The executive director of a gun control group said on Twitter this week that the outreach programs aimed at increasing gun ownership among women and minorities is “incredibly dangerous.”
Igor Volsky, the co-founder and executive director of Guns Down America, decried efforts by gun makers to “[soften] their image to ‘put a better face in front of people’ & ‘ramp up its appeal to women, children and members of minority groups.’”
“That’s right,” Volsky continued. “Gun makers are increasingly advertising to WOMEN, CHILDREN & MINORITY COMMUNITIES. Firearm industry realizes that to survive into the future it must ‘broaden its reach beyond the aging white men who have been its core customers’—and so they’re now trying to sell their products to other demographics. This is incredibly dangerous.”
2/ Firearm industry realizes that to survive into the future it must “broaden its reach beyond the aging white men who have been its core customers” — and so they’re now trying to sell their products to other demographics.— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) February 24, 2020
This is incredibly dangerous.
The post elicited hundreds of responses on Twitter, almost all of which criticize Volsky for his remarks. The gun rights activist has neither responded to the criticism nor retracted his statement.
I’m a black gun owner! I’m glad to see more people will be able to defend and protect themselves— Kerry V (Text TRUMP to 88022)⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@KerryV_KAG) February 25, 2020
It’s both women’s rights and minority’s rights to be armed, there is zero problem here.— Dignified Dingus 🐸🤡 (@KnightSidonian) February 24, 2020
Godforbid people of color have firearms or women defend themselves.— Slightly Salty Major (@anccpt) February 24, 2020
Kinda racist, pal.
Suggesting that people of color should not have access to the means of self defense sounds rather bigoted.— Spam Elliot (@jones4440) February 24, 2020
I mean they are women and minorities. First they get the right to own guns then they will want to speak in public. And then *gasp* vote. So no we can’t have this.— RealRick (@darkcuriou) February 25, 2020
Volsky tweeted in response to a New York Times article highlighting how gun makers have supposedly tried to fight the “Trump Slump” by appealing to demographics beyond older, white men.
However, the pro-2A community has been reaching out to women and minority groups long before President Trump took office. In 2012, GunsAmerica published an open letter to these demographics in which we noted that women have been the fastest growing group of gun owners since the early 2000’s, and minorities have been a core base of the pro-2A movement for just as long.
In addition, the FBI reported in January that 2019 saw the most NICS background checks ever performed since the system began in 1998. There were three percent more background checks performed in 2019 than in 2016
Volsky’s organization, Guns Down America, targets the firearms industry rather than seeking legislative solutions. They claim to have been behind the efforts to force banks and businesses to cut ties with gun makers, including the decision by Fed-Ex to stop providing discounts to NRA members.
“For far too long gun manufacturers and the gun lobby have perverted the right of gun ownership into an entitlement devoid of responsibility, creating a society where guns are easier to buy than alcohol and, consequently, putting us all at risk,” they say on their website.