America’s Top Five Gun Manufacturers have earned more than 1,000 million dollars in a decade with the sale of assault rifles, a congresswoman said Wednesday at the start of a hearing on gun ownership.
AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles “are extremely lethal weons designed to kill enemy soldiers on the battlefield,” said Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight Committee.
“The industry has flooded our neighborhoods, our schools, even our churches and synagogues with these deadly weons and has gotten rich doing it,” the Democrat added.
Maloney also emphasized the profits made through “dangerous marketing tactics” aimed at “the insecurities of young people”.
Carolyn Maloney, the Democrat who chairs the House Oversight Committee. AP Photo
Such weons are often promoted to young men as a way to prove their masculinity, the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee said.
Some ads mimic the imagery of popular first-person shooter video games. Others claim the guns will get buyers high “at the top of the testosterone food chain”.
Such promotional tactics are “deeply disturbing, exploitative and reckless,” said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney. “Plainly, the firearms industry is benefiting from the blood of innocent Americans.”
According to the congresswoman, the Ruger company, earned more than $100 million from sales of this type of rifle in 2021twice as much as in 2020, and Daniel Defense tripled its earnings from these weons between 2019 and 2021.
The directors of both companies, who testified by videoconference, denounced the bloodshed committed with their weons, but denied having any responsibility in the matter.
“Our country’s response should not be to the type of weons, but to the type of people who can commit these carnage,” said Marty Daniel, CEO of Daniel Defense, whose model was used by the shooter who killed 21 people in a Texas school last May.
“I am deeply shocked by this horrible act committed by an evil person,” he said. But “I am afraid that the purpose of this commission is to blame the more than 24 million sporting rifles in circulation” and that they were implicated in “only 4% of homicides with firearms in 2019”.
Ruger president Christopher Killoy concluded that guns “are inanimate objects.” His company is the leading manufacturer of assault rifles in the United States and has 2,000 jobs “well paid”, according to Killoy.
The hearing comes as the House of Representatives is set to vote later this week on a ban on assault rifles.
The bill, backed by President Joe Biden, is not expected to pass the Senate, where the support of ten Republicans would be neededsupporters of the right of Americans to bear arms.
In 1994, Congress passed a 10-year law banning assault rifles, designed to kill as many people as possible, and certain high-cacity magazines. The law expired in 2004 and since then sales have skyrocketed, especially among young people.
Source: AFP and AP