It’s time to stop advertising guns.

In keeping with the culture of linking of firearms to masculinity, Daily Sentinel ran a Sportsman’s Warehouse’s ad promoting guns as gifts for Father’s Day, 2018

It’s time for our local paper, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and other publications to stop advertising guns. This is the rock-bottom minimum that can be done to end the glorification of guns and senseless proliferation of gun violence in society. It is the metaphorical lifting a pinky finger to take action against a problem, but it is necessary.

Given the rate at which gun massacres are happening in our country, as a matter of health and safety, it’s time to just stop promoting guns in any way, and nowhere is this more true than in Mesa County.

People who want a gun in western Colorado already know where they can go to buy one. People who don’t want guns aren’t going to buy one anyway. Beyond this, guns are continually getting into the hands of people who misuse them to kill and injure others, and putting more guns into more people’s hands will only exacerbate the problem.

Ads selling guns and promoting gun shows give criminals, psychotics and minors easy directions to places and events where they can buy or steal guns. Ads for gun stores tell people with bad intent where they can go to steal guns. These are all net negatives to Mesa County, which is already suffering so many negatives from the proliferation of firearms in our area.

Promoting guns in an area with a sky-high suicide rate is heartless, senseless and inappropriate.

Bushmaster ad links guns to masculinity to boost sales of military-style weapons

Mesa County’s suicide rate is now almost three times the national rate, and our County has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. Suicide with a gun is the most common way people kill themselves, and it is the most deadly method of committing suicide. Males are four times more likely than females to kill themselves using firearms.

Mesa County follows this trend. The odds of a household member dying from a firearm increases drastically for people who have a gun in the house.  Advertising firearms in our area does nothing to ameliorate this trend and gun ads may even contribute to it by legitimizing and condoning having dangerous firearms in homes.

Potential for harm outweighs benefits

Guns are marketed as implements to kill, as elicited in this “Savage Arms” ad

Guns are legal, and Americans have a right to own guns. But the only purpose for advertising guns is to sell more guns, and we don’t need more guns in Mesa County. As suicides by firearm reach all-time highs in Mesa County and gun massacres across the U.S. have become every day occurrences, the very least we can do to address the problem is acknowledge that gun proliferation is a real problem across the nation, and stop advertising guns. The use of firearms in an urbanizing area has little societal benefit, and offers more downsides than upsides: The presence of firearms in homes increases accidental shootings, increases the likelihood of school massacres and criminal activities, increases the rates of accidental injuries, deaths of children and increases the likelihood that some portion of gun owners will be careless in how they secure their guns. Any upside doesn’t even begin to compare in magnitude to the many serious downsides of having a county awash in guns.

The Daily Sentinel no doubt derives some income from gun ads, and while the paper may be helped financially in the short term, gun ads pose a huge detriment to Mesa County overall.

Other deadly products have long been deemed inappropriate for advertisement, too.

We’ve been in this same situation before with other deadly products.

Cigarettes used to be advertised on billboards, on television, in newspapers, in magazines and on the radio and TV. Smoking in TV shows was done without thought. As they did with cigarettes, advertisers link guns to masculinity, femininity, toughness and fun. But society as a whole finally realized that cigarettes were killing and maiming people at an astonishing rate, and costing society an outrageous amount in terms of medical care, lost productivity and lost lives. The day finally came when people decided advertising cigarettes was just plain inappropriate.

We’re in the same place now with firearms. Norms change as society comes to understand how corporate behaviors harm society.

We’re at the point now where it would be common sense for Americans to demand change in how we regard gun ads. In a climate of routine mass slaughter, gun ads have become shameful, a reminder of the massacres occurring daily across the country, too painful to too many families who suffered loss and, plain and simple, they should not exist.

Gun ads are already banned from many media venues, including other newspapers.

Guns are not ordinary products like potato chips, moisturizer or laxatives.

Guns are in a class of semi-legal, harmful products like cigarettes and alcohol, but what sets them farther apart from these other products is that unlike cigarettes and alcohol, guns are designed to be used on something — or someone — other than the user: an inanimate target, an animal or a human being. This makes them heinous beyond these other products and puts them in a category all their own, deserving of even more scrutiny and drastic restrictions.

