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.
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"