Fortune tries to get FTC to go after gun industry

Fortune tries to get FTC to go after gun industry
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

For most of my life, Fortune was the magazine of business. It was where you went if you wanted to at least look like you were destined to be the CEO of something.

As I grew older, I became less enamored with prestige magazines like them. After all, those articles were generally written by people who had never actually done anything except write about successful people. How would they know what really made business tick?

Hell, I’ve actually run businesses and I’m still not sure what makes them work.

But that’s neither here nor there. What is, however, is that while Fortune keeps going, they’ve decided they should take up a position in the gun debate, and boy do they screw it up.

Another school shooting. Another act of racial violence. Another senseless massacre. The death toll mounts. And the gun industry just keeps pushing more product.

For decades, the gun industry, in its eagerness to increase sales, has systematically and cynically exploited Americans’ fear and anxiety by representing that owning a gun makes you safer. This claim is demonstrably false—and gun manufacturers know it. Allowing it to persist just adds to the ever-increasing body count. Owning a gun makes you less safe. Study after study proves it.

It is long past time to stop the gun industry’s calculated disinformation campaign and to hold gun manufacturers accountable for their false, deceptive, and illegal advertising. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the body charged with protecting the American public from false advertising, has refused to do its job to keep Americans safe.

The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has a clear mandate: to protect consumers from “unfair or deceptive” practices in the marketplace. But when it comes to the gun industry, the FTC has turned a blind eye, failing consumers, failing our democracy, and failing the millions of Americans who have lost their lives or their loved ones to gun violence.

In other words, they want the FTC to step in and hammer the gun industry.

However, the problem is that their entire premise is faulty. Study after study doesn’t prove owning guns makes you less safe. In fact, all those anti-gun studies? They’ve all been debunked.

At my most charitable, I can only allow that the matter is unsettled, only I’m not that charitable.

In other words, if the FTC decides to go after gun companies for marketing a product that people want to people who may want them, then we’re going to have a huge problem here. Especially since those studies are problematic, at a minimum.

But why would Fortune make this particular stand? It’s really not in their wheelhouse, though they’ve definitely cloaked it as such.

Unfortunately, as I noted previously, the people who write at Fortune aren’t business owners or businessmen, but journalists. These are journalists who are churned out of the same j-schools that produce people like they hire at The Hill. Those schools are more indoctrination factories than centers for education.

So, those products of such institutions step on their junk and write screeds like this, so convinced of their own righteousness that they don’t even look to see if the studies they rely on have been debunked or not.

Is it any wonder that media trust is so low these days?

The only surprising thing to me is why it’s not lower. It’s because you guys love me, right? Right?