On Instagram, The Gun Influencers Are Posing With Guns

Pro-guns lobbies are using promoted posts.

By now everyone understood the potential influencers represent marketing-wise… Even the gun industry, which started using social media for their own agenda.

The same way cosmetic brands are using it to sell their products, some influencers, vets, hunters, and models are now paid to pose with a firearm.

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Holding guns in a suggestive way Lara-Croft style for their thousands of followers or posting videos of them at a shooting stand, women like Lauren Younga former military police-woman has become a star of this peculiar genre. On her Instagram account, she shows herself with riffles, firearms, and shotguns. 

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Same thing for paralegal Liberte Austin from Texas, who regularly poses taking her aim staring in her viewfinder right after posting a picture promoting teeth whitening products or vitamins. As it turns out, Liberte Austin is also an ambassador for patriotic clothing brands.

As for Kimberly Matteshe loves to pose wearing lingerie and holding a gun. No matter how cliché the staggering is, the Canadian model does her part to brush up the image of the arming industry by making through her badass and sexy look. She could almost have us forget these items are made to kill.

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Making the gun lifestyle as aspirational as all the others

Kyle Clouse, head of marketing at the gun safe company Liberty Safe, refers to influencers as “the goose laying the golden egg” for the firearms industry.  Indeed, influencers skirt the rules and restrictions platforms impose on official businesses that want to advertise guns or gun-related services and accessories, Vox explains.

In exchange for these posts, the young women receive either a sum calculated in accordance with their number of followers or… free guns.

For guns manufacturers, these models are an opportunity to promote a complete lifestyle which revolves around firearms, hunting, military items of clothing and shooting stands.

Lobbies Are Playing The Feminism Card

While we can easily spot the underlying sexism of this marketing strategy using pretty girls to make their products attractive, the brands are claiming to be féminist, surfing on the  #MeToo movement and defending women’s right to carry a gun.

The NRA has been communicating using the necessity for women to defend themselves as an argument to target a female clientele. In February 2018, the NRA was criticized for the words of spokesperson Dana Loesch on CNNwho said owning guns prevent sexual assault.

Statistics are contradicting her argument when it comes to the impact of gun violence on women. Various reports concur that 50 women are shot dead per month on average in the United States. Additionally, studies show that access to a gun makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed by her abusive partner. Dreadful statistics making these promoted posts from these gun influencers even more ridiculous.

By Pauline Allione, published on 02/07/2019

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