Democrats are once again making gun control their topic of the day in the House of Representatives today. Not only is Rep. David Cicillini’s bill to ban so-called assault weapons scheduled for a vote in the House Rules Committee (along with legislation that would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act), the House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing on “gun violence”, with a focus on how the firearms industry markets its products.
The hearing, which kicks off at 10 a.m. ET will feature the CEOs of several major gun manufacturers, as well as the anti-gun grandstanding from politicians like Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who chairs the committee.
“With more than 300 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, and gun violence now the leading cause of death of children in America, it is clear that we are in a public health epidemic,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “Our hearing will examine the role of gun manufacturers in flooding our communities with weapons of war and fueling America’s gun violence crisis. It is long past time for the gun industry to be held accountable for the carnage they enable and profit from.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, Maloney and Rep. Jerry Nadler (who chairs the Judiciary Committee that approved the “assault weapons” ban bill last week) are fighting for the same congressional seat thanks to New York’s redistricting map. Now the two Democrats can each boast of going after gun makers while they’re campaigning in the deep blue environs of NY-12.
As Maloney’s diatribe indicates, Democrats on the Oversight Committee will be trying to advance the narrative that the firearms industry has intentionally fueled violence through its marketing and advertising. We’ve seen some of their allies set the scene for today’s hearing, including former Kimber executive-turned-gun control activist Ryan Busse, who recently penned a piece at the Atlantic claiming that up until the mid 2000s, the firearms industry’s marketing was fine and dandy, but after the expiration of the AWB of 1994, the industry nefariously pivoted towards a more tactical mindset instead of its traditional focus on hunting and self-defense.
By 2016, Daniel Defense marketing was working so well that it won a coveted spot on the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine. The company’s press release proclaimed that the placement of its rifle in the “Tough Guys” issue was a “major accomplishment” because it would help Daniel Defense reach a “more mainstream audience.”
Like many other firearms companies, Daniel Defense also sought placement of its products in movies and video games. This Facebook post from 2019 alerts followers to the appearance of one of its DDM4 V7 rifles in the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game. The DDM4 V7 was used by the 18-year-old gamer turned shooter in Uvalde, Texas.