Earlier this year, Vox looked at the popularity of female influencers showing off firearms on Instagram. Facebook/Instagram forbids advertisements promoting the sale or use firearms. So, marketers pay influencers to dodge the rule:
There are dozens of women (it is mostly women who are gun influencers) making partial or complete livings off Instagram grids full of guns and perfect smiles. Some of them are hunters, some of them are veterans, some participate in professional shooting sports, some also swing-dance, some play soccer. Some look really good in a pair of camouflage overalls or a red, white, and blue onesie or wearing almost nothing, and all of them have come up with their own rules about how best to monetize these physical realities.
They’ve done something that the companies in the firearm industry cannot do on their own: make the gun lifestyle as attractive and aspirational as all the others on Instagram.
One such group is the Alpha Gun Angels.
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Such a Badass! 🤩 - happy thanksgiving everyone! With love, AGA family 💞 . . Beautiful @sapir_elgrabli w/ @iwi_intl 📸 @omershapira_ 👑 #alphagunangels #sapirelgrabli #iwi #tavor #meprolight #bullpup #bullpuprifle #rifles #gungirls
Writing for Jewish Currents, Sophia Goodfriend looks at the business:
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The Alpha Gun Angels, who bill themselves as Israel’s premier gun-modeling and social media–marketing agency, are a team of nine active and veteran IDF combat soldiers turned Instagram celebrities.
The above GIF was created from new 3D scans of the bullets that killed president John F. Kennedy. The GIF shows two bits of the bullets that killed the president along with another mostly complete bullet plucked from Texas Governor John Connally's hospital stretcher. The National Archives temporarily removed the historic projectiles from the vault so that the National Institute of Standards and Technology could create digital replicas of them at microscopic resolution. Next year, the digital replicas will become part of the National Archive's JFK Assassination Records publicly available online. From Smithsonian:
These bullets now enter the National Archives’ digital collection alongside three others thought to hail from the same firearm: two discharged as test shots, and another from an earlier failed assassination attempt on Army Major General Edwin Walker. All were imaged with a specialized microscope that scanned their surfaces, charting their features much like a satellite recording the topography of a mountain range. The pictures were then stitched together by NIST ballistics specialists to generate a vivid 3-D rendering detailed enough to show grooves left by the barrel of the gun.
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In Roswell, New Mexico, a six-year-old elementary school student carried a loaded revolver to class. According to police, the student had "no malicious intent" but rather brought in the gun for show-and-tell. According to KOB4, the police confiscated the weapon, notified the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, and "escorted the parent and student to their home for further follow up and investigation."
You'd think it goes without saying, but apparently not: If you have children in your house and insist on keeping firearms around, lock them the fuck up. The guns, that is. Read the rest
I've been semi-seriously joking about "AK-3DPs" (3D printed assault rifles) for years, and while the attempts to limit the spread of 3D printed guns have been sloppy and poorly formulated (as have the Trump admin's attempt to roll them back) the state of the art is still progressing.
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States' rights are one of the greatest impediments to reducing gun violence in the United States.
This was something I noticed when I chronicled the journey of getting my gun license in Boston. It's also all-but-confirmed by the recent release of the ATF's gun tracking data. From The Trace:
According to the most recent ATF statistics, released in August, the bureau traced 332,101 guns in 2018. The average time-to-crime of those weapons was 8.8 years. That’s why a particularly short time-to-crime raises red flags for law enforcement, since it often suggests the weapon was acquired for criminal purposes.
In California, for example, 12 percent of the guns recovered in the state had a time-to-crime of less than one year. When you isolate only those guns that originated in Nevada and were recovered in California, the figure jumps to 23 percent — almost one in four. (Nationally, 10 percent of all guns had a time-to-crime of less than one year.)
For the pro-gun NRA crowd, this essentially proves that gun regulation doesn't work; that's a reason they love to talk about Chicago so much, even though most of the illegal guns there come from Indiana. But I don't actually buy that at all. The issue is and always been about ease of access. Most people aren't going to go out of their way to navigate the black market, trading Bitcoin over Silk Road just to get a gun. If you live in California, and have a cousin in Nevada (or even just know a guy who knows a guy), it becomes less of a "black market" trade, and more of a favor. Read the rest
In Yelville, Arkansas, a 66-year-old experienced hunter died after he was gored by a buck he shot. From CNN:
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When his nephew found him, the hunter was alert and talking, and was even able to call his wife. But he stopped breathing by the time paramedics could get him to the hospital, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said.
Officials are not certain that the antler wounds are the official cause of his death, the commission said in a statement. He may have died from other medical issues such as a heart attack, the statement said, but there will be no autopsy.
Injuries resulting from wounded deer are not uncommon, said Joe Dale Purdom from the Game and Fish Commission.
Kaleb J. Cole (aka "Khimaere") is the 24-year-old leader of the Washington State cell of the Atomwaffen Division, an international network of violent Neo-Nazis. Aside from generally spewing hateful rhetoric, Cole had also been seen participating in Atomwaffen's "Hate Camps," sharpening his rifle skills for more extremist violence.
