The maker of an AR-15-style assault rifle, Salvador Ramos, which killed 19 children and two teachers, was blasted for posting an online ad with a toddler clutching a similar weapon just days before the massacre.
“Raise a child as it should be, and when it grows old it will not deviate,” Daniel Defense wrote in the ad, which was published May 16, eight days before the Robb Elementary School massacre shared on Twitter.
The line refers to a proverb in the Bible.
In the attached photo, a boy wearing a #Rascal t-shirt sits cross-legged and looks down at the scoped firearm with a full magazine in front of him. An adult’s finger points at the child.
The ad was published on the same day that Ramos turned 18.
Over the next few days, he legally bought two assault rifles, including a Daniel Defense DDM4 V7, which the Georgia-based company describes as “a perfect rifle for everyone.” The other rifle was reportedly a Smith & Wesson M&P 15.
On the day of the massacre, the Washington Post reported, the company posted, presumably unaware of the mass shooting, “Do you operate a DDM4 V7?”
The company protected its tweets from the public following the Uvalde attack, but screenshots of the ad circulated online and were condemned.
“This is an advert by Daniel Defense that was published this week just a week before the Uvalde horror. The shooter’s weapon was a DD. Are they marketing to children,” one tweeted user wrote.
“I think about that tweet from Daniel Defense – the company that sold the gunman the rifle and all the pictures of R leaders with their little kids holding guns.” said another Twitter user in response to the ad.
In a statement regarding the Uvalde attack, Daniel Defense said, “We will keep the families of the victims and the entire community of Uvalde in our thoughts and prayers,” according to the Washington Post.
The company’s advertising campaign represents the kind of provocative marketing that has helped it become one of the largest privately owned firearms manufacturers in the United States, NBC News reported.
“In an industry with 500 companies all making the same products, you have to get ahead somehow,” Ryan Busse, author of the book Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America, told the network.
Busse, a senior adviser to the Giffords group on gun violence prevention, attacked the “brand marketing” of Daniel Defense founder Marty Daniel.
“That’s how he grew his business by being at the limit and wrapping this sacred reel thing around it,” he told NBC News.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Daniel Defense told CNN that the company would not be attending this weekend’s NRA meeting in Houston.
“Daniel Defense is not attending the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) meeting due to the horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, where one of our products was criminally misused,” Steve Reed told the network.
“We believe this week is not the appropriate time to promote our products at the NRA meeting in Texas,” he added.
Daniel Defense said it will be cooperating with “all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in their investigations.”
“We will keep the families of the victims and the entire Uvalde community in our thoughts and our prayers,” it added in a statement.
The Post has reached out to Daniel Defense for comment.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/27/daniel-defense-posted-ar-15-ad-with-kid-before-texas-massacre/ Daniel Defense posted an AR-15 advertisement featuring a child before the Texas massacre