Daily Sentinel 2017 Sportsman’s Warehouse ad promoting an AR-15-type assault-style firearm and pistol along side harmless products like flotation vests, cargo shorts, water bottles and GPS locators, for last Father’s Day.

As a society we often draw lines on where we want to stop harmful and deadly products from being pushed on us.

The Mesa County Commissioners today banned the sale of fireworks within the county due to excessive fire danger caused by drought, citing potential harm to safety, life and property.

“We have to realize that in the over all scheme of things [fireworks sales are] not good for the community or the county and the risk of people’s property, their lives or the wildlife,” said Mesa County Commissioner John Justman. The same justification could just as easily be applied to gun sales and advertising.

Fortunately, across the country media companies are starting to understand that it’s time for gun ads to go.

In April 2018, YouTube banned videos promoting the sale or use of guns, including videos that show how to manufacture guns and accessories like silencers, conversion kits or or bump stocks. Guns cannot be advertised for sale on EBay. Weapons, firearms and their components and ammunition are banned from Craigslist. Ads for guns, ammunition and explosives are banned from Facebook. In 2013, the National Football League banned an offensive, pro-gun ad (video) from being aired during the 2014 Superbowl.

Lots of other newspapers have already banned gun ads.

According to Editor and Publisher magazine, by 2003 a host of daily papers around the country had tightened their rules for gun ads or dropped gun ads altogether, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Denver Post, the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, the Sandusky (Ohio) Register and the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa.

The south Florida Sun Sentinel recently banned gun ads from it’s paper after being criticized for printing an ad for a gun show beneath multiple stories about mass shootings.

Connecticut’s Stamford Advocate stopped advertising guns after placing an ad for a gun show on the same page as a story about the Sandy Hook massacre. 

In Charleston, South Carolina, the Post & Courier offended it’s readers after it slapped a sticker advertising a gun range on it’s front page above the headline “Church attack kills 9,” about the massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in 2015. Readers were appalled.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel shouldn’t wait until it shoots itself in the foot the way these other papers have done, or wait until Mesa County experiences a gun massacre in a school, concert, theater or local church before it stops promoting guns in our area. Stopping taking gun ads at this point in America’s history would materially advances the substantial goal of ending the glorification and proliferation of firearms, and the benefits would clearly outweigh the costs to society of any continued such advertising. But even more certainly than this, it is just the right thing to do.





  52 comments for “It’s time to stop advertising guns.

  1. Hey Anne, Can you believe there are seven Christian churches in the small town of Pacific Mo? I wonder if that’s why they call it the Bible belt?

    • Are you still chasing “Scott”? Dude, that wagon has run off the road, for sure. I am not that guy. But you know what they say about ‘”fixing stupid”.

      • Of course you’re not, Scott darling. But thank you for showing your interest (Anne?) I think you just proved stupid can’t be fixed.

        • I can’t really take offense at anything you say; you cant’ get my name right, and at this point, I’m not sure you’re making someone else post for you, just to be safe.

          • Why don’t you re read what you just posted, and then translate it into English so we can all know what’s on your mind? Nervous?

          • Need more time for the translation? That’s understandable. I couldn’t make head nor tails of it either. But I’m sure you weren’t trying to be defiant. Or were you…..again?

          • Nervous? That doesn’t even make sense.
            As I keep saying, I’m not “Scott”.
            Not an Atheist, never worked at a Bible Camp.
            I’d even prove it to Anne, not that you’d believe her.
            We’ve never actually met, but I have a professional connections to several people she knows quite well. One message would verify that I am not Scott. You’d still deny it of course, because honor isn’t really your thing, but that’s all you’d have left; your weak denial.

            So, go ahead…ask her to make the determination, so we can all watch you weasel out of it.

            Do you really want to call my bluff and find out you’re holding no cards at all?

          • Is this some kind of a giggling fit? What brought on this sudden onset of concern about small town America, Christian churches? How is that a threat to you? Thou doth protest too much, for a Seamus. Why is that?

          • “That’s what I thought”? That’s the translation? Well, there’s no way I could have ever guessed that. You know, it’s none of my business, but have you had your meds adjusted lately, whoever you are now? Anne, Scott, or the other Scot?

          • AP, everyone saw my challenge, clear and straightforward,
            and they saw you run from it.

