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One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

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Health
Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

Whoa. San Francisco just upped the ante in the nation's debates over gun legislation in the U.S.

In a unanimous resolution, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has designated the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization. It also urges other local and state governments, as well as the federal government, to do the same.

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Culture
via Geoffrey Fairchild / Flickr

A 2012 Mother Jones investigation found that gun violence costs every American more than $700 a year with a total cost of $229 billion per year — much of which is paid for by taxpayers.

Those costs include emergency services, police investigations, prison costs, lost wages, long-term mental and physical care, and impact on quality of life.

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Politics

How can design help make guns uncool for teenagers? Students and faculty at Art Center College of Design, internationally recognized for its cutting-edge social impact design department, Designmatters, worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District to create a powerful new multimedia resource for middle school classrooms called Where’s Daryl?.

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At the Electronic Entertaining Expo (E3) in Los Angeles this week, the video game industry will be talking about Xbox One, the hottest new devices, and what will be the next Halo. But some folks are hoping to get the industry's attention on something else: guns.

A report released today by advocacy groups Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Gun Truth Project, points out that video games are being used as a form of advertising for gun brands, and is calling to put an end to the practice.
The report, "Game Over: Resetting the Relationship Between Video Game and Gun Manufacturers," details how video games use realistic images of brand-name guns in order to make the game as realistic as possible, which sometimes means entering into licensing deals with the gun manufacturers. The gun makers make money off these deals, and manufacturers said gamers "are considered potential future owners."
"In some cases, money has been exchanged to secure product placement or legal rights," states the report. "In one scenario, video game product launches have been tied to online marketplaces for customers to purchase weapons used in the game."
The groups claim this commercial relationship promotes the gun industry and sparks young people's imagination in a dangerous way, which could lead to more gun violence in America.
Last month, one major video game publisher, Electronic Arts, announced it would end licensing deals, though it will still feature branded weapons. Now the advocacy groups are asking that other major video game publishers follow suit.
“We are outraged that video game companies and gun manufacturers are entering into deals to market guns to our children," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America in a statement. "Particularly given the real-life epidemic of gun violence in America.”
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What if anyone could print a gun at home, using a 3-D printer and a standard nail? Last week, a law student in Austin, Texas made headlines when he proved that his design for a 3-D-printed gun could successfully fire. He wasn't the first to share templates for a 3-D-printed gun online, but in the past, experts have argued that a fully-printed gun would shatter in action. Though this one didn't work with a rifle cartridge, it survived a test with a .380 caliber bullet. In theory, it just got a whole lot easier to have an illegal weapon. A plastic weapon, no less, that would be more likely to make it past something like airport security.

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