For Release: Tuesday, December 7, 1999
The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today released Cashing in on the New Millennium, a report detailing the gun industry’s shameless exploitation of fears that the Y2K bug will lead to a social meltdown in order to sell more firearms to an already saturated market. Some gun makers have even issued “special edition” Y2K guns, such as the Bushmaster Y2K Limited Edition AR-15 assault rifle and the Wilson Combat Millennium Protector .45 pistol.
Cashing in on the New Millennium describes how, in typical fashion, this marketing drive has been relentlessly hyped by the “gun press” – magazines aimed at the retail buyer – with headlines such as “Y2K Survival Guide to Revolvers” and “Survive Y2K – Guns and Gear You Need.” Some articles recommend specific models to ward off Y2K marauders under titles such as “Facing Y2K With a Colt Python” and “Smith & Wesson’s Model 10 Revolver: A Good Choice as a Y2K Handgun.”
Publications serving the firearms industry itself offer an unapologetic rationale for this strategy: “Amidst social turmoil and disintegrating economic underpinnings, you will sell more guns in 1999 than you’ve ever sold in your life,” (Shooting Sports Retailer, Jan. 1999). As Cashing in on the New Millennium documents, this tactic has been a success with all indicators pointing to a strong year for gun sales.
“In a recent report titled Project Megiddo the FBI warns of potential Millennialist violence from militias and other extremists,” says VPC Policy Analyst and report author Marty Langley, “Thanks to the gun industry, they will be very well armed.” Cashing in on the New Millennium includes direct quotations from gun industry sources, magazine covers, and ad copy.
For information on obtaining a copy of Cashing in on the New Millennium please see the publications page.