            All you’re doing now is babbling.
            Everyone can see that too.

          • Challenge? You mean the part where you were going to bring in your buddy to investigate, and then pronounce you Seamus? How about I just send somebody over with a picture of Scott Iles? Does that work for you? Now let’s see if I can fix stupid?

            That’s not a challenge, that’s a rigged election. So now, go ahead slick, prove your name is Anne? I mean it’s like your thing. I could care less. All you satan worshipers look alike to me.

          • Seeing as how you just used what you ~think~ is my name, perhaps earning yourself yet another ban, would you want me to post what I ~know~ is your name, backed up by solid evidence and the greasy yellow trail of your own cowardice? Nah….

            See, the thing is, it was your hiding behind a woman that gave you away. After that, it was just a matter of finding the most spineless examples of phony bravery and bad-ass posing that led me to all the info I needed.

          • Tick tock tick tock. So what happened to that ban you said I earned? That seems like your last refuge, now that you ran your mouth and removed all doubt? Like I said to begin with, you’re not even there.

          • Wait a sec..You clearly run from a challenge, declare yourself the victor, and then claim someone else isn’t accepting yours?

            It this the way things are done by the brave men of the 191st All-Retreat Militia?
            And is the lack of a spine a requirement for entry, or do you lose it during induction?

  2. Since you are comparing advertisement of firearms to tobacco, alcohol and fireworks I will compare in turn.

    Stop advertising automobiles. Everyone knows where to go to buy a car. More people are killed in cars every year than by firearms.

    Stop advertising pharmaceuticals. More people die from overdoses of legal drugs than automobiles.

    Stop advertising food. Obesity related illness is the number one cause of death in the US.

    Your statements that gun massacres happen every day is incorrect. The total number of deaths by “high powered” guns pale in comparison to deaths by handguns. To take it further 7% of the total population is responsible for nearly 50% of the gun homicides year after year.

    Suicides are not going to stop or even reduce because you stop advertising guns, to suggest that it would is borderline insanity.

    Firearms are a useful tool and serve a purpose. You cant say the same thing for alcohol, tobacco or fireworks.

    • You keep making all these comical comparisons between guns and items that are not specifically designed, built, and marketed based on their ability to kill.

      Yes, firearms are a tool. A tool to kill. I’m not against them.
      I’m just against people pretending they’re something they’re not.

      How many of those other “dangerous” items waltz into schools and kill our children?

      • Guns don’t waltz into schools any more than a car waltz’s into another car. A person is responsible for the use of the inanimate object.

        I made comparisons because the author did. I never pretended a firearm is something other than a firearm.

        • Ryan Caines;
          Trying to use logic and facts on Seamus, (aka Scott), is like having a conversation with a fence post. All you get is bark.

          • I’d love to see some documentation of these “facts”, and the basis for the “logic”;
            As far as names are concerned, while Scott isn’t my name, are you quite sure you want to go down that road? Seems like an awful shame to get banned for being wrong.

          • And who did I address my comment to? I wasn’t wanting to talk to you Seamus. I was talking about you. Now, that’s a fact, in spite of the fact that talking to you is not logical. And I think that was the point. So just sit down, breathe through your nose, and if I want to hear from you, I’ll rattle your cage.

          • Coming from a guy who hides behind a woman when he makes his brave stances, your “tough guy” pose is full of more horse hockey than the track at the Belmont stakes.

      • Having another giggle fit? Well, keep giggling. How bout them midterms? Let me guess, you have satellite TV?

        • Midterms? You mean, The people who see gun-grabbin’ boogeymen behind every tree, who already “shot their wad” with Trump, vs The people who are sick and tired of seeing murdered children stacked up like cordwood?

          You know the electoral college doesn’t determine Congressional Races, right?
          Perhaps your Oath Keepers hat is a bit too tight.

          • III percent? Aren’t those the same odds that your communist cabal gave Trump of being elected President? As I recall, it was somewhere between slim and none. Life is hard. But it’s even harder if you’re stupid. Yeah, your Mama would be real proud.

          • When you’re done quoting bumper stickers and showing your blatant ignorance of margins of error in polling, maybe you and your mighty militia can go run drills at the fairgrounds.
            Wearin’ a hat don’t make you a cowboy.

