An Army of All-American Paramilitary Death-Squad Soloists

An Army of All-American Paramilitary Death-Squad Soloists

In their 2014 Super Bowl ad (declined by the NFL), Daniel Defense, the AR-15 merchants of death, EXPLICITLY tied a ‘paramilitary army-of-one’ motif to its role as a military-industrial complex supplier. A man arrives home — presumably from a tour of duty — and enters the house past a conspicuously displayed, framed photo of him in his Marine uniform. Behind that photo is another photo with a wide frame labeled “FAMILY… they are always…” the last words are hidden behind the photo of the Marine. 

He walks into the next room where his wife is folding baby clothes and they hug. His voice over narrative: “And my family’s safety is my highest priority. I am responsible for their protection.”  

The two of them then walk over and peek into the baby’s room. Baby is awake so they enter. Baby smiles as Dad reaches down to pick her (signified by a pink blanket) up. “And no one,” his narrative continues, “has the right to tell me how to defend it.”

“So I’ve chosen the most effective tool for the job.” The screen changes to a black background with a gray silhouette of an AR-15 and the Daniel Defense logo. A different, corporate voice takes over the narrative, “Daniel Defence,” the voice intones. “defending your nation. Defending your home,” as those words appear on the screen.

The YouTube copy of the ad has had 341,665 views since it was posted to the company’s channel on November 27, 2013. The 353 comments are almost all positive.  On May 16, eight days before a gunman murdered 20 children and two school teachers with one of Daniel Defense’s commodities in Uvalde, Texas, the company tweeted the following message, since deleted:

The text is from Proverbs 22. I won’t bother scrounging through Proverbs to show that the passage is not about teaching a toddler how to use an AR-15. There is no point agonizing about the obscenity of the juxtaposition of a small child and murder weapon. It is a minor obscenity compared to the immense obscenity of the elected representatives who appropriate money to pay the company that promotes that message.

Are the Republicans culpable? Yes. Are the Democrats absolved of complicity? No.

As the Daniel Defense video makes abundantly clear, the rationale for self-appointed vigilante violence is directly linked to the funding of the “support our troops” military-industrial complex.

Regardless of what their rhetoric is on “gun control” supermajorities of both parties — 84% of Senate Democrats and 92% of Republicans — voted to bestow $778 billion on the military-industrial complex. That’s why its real name is the military-industrial-congressional complex. You can bet your bottom dollar some of that money went to Daniel Defense

Some of the money DD receives from taxpayers pays for lobbying to make sure they continue to get more money from taxpayers. Some of that money goes to lobbying to insure that their gun sales to child murderers are not impeded. And some of goes to marketing their “most effective tool for the job” to 18-year old psychopaths as a way to protect their second amendment right to slaughter schoolchildren.

“And no one has the right to tell me how to defend it.” If Fox News hosts tell me night after night that the great replacement is a threat to my family’s safety no one has the right to tell me how to defend it. If I am seething with rage at a world that doesn’t even let me have a safe family no one has the right to tell me how to avenge the wrongs I feel I have suffered.

A story about the Daniel Defense tweet and the use of their product in the Uvalde massacre appeared in the Guardian earlier today:

The Uvalde attack is also not the first time that Daniel Defense weapons have been involved in a mass shooting. Guns manufactured by the company were in the arsenal of the gunman who killed 58 people and injured more than 500 in Las Vegas in 2017.

Months before that attack Daniel Defense had acknowledged the impact of high-profile shootings on gun sales.

“The mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in 2012 drove a lot of sales,” Daniel told Forbes. “That was a horrible event and we don’t use those kinds of terrible things to drive sales but when people see politicians start talking about gun control, they have this fear and they go out and buy guns.”

In the aftermath of Uvalde, gunmaker stock prices have risen, reports Fortune. Shares of Sturm, Ruger & Company rose by about 5.8% and Smith & Wesson is up 10%.

Daniel Defense released a statement after the shootings in Uvalde saying: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Texas this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community devastated by this evil act.”