chapter  8
21 Pages

Beyond the Ricochets

Unpacking the modern gun culture and its political stalemate
WithPeter Squires

This chapter explores more phases of firearm marketing which have had the consequence of reorienting the focus of firearm ownership around personal defence whilst augmenting the firepower available to private citizens. Modern consumer advertising would endorse the qualities and characteristics of different weapons, especially the ways in which each new generation of firearm was deemed to have surpassed its predecessor, but the meticulously engineered and ergonomic qualities would be addressed to the psychological needs and emotional states cultivated in modern citizens. The ideology of firearm use and possession enshrined an entire populist psychology of the gun, replacing the functional –gun as tool–identification with a far more emotional bond where a gun in the hand trumped law, order and justice. The emotional bond between man and gun became fundamental. Firearm advertising has continued with these highly charged emotional contexts to the present day, even as early as 1907 also beginning to court the potential female market.