling Stone claims:
“The industry is increasingly pushing weaponry on civilians that rivals or even exceeds the firepower commonly entrusted to soldiers. This includes not only AR rifles, but also AR-style shotguns. Other gun-makers invoke dark notions of social collapse or civil conflict that could give heavily-armed civilians the opportunity to engage in battle.
...A more noble, or less brazen, industry might be inhibited by good conscience — or by the threat of litigation — to curb such messaging...”
The diatribe is primarily in reference to the shootings in Lewiston, Maine by Robert Card, a middle-aged white male with a military background that fits the media's preferred narrative much better than the majority of recent mass shooting suspects (minorities and LGBT members). Rolling Stone does what leftists always do, which is to gloss over the extensive mental health problems of the suspect in question and immediately dive into a politicized screed about guns and gun sellers being the problem.
From Rolling Stone:
“The gun industry’s embrace of military lethality was born, in part, of desperation. The traditional long-gun market, selling to hunters, was cratering and continues to do so. The percentage of U.S. homes with a hunter fell from 32 percent in 1977 to 14 percent in 2021. The industry needed “replacement shooters,” says Sugarmann, whose group tracked the hunting decline.
The marketing push to young men included getting brand-name AR guns included in video games like Call of Duty. Critics liken the effort to the cigarette industry’s worst past practices — targeting kids too young to buy a weapon, but not too young to develop brand loyalty...”
First, as mentioned, gun rights have nothing to do with hunting. Second, there's no proof whatsoever that gun marketing is a primary driver of gun demand (gun dealers don't need to advertise when Democrats like Barack Obama or Joe Biden are in the White House, the guns sell themselves). Third, the reason why this debate point fails on every level is the fact that the vast majority of these gun buyers don't commit crimes with the firearms they buy. Their motivation for purchasing an AR or other semi-auto rifle is irrelevant.
The leftist obsession with “the gun industry” and often the NRA as a malicious organization of villains is a very deliberate disinformation tactic. The real opposition against gun control groups is the average American gun owner, and there are 50 million+ gun owning households in the US. Rolling Stone dares to mention the issue of potential rebellion by patriots, but dishonestly frames it as a product of frenzied gun industry marketing convincing Americans to take up arms:
“This frightening evolution of mass shootings is happening at a moment of dire instability in the United States. A disturbing new survey from PRRI finds that nearly a quarter of Americans, and one-third of Republicans, agree with the statement that “because things have gotten so far off-track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”
The gun industry is now making bank from the anxiety that the country is edging toward civil war, and may need to be fought over by factions of armed citizens...”
What is really bothering leftists is the idea that the gun industry is no longer catering to Elmer Fudds and sunshine patriots as they used to do decades ago. These were the old guard Republicans that allied with Democrats and tried to restrict “military grade” arms in civilian hands. These were the same Republicans that used to argue that “no one needs an AR-15 for hunting.” Those guys are mostly dead and gone now.
Today, the gun industry, like any industry, is reading the room and meeting the demands of their customers. And customers in the gun world are increasingly concerned about economic instability, social chaos and rioting, as well as government overreach and authoritarianism. And, to prepare for those potential problems, weapons of war are required. The gun industry didn't create the stagflation crisis, BLM and Antifa riots and Orwellian covid mandates and lockdowns, and these are things that actually drove gun sales the past few years.
Leftists are angry because the gun industry is legitimizing the concerns of its market by meeting consumer demand for gear that could be used in war, and that market is growing daily. It is a fear that progressives try to deny when they claim that an “AR-15 is useless against a tank or an F16.” Deep down, they know this is untrue.
Rolling Stone, in a roundabout way, admits to a deeply rooted leftist anxiety: They derive power from collectivism and the force of the mob, but all that is negated by the existence of weapons of war in the hands of civilians. How can they maintain power unless all these weapons are taken away?