Fortunately, he no longer has access to any guns. From The Daily Beast:
[Cole] had his guns seized on Oct. 1st, according to King County Court records. The move came after the Seattle Police Department filed a 62-page “Extreme Risk Protection Order” petition against Cole on Sept. 26, according to electronic court records. Among the weapons that had been in Cole's possession were a pistol and an AK-47 variant with a high-capacity drum magazine.
To be clear, Cole has not been charged on any specific crimes. As far as anyone's aware, he hasn't killed anyone—at least not yet, although there is arguably reason to believe that he plans to. In addition to the target-practice videos where he can be seen chanting "Race war now" with the rest of his buddies, Cole has openly admitted to his fascist beliefs, and support for armed insurrection.
Again: not technically crimes. But valids cause for concern. That's where the "Red Flag" or "Extreme Risk" laws come in. They're basically restraining orders, but for guns.
One of the biggest struggles with reducing gun violence in America is that a lot of the proposed legislation also infringes on civil liberties. For example: the various "No-Fly Lists" that the government maintains have no clear criteria or due process, which ends up punishing people innocent Muslims, government employees, and literal fucking babies. Read the rest
If the Webbys have any legitimacy, than a content of the year award should go to Willie McNabb for his famous tweet. It generated endless brilliant mockery online. But Reply All interviewed Willie and learned two things: (1) he's a terrific sport; and (2) he had a point.
The first part of episode #149 features an interview with Willie, in which he acknowledges how goofily he phrased his tweet and thus invited mockery. He then describes the genuinely frightening time feral hogs swarmed his children as they were playing outside. The second part of the episode explores the widespread and seemingly hopeless nature of the feral hog problem.
You can listen here. Read the rest
Hasbro's got a new foam dart gun, the $50 Nerf Ultra One blaster, and to make sure that owners of this toy arrange their affairs to the benefit of Hasbro's shareholders, the company has engineered a digital rights management system that detects and refuses to fire third-party darts, which sell by the hundreds for just a few bucks (the official darts are $10 for 20), which means that party organizers running Nerf wars will have to scale back their ambitions or shell out like crazy.
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Armalite created the AR-15, sold the rights to Colt in the fifties, and the design long ago emerged from patent and became widely-copied. The AR-15 itself will no longer be made for consumers by Colt, it says. It says they're just not that popular among consumers and the company needs to focus on institutional sales.
The fact of the matter is that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity. Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future. ... At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change. Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world.
Missing in a lot of the coverage is the fact lots of companies make AR-15s. Colt not making AR-15s is like Sony not making laptops. Read the rest
Some of the biggest names in business, including the CEOs of Twitter, Uber, Reddit, Conde Nast, Bad Robot and a host of others sent a letter to Congress this morning urging immediate action on gun violence. The letter follows similar pleas from Walmart after shootings at the country's largest retailer left nearly 30 people dead in less than a month.
A copy of the letter was shared with the New York Times:
Many of the requested actions in the letter have already passed the House, but have been brought to a crawl in the Senate by NRA-pawn "Massacre Mitch" McConnell. Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed frustration with a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle who asked about her decision to not bring the House back in August to keep the pressure up on McConnell and the Senate.
No reaction to the letter as of yet from Senate Republicans. Shocking, I know.
Business Leaders Call on Congress to Act on Gun Violence (NYT) Photo: Michael Spocko/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0) Read the rest
Apple and Google have been ordered by the U.S. government to hand over names, phone numbers and other identifying data of at least 10,000 users of a single gun scope app, Forbes reports Friday in an investigative feature. Read the rest
Following Walmart yesterday, retailer Walgreens is prohibiting customers from openly carrying guns in its stores. It posted a succinct press release, quoted here in full:
We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials.
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The wife of a West Virginia pastor apparently wanted to shoot another woman, but the Pastor realized her intent as she stormed out of the Church to fetch her pistol. Her husband followed her to her car where a single shot was fired, in the Church parking lot. Reportedly they wrestled for the weapon.
According to authorities, Melinda walked out of the church during the disagreement and went to her car in the parking lot, where she got her handgun.
Realizing what she intended, Earl and followed her outside.
Willis reports Pastor Toney intercepted his wife before she was able to come back inside the church and attempted to wrestle the gun out of her hand. The weapon fired a single shot during the struggle, but nobody was hurt.
Haywood, who was leaving the church when the gun discharged, called the police and told them that she was Toney's intended target. The department reviewed parking-lot surveillance video but could not determine whether the pistol was aimed at Haywood before it was fired.
Image via the NEW LIFE APOSTOLIC CHURCH Read the rest
After two shootings in their El Paso, Texas and Southaven, Mississippi stores, the CEO of Walmart has announced major changes to the chain's gun sale policies, including no longer selling ammunition for assault-style weapons and discontinuing the sale of handgun ammunition. Read the rest
Glad no one was hurt, but seriously? $250? Read the rest
Pockets are not actually in the bill of rights. Read the rest