How the NRA changed its focus from gun owners to gun makers:
“Of the top 15 gun manufacturers, 11 now manufacture assault weapons, many of them variants of the AR-15 – derived from a military rifle designed to kill enemy soldiers at close-to-medium range with little marksmanship. The industry loves these ‘modern sporting rifles’ because they can be tricked out with expensive scopes, loaders, lights and lasers. ‘Most of the money is in accessories,’ says Feldman.
“As one gun rep recently boasted to an industry publication: ‘The AR platform is like Legos for grown men.’ And a 2012 report from Bushmaster’s parent company boasted that the industry’s embrace of these guns has led to ‘increased long-term growth in the long-gun market while attracting a younger generation of shooters.’ The campaign certainly seems to be working. Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster. Twenty-five-year-old James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, was in many ways the dream customer of the surging industry. He bought an AR-15 .233-caliberSmith & Wesson assault rifle – a category the company’s CEO bragged was ‘extremely hot’—tricked it out with a 100-round ultrahigh-capacity magazine and then purchased thousands of rounds from BulkAmmo.com, spending nearly $15,000 on his greater arsenal.”