Saturday, May 28, 2022


The New York Times tells us that the owner of the company that made the assault weapon used in the Uvalde school massacre is an evil edgelord of firearms marketing:
The Texas shooting, which left 19 schoolchildren and two teachers dead and more than a dozen wounded, has put a national spotlight on Daniel Defense, a family-owned business in Georgia that has emerged as a trailblazer in an aggressive, boundary-pushing style of weapons marketing and sales.

Some of its advertisements invoke popular video games like “Call of Duty” and feature “Star Wars” characters and Santa Claus, messages that are likely to appeal to teenagers. The company was an early adopter of a direct-to-consumer business model that aimed to make buying military gear as simple as ordering from Amazon, enticing customers with “adventure now, pay later” installment plans that make expensive weaponry more affordable.

And the company’s founder and chief executive, Marty Daniel, has fashioned himself as a provocateur who ridicules gun control proposals and uses publicity stunts to drum up sales.
When Daniel Defense began selling guns and gun accessories to civilians, it made much of the fact that it had been a military contractor.
By 2009, the company had expanded to making guns for consumers. Its military ties were the basis of its marketing, which often featured heavily armed fighters. “Use what they use,” one ad says. Another shows a military-style scope aimed at passing cars on what looks like a regular city street.
(Gun fans frequently get huffy when critics say that the firearms industry is selling weapons of war to civilians. Funny how no one objected when Daniel Defense said this.)

The marketing got worse.
Some ads featured children carrying and firing guns.

And we all know about this:
The week before the Texas shooting, Daniel Defense posted a photograph on Facebook and Twitter, showing a little boy sitting cross-legged, an assault rifle balanced across his lap. “Train up a child in the way he should go,” the caption reads, echoing a biblical proverb. “When he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The ad was posted on May 16. It was [Uvalde shooter Salvador] Ramos’s 18th birthday.
Yesterday, The Washington Post told us about Daniel's deep ties to the GOP:
The owners of the Georgia-based company have donated more than $70,000 directly to GOP candidates for federal office this election cycle, according to a review of filings with the Federal Election Commission. Daniel Defense itself gave $100,000 last year to a PAC backing incumbent Republican senators.

The spending by Marvin C. Daniel and his wife, Cindy D. Daniel, illustrates the financial clout of the gun industry....

The beneficiaries of the couple’s political contributions include at least one candidate who emerged victorious in Tuesday’s primary contests, Herschel Walker. The former football star is running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia with former president Donald Trump’s endorsement....

Recent recipients of spending by Daniel and his wife also include Republican Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa), Tim Scott (S.C.) and John Neely Kennedy (La.), as well as Eric Schmitt, the attorney general of Missouri and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in that state.
Maybe this wouldn't work in Louisiana or South Carolina, but I'm hoping Raphael Warnock will demand that Herschel Walker return the money Daniel gave him. You'll say that Georgia is a Southern state and will probably rally to a pro-gun candidate's defense. But Georgia isn't as pro-gun as you probably think. Here are some results from a poll conducted earlier this year:
Nearly 70% of poll respondents said they do not believe adults in Georgia should be allowed to carry concealed handguns in public without first getting a license. Almost 28% of respondents said they support the idea.
That's one idea gun extremists love and nearly everyone else hates, even in Georgia. You know what else I think a majority of Georgia voters would hate? Firearms marketing that shows a child with a semiautomatic weapon in his lap, under a verse from the Bible.

As I regularly tell you, Republicans know Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and regularly follow Rule #12 in particular:
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Well, here's a target for Democrats: Marty Daniel.

Show the Bible ad. Ask Walker -- repeatedly if necessary -- when he's going to return the Daniel cash. And what hell, try it in South Carolina, too, where Tim Scott is likely to coast to victory this year but then might begin running for president, possibly with an eye on the GOP vice presidential slot. Ask him when he's giving his Daniel cash back.

Make them defend this blood money. Do it soon, and don't let up. Put these bastards on the defensive. And if they say they won't give it back (which is likely given their need to appease their base), then the rest of the public will see who they really are.

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