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To the editor
It is all in the marketing!!! Recently the families of five children and four adults killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre have reached a $73 million settlement with the now bankrupt gun manufacturer Remington and its four insurers.
According to Josh Koskoff, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, the company marketed rifles by extolling the militaristic qualities of the rifle and reinforcing its image as a combat weapon. The company isn’t necessarily targeting the purchaser; they are targeting the end user. “They did not aggressively market their combat weapon to a suburban housewife; they aggressively marketed a combat weapon to her troubled son.”
So, Nancy Lanza purchased the AR-15’s her troubled son Adam used to blast his way [the doors were reinforced and locked] into Sandy Hook Elementary School where he murdered 20 first graders and four teachers. Locked doors and good guys with guns will not stop a shooter armed with a military grade assault rifle. Sandy Hook and Buffalo proved these facts.
Aaron Salter Jr., a retired police officer, a security guard at the Top’s Friendly supermarket, the good guy with a gun, has been hailed as a hero for trying to stop the shooter. Salter, among the first to die, fired on Gendron who was armed with an assault rifle and wearing body armor.
The AR-15, was developed by Armalite as a military rifle in the 1950’s. In the 1960’s, the Department of Defense tested the rifle with these results–a back wound causes the thoracic cavity to explode and a stomach wound causes the abdominal cavity to explode.
Adam Lanza and Salvador Ramos turned these weapons against the bodies of children. In some cases, the only way to identify the slain was by DNA. One little boy at Sandy Hook was shot 18 times. In the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings, the 18-year-old perpetrators purchased their guns legally. Why would an 18-year-old want such a weapon?
Marketing!!! Purchasers receive this card. “Congratulations. You are now an official Platinum Man Card Holder and Your Status At The Top Of The Testosterone Food Chain Is Now Irrevocable. You have redeemed Your Man Privileges. This is a powerful message to send to a teenage boy, especially a troubled one.
Using marketing to convey that a person is more powerful or more masculine by using a particular type or brand of firearm is deeply irresponsible.
Lenny Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son, Noah, was killed at Sandy Hook, wrote, “One moment we had this dazzling, energetic 6-year-old boy, and the next all we had left were echoes of the past, photographs of a lost boy who will never grow older, calendars marking a horrifying new anniversary, a lonely grave and pieces of Noah’s life stored in a backpack and boxes.” Surely our lawmakers can do better than “thoughts and prayers.”