“Papa Says It’s Safe”: 20 Astounding Gun Ads

The firearms industry sure knows how to tempt its audience.


Advertisements for guns have long been used to stoke fear, offer a little testosterone boost, or give the potential owners—particularly the core target audience of young men—a taste of the good life as a cowboy, cop, soldier, or videogame combatant. Here are some samples through the years beginning with Bushmaster, manufacturer of the rifle allegedly used in the Newtown school shooting. 

Bushmaster rifle ad in, where else, Maxim. Bushmaster
 

It’s all about progress. Bushmaster

 

Start ’em young. Mattel

 

Sig Sauer

 

How many people buying a Sig would be stoked to win a Smart Car?
 
 

Subtle. Remington
 

Remington
 

Daniel Defense
 

Yes, there is a gun-maker called Savage Arms, and this is its logo. Savage Arms
 

Buy NOW, or else. USA Ammo
 

POF-USA
 

EAA Corp.
 

You’re welcome, ladies. Taurus
 

Your trusty revolver vs. the well-dressed criminal. Smith & Wesson

The “home protection” theme goes way back. Smith & Wesson

 

On the other hand, safety used to be more of a marketing pitch. Colt
 

The original Homer Simpson bowling ball gift. Colt
 

Remington
 

Start him right. Winchester

…okay, start ’em REALLY young. “Papa says it won’t hurt us.” Iver Johnson
 

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate