Friday, February 19, 2016

How does the Gun Industry Live with Itself? The Psychology behind Inhumanity
"The gun industry attributes the blame for the escalating lethality of its firearms to public demand. Recall Olberg’s explanation of why Smith & Wesson was selling small lethal pistols that are easy to conceal: 'I sell the guns that the market is demanding' (Albright, Alexander, Arvidson, & Eason, 1981). As we have seen, innovative lethality was driven by sagging gun sales and the battle among gun makers for the small-gun market, not by consumer demand.

Another form of moral evasion by selective attribution of blame is to disembody the gun from the shooter in a false dichotomy that places the blame entirely on the shooter. This is apparent in the NRA’s exonerative causal slogan 'Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.' Removal of the gun from the mix of causal factors absolves guns—and by extension their manufacturers—of any role in gun violence. This causal detachment is analogous to claiming that it is people, not carcinogenic cigarettes, that are a major determinant of lung cancer. Human agency is executed through means. The gun toter is the agent. The gun industry provides lethal means to achieve desired ends."

Excerpted from "Moral Disengagement: How People Do Harm and Live With Themselves"

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