Martin Bashir | February 28, 2013
>>> the sale of firearms since that horrendous mass shooting at newtown has actually gone up, but the industry is not sitting on its laurls. it's now aggressively marketing guns to children. some as young as those slaughtered at sandy hook elementary school . it's all chronicled in eerie detail in the current issue of " rolling stone ." and tim dickinson's story "the gun industry's deadly addiction." here we see a 10-year-old firing a variety of high-powered guns at so-called zombie targets that ooze synthetic blood when they are hit. it's all part of a wider mission to make shooting more fun, a thrill, like an action adventure ride to rid the world of gooey zombies. and thus more like the entertainment business than the gun business. tim dickinson joins us from san francisco . tim , you write about a gun industry that appears to be in panic mode despite an estimated $1.5 billion in sales last year. why would they need to market to children as young as first grade? can you explain that to us, tim ?
>> the industry is -- has disrupted to a certain extent. the market for traditional hunting guns has fallen off a cliff and the traditional consumer base is sort of like the gop. it's too white, too old, too southern, too male, and so you have both of these trends, and so they're trying to pump up their sales by marketing both lethal weapons to sort of try and sell one last shiny new object to this older generation, but they're also needing to find replacement shooters to borrow a phrase from the tobacco industry , and they are aggressively marketing both to women, to children, to young men who are hooked on video games , trying to break into unconventional demographics.
>> tim , we're watching a 10-year-old girl shooting at zombie targets. turns out you can pick from a variety of targets, including this one called the "x" created for those who apparently fantasize about killing their ex-wife. and as you watch this video, tim , keep an eye on the shot count in the corner of your scre screen. as macabre as it is it depicts the unimaginable damage these high-capacity magazines can inflict. might it help if the senate judiciary committee were to watch some of this next week when they consider background checks, school safety, and banning assault weapons as a way to protect our children from guns?
>> well, i think so. it's a little like joe camel and marketing tobacco to children. what business does a 6-year-old girl have shooting her dad's ar-15? it's like having a whiskey drinking session with your 8-year-old. it doesn't make any sense. these proper ducts for adults that shouldn't be peddled to kids.
>> it's not just the weapon itself. it's also the mannequin that is three-dimensional and that oozes blood.
>> they've cleverly dressed this up in a fad to make shooting at a humanoid object something less than sociopathic. it's a form of entertainment, but, of course, you're training to actually shoot human targets, and they promote this with a hollywood-style video that actually shows a man with his ar-15 and his high capacity pistol shooting up actors. and they sell zombie max ammunition and the box says very specifically it's not a toy, but they're marketing this like a toy.
>> just this week, tim , new york city may jor mike bloomberg spent $2 million to help swing an election in chicago where the main issue was gun control . but up against an industry that's literally marketing guns to have kids in primary school , what are the odds that gun control in this nation will ever prevail?
>> well, the nra is more powerful than the industry itself. the industry, despite having armed america with millions and millions of guns, is actually not that large, and their pockets are not that deep. and so someone like mike bloomberg really can help level the playing field so at least we're debating the issues and not just surrendering to the uncontested fearmongering of the nra .
>> and so do you think, tim , that in all the hearings on capitol hill that have been taking place, that people representing the nra have had in mind the fact that they want to extend these weapons of, you know, semiautomatic assault weapons for children to use? and that's what they're concerned about. it's not just the use and sale of these products now, but they're looking into the future and concerned to make sure that we can get as many children as possible to find these guns attractive and, therefore, become purchasers ultimately.
>> the broader trend is that these assault weapons and these magazines, these pistols that can carry the high capacity magazines, that is the core of the business now. so when joe biden says go out and buy a shotgun, it's a little anachronistic. it's harking for a bygone age. all of these gun control measures go straight into the teeth of how the industry is profiting now and intends to profit in the future, and that's part of why just from a dollars and cents perspective, this is such a thorny battle with the gun industry.
>> hence, the reason for having a strong push of semiautomatic weapons because semiautomatic weapons are bigger and you use more ammunition.
>> right. and so at 40 cents a pop, you can go through a whole lot offage nition. it's like an expensive printer cartridge. we're seeing the same business practices that are normal everywhere else, they all happen in the gun industry too.
>> tim dickonson of " rolling stone " thank you. and you can read tim 's remarkable story in the current issue of the