One of the "featuredproducts" at the NRA annual meeting is a pistol that looks like a cellphone. What could go wrong? pic.twitter.com/dcsCAnOrJh— Timothy Johnson (@timothywjohnson) April 30, 2018
In the wake of the tragic Parkland school shooting, the National Rifle Association faced heavy backlash, prompting a number of companies to sever ties with the pro-gun lobby — but the organization’s recent activities suggest it didn’t get discouraged by any of that.
The NRA website is now promoting a gun that looks like a cell phone.
The contentious weapon is called the "Ideal Conceal," which has reportedly been in test mode for several years. The company described the smartphone look-alike gun as a handgun that will be on displayed at the organization’s annual meeting in Dallas, Texas.
"The Cellphone Pistol offers a great option for self-defense along with max concealment," the website brags. "The shape will not print as a pistol, yet can be drawn and fired quickly."
Timothy Johnson, a research fellow for politically progressive nonprofit group Media Matters for America, tweeted about the product, saying, “What could go wrong?”
Jaclyn Corin, a Parkland shooting survivor and one of the leaders of the #NeverAgain movement, responded to his tweet by listing the possible dangers of the weapon in question.
1. Even more people will be targeted by law enforcement b/c they “look” like they’re carrying a weapon, especially POC— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) May 1, 2018
2. The NRA continuously advertises with human figures as targets, enforcing the normality of shooting other people... https://t.co/44EHxJLEAW
Corin’s concerns hold a lot of weight, especially since the law enforcement agencies in the country have a terrible penchant for mistaking cell phones for guns — particularly if the suspect happens to be a person of color.
For instance, earlier this year, police in Sacramento, California, fatally shot an African-American man named Stephon Clark after mistaking his cell phone for a gun. They later discovered he was unarmed, but it was too late to save him.
Nevertheless, the NRA seems to be very proud of the latest concealed weapon, as it boasted about its features on the website.
“From soccer moms to professionals of every type, this gun allows you the option of not being a victim,” the website states.
The weapon, which has also been described as “virtually undetectable,” can undoubtedly be mistaken as a phone. A picture on display shows a man casually putting it in his back pocket, illustrating how easily it can be carried around without raising any suspicion.
“Smartphones are EVERYWHERE, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment. In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight,” the website explains.
Corin is one of many students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who helped organize the March for Our Lives nationwide demonstration and she's a vocal critic of the NRA. In March, the association tweeted that gun control activists were trying to "diminish people's life experiences."
Corin responded by tweeting: "Gun control activists diminishing people’s life experiences...? What about the 17 lives that were cut short by an AR-15?"
The association’s meeting, which the NRA says “will be the biggest annual meeting in the organization’s 147-year history,” will be attended by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
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