There are some very unsettling things coming from Google this week. If you do a shopping search for firearms-related products using Google, you will now get back nothing. Google is censoring their results for firearms and ammunition. This will effectively put an end to an era of ease when comparing gun prices from different merchants. Customers will now have to research their firearms purchases manually at individual websites. Google has made great strides in the past on eliminating Internet censorship, but the California-based company seems to have it in for the firearms industry—and they are not alone. Many companies do not accept advertising from firearms dealers. A&E and Disney own the History Channel; they do not allow firearms advertising of any kind on their broadcast networks. That’s right, you are not allowed to advertise guns on a station filled with shows about guns, such as Top Shot. It does not end there. Firearms merchants raced to run commercials on the popular show called Sons of Guns, which airs on the Discovery Channel. Same rules apply—no advertising of firearms related products or ammunition. Discovery also owns the Military Channel, so no dice there either. News Corporation owns Fox Sports, which does not allow gun ads to run during their UFC fights. It is okay to show bloody fighters beating the tar out of one another, but a commercial about duck hunting ammo is taboo. Kudos to NBC Sports, formerly Versus, for carrying 3-Gun Nation and Hot Shots.
Unfortunately, it does not stop with your television. Our beloved uncensored Internet is not immune to the anti-gun sentiment. Long before Google jumped on the firearms censorship bandwagon, Facebook decided that they would not allow gun ads to run on their site. It was okay to have a brand page, but they would not take money to run ads. Here is a little insider lesson on how Facebook ads work. If a company posts something on their wall, a certain percentage of their followers will see it in their news feeds. If you buy ads, many more will see your ad. The difference in customer reach is so vast that it would be unwise not to try to run ads on Facebook.
Surprisingly, Amazon.com just changed their most recent policy and now allows some gun parts on their site. This is a step in the right direction, but we as advocates of the Second Amendment have a long way to go.
How can you help? Show Facebook how strong the American gun culture is by increasing the number of fans on firearm-specific pages. Like our Facebook brand page, and every other firearm brand page. Share this post with your friends, and get them to like us on Facebook. Have them follow their favorite firearms brands, too. This issue is not just about us, it is about the industry as a whole. Together we can show strength in numbers, and help them realize the value of the firearms industry and community.
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