We’re held to a higher standard every day, and people rely on us to get the best information and insight out that we possibly can. When this project started three years ago, it immediately became a learning process — and still is to this day.
After a while, we developed a sort of ‘list’ of things to do/say and things to completely stay away from. On the list of ‘stay away’, as an example, would be to sell a t-shirt that advertises the wearer is probably carrying a firearm. While it’s the end-user’s decision, it seems irresponsible to us for a company in the industry to push such a promotion, especially in the name of profit.
Here’s where we call someone out, because they should know it’s a bad idea.
Enter: American Gun Association (facebook) (we would link to their website, but their Copyright Notice strictly forbids it without written permission from them first)
AGA seems to be a relatively new player in the industry. The About Us section on their website (which you’ll have to go find yourself because, well, see above comment about linking) tells us the following:
At American Gun Association we value the power and responsibility of owning and operating a firearm and handgun. We vow to provide each and every last one of our members with the best arsenal of resources to equip them with the skill, knowledge, and care needed for the ultimate protection and safety of mankind.
Responsibility? Awesome! We’re on board! But wait… what’s this?
The above is obviously a paid advertisement on Facebook that continuously displayed on my personal news feed. It’s not the first from them and certainly won’t be the last. At the beginning, they were pretty neat designs and something that I could see myself wearing. However once they changed to advertising the carrying of firearms by the person wearing the shirts, I was no longer a fan.
The two comments on the above ad have been seen on every single ad I’ve come across from this association. It seems that people are in agreement with me, and it also seems that AGA doesn’t listen to it’s potential members (or doesn’t care).
Another example, from their website (which again, we can’t link to), is a shirt that says “iPac” along with the silhouette of a pistol. Again, is this something we really want to market to folks who are following a pro-gun page, many of whom are new to firearms and carrying them? This guy says no.
I’ll end with this: I hand-select businesses that Concealed Nation does business with. If they are selling a dangerous product, I don’t do business with them. If they are promoting something that is dangerous as well, I don’t do business with them. Sure there’s money to be made if the deals go through, but at what cost? My position is to help those new to concealed carry and new to firearms (and all you seasoned folks, too).
But my point is, we have a duty to promote safety and responsibility, simply because we’re in an industry that should focus heavily on those things. When players come in and go against that, I have a tough time deciding what their main objective is.
I reached out to American Gun Association for comment, but did not receive a reply.