Gun sellers are ginning up their customers, goading the lemmings off the cliff.
MIKE FIFER: Just do it. Just reach out to your consumers, let them know, let them tell their friends, let’s make a groundswell. Let’s get that silent majority to speak up for once.
ZARROLI: Fifer’s company has developed software that makes it easy for gun owners to contact their state and federal politicians, and about 400,000 people had used it as of Friday. Fifer said that some of the proposals being talked about, like the assault weapons ban, would set the industry back.
FIFER: Everybody I’ve talked to in the industry is anxious to keep developing new products, get them out to consumers. [mjh: New and Improved weapons of mass destruction!] And nobody wants to backtrack now and try to go adjust all their current products to fit these new, new regulations. [mjh: Nobody wants responsibility for what they’ve already dumped on AmeriCo.] Nobody wants to do that. That’s not where they’re focused. That’s a big step backwards for all of us.
ZARROLI: Fifer was interviewed at a convention for the gun industry sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in Las Vegas. A lot of those attending the show see the proposals as an attack on gun ownership. James Rebbolds, who works for a company that exports reloading supplies, paused outside the convention center yesterday afternoon to say the proposals would have a minimal effect on gun violence.
JAMES REBBOLDS: I think they’re going to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. And the only people that will have guns are the criminals.
ZARROLI: Not far away was Mike Cole, who works for a manufacturing company and was at the show to meet with vendors. Cole said he is sympathetic to some of the president’s aims and restricting ammunition is a good idea. But he says it may be too late at this point to do anything about assault weapons.
MIKE COLE: Because there are so many assault weapons out there now that the assault weapon ban – what, it’s been for almost 10 years, over 10 years, I think, that it hasn’t been in effect, so it’s – there’s a lot of weapons out there already.
ZARROLI: Cole says the enormous size of the Las Vegas convention is a stark reminder of just how big the gun industry is. And it underscores just how big the challenges are for the White House as it tries to take the industry on. Jim Zarroli, NPR News.