July 18, 2018 | ° F

Free gun giveaway makes no sense

While the old adage may be that sex sells, violence is a pretty close second in terms of marketing power — and it seems that the Radio Shack in Hamilton, Mont., knows that. As part of their newest promotion, they are giving away free guns to any customer who buys Dish Network. Yes, you read that right — free guns. If it sounds absolutely ridiculous, that's because it is. Sure, the slogan "Protect yourself with the Dish Network" sounds kind of catchy, in an oddly militaristic way, but how exactly does this promotion make sense? What does Dish Network have to do with guns? To take it a step further, what is Radio Shack doing trafficking in the business of firearms? Aren't they an electronics store?

Perhaps even more disturbing than the giveaway itself is the fact that it has been incredibly successful. According to Steve Strand, the proprietor of the store, the free guns promotion has tripled his business. Maybe we are just hopelessly out of touch with modern society or maybe our status as college students from New Jersey is preventing us from understanding why people in Montana seem to love guns so much. Whatever the case, we are having a really hard time grasping the logic behind this promotion and its success.

Even though customers have to undergo background checks before claiming their free weapon, we still think this is a wildly irresponsible promotion. Let's say a local clothing store decides to run a promotion wherein you can buy a shirt and get a free pack of cigarettes. The hypothetical clothing store would probably come under a lot of fire for that sort of thing. And yet, cigarettes can only kill one person — the user. On the other hand, guns can kill other people — a lot of other people — and Radio Shack's giveaway seems to be just fine with the people of Hamilton. It just doesn't make sense. Think about it.

All in all, we just don't think it is a very responsible course of action to give away something as dangerous as a gun as part of a Dish Network promotion. Has violence become that normalized in the United States? If that's the case, we are living in a pretty sad time. But, hey, on the bright side, at least the Radio Shack is allowing customers who don't want the gun to opt for a $50 gift certificate to Pizza Hut. If we were in the market for satellite television, we would definitely pick pizza over weaponry.

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