  3. Banning guns is not the answer. I’m against it. I’m a fan of the Second Amendment. People should be able to own as many guns as it takes to make them feel safe, to put food on the table, or in pursuit of legal hobbies. I don’t own a gun because I don’t feel the need to.

    I’m also in favor of licensing and registration, mandatory training, and severe liability if someone is demonstrably careless with their weapon(s) and they end up killing innocents. I don’t think it’s unreasonable; anyone who owns a weapon should respect the responsibility that goes with it. You want guns? Fine, I’m all for it. Act like an adult about it.

    But until people grow up, the Tree of Liberty will continue to be watered with the Blood of Our Children.

    • And of course banning Constitution free zones would help protect the lives of our children. But I think that would be too much to ask of the progressive gun grabbers. Hope you had a nice mother’s day holiday, Seamus.

      • “More guns everywhere” is just as worthless as trying to ban them all. The “good guy with a gun” fantasy is a pointless as the ideal of complete bans.
        No one wants your damned gun(s). Just stop pretending you’re doing anyone else any favors open carrying at Chipotle.

          • I don’t agree with either extreme on this issue.
            The solution is a compromise neither are willing to make.

          • What part of a Constitutional right is it that you don’t understand? Or perhaps you would compromise my rights, but not yours?

          • What Constitutional right do you suppose I’m compromising?
            If you don’t want to be a responsible adult about your toys, that’s fine.

          • Relax.
            I don’t want your damned guns. No one will ever come and take them away. Ever.
            I honestly don’t care how many you have, and I don’t expect you to act like an adult about it.
            It’s okay.
            No one will take your guns away.

          • Are you sure? Or are you just going over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Maybe you’d like to drop the pretense and just apologize. I sure hope not.

          • What the bloody hell are you talking about?
            If the mere idea that you act like an adult makes you this hysterical, how on earth would you deal with a real threat to your liberties?

  4. Let us address a few more issues in regards to guns. 1. Hollywood would go broke without the glorification of violence and guns, far more people, especially children, are exposed to Hollywood than guns. 2. Game makers and the people who play the games would not settle for anything less than promoting violence by any means possible, especially using guns, after all our young people have learned well that one must kill their foe to survive and get a higher score, far more young people are exposed to gaming than guns. 3. It is a fact that if NON NRA members would stop killing people, we would not have a problem, simply put, it is not the law abiding citizen, the NRA member, causing the problem. The ONLY time I can think of where a NRA member was involved in a mass shooting was the Texas church shooting when a NRA member helped stop the killer, ironically, using the same type of gun used by the killer to do so, thus showing it is NOT the gun that is the problem. it is the person that holds the evil. 4. The younger generation MUST take responsibility for the prevalence of “bullying” in the school and especially via Facebook, Twitter, snap-chat and other forums, more often than not, the kids who go nuts and shoot up a school have been the object of just such bullying. 5. The problem is with the degradation of society, not with a inanimate object.

    • And which argument, yours or mine, do you think will have the greatest effect on the gun grabbers? You know, the ones that keep telling you they’re not after your guns?

    • That’s just revisionist silliness, blaming gun massacres on Hollywood, video games and non-NRA members and blaming kids for their own bullying. Certainly kids in other developed countries watch violent video games and violent-themed movies and other countries don’t have anywhere near the rate of gun massacres the U.S. has. Think Germany, Japan, Australia. And certainly not all shooters have any of these things in common. The one and only thing mass shooters have in common is that they have access to and use high-powered guns. No gun, no gun massacre. To not admit to this commonality and the problems it presents society is willful blindness to an obvious problem.

      I also noticed you didn’t dispute any of the facts in the blog, or defend any of the ads.

  5. It must just send a tingle up your leg now that we’ve finally gotten rid of the number one gun proliferator in American history; Barack Hussein Obama. America’s top gun salesman, eight years running.

    And you know I’m all about gun control. I have mine, and I would rather you didn’t have one.

      • Yeah, and I noticed that you didn’t address the “what then” question. And that’s pretty much where we are….or soon will be. And who knows, maybe the point I made will make sense to you then.

      • I can dispute your main point … fireworks are not protected by the United States of America Constitution!!!

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