About two years ago, Bushmaster Firearms rolled out a new marketing campaign for its AR Platform assault rifles. It apparently started as a sweepstakes that looks to have evolved from there. It consists of a series of “manhood questions” that are designed to elicit responses that prove the test taker is a “real man”. Anyone who passes the test gets a “Man Card” to show off to all his friends. If a man is caught behaving in an unmanly way (such as doing Pilates or spending more than $8 on a haircut) his friends can revoke his Man Card. Source.The only way said sissy la-la can earn his man card back is to purchase the Bushmaster assault rifle of his choosing. No word on if it comes with a matching set of truck nuts. But, given the fact that Adam Lanza killed 20 little kids and 6 adults with a Bushmaster AR 15 Target .223 assault rifle, the “Man Card” campaign is, as of the time of this writing, suspended.
Based on the test and reasons for losing one’s “Man Card”, it appears that Bushmaster’s target demographic is a manly man’s kind of man. But while the double entendre is certainly worth a chuckle, Bushmaster’s lame marketing campaign demonstrates that whoever is in charge of its advertising knows nothing about being a man and even less about gun ownership. To suggest that all it takes is a boner-inspiring assault rifle to be a man or even enhance one’s masculinity is spectacularly stupid and woefully ignorant.
Look, if owning an assault rifle is your thing, good on you. If you are a collector, use one for hunting, or even just think they’re fun to shoot – fine. Far be it from me to sniff at that. You can become Burt Gummer for all I care. The point I’m trying to make is that a weapon is not a direct correlation to one’s masculinity and will not turn a whiny beta male into a supreme alpha dog. By telling men that masculinity depends on owning a really big gun, Bushmaster is no better than feminists telling women that men find a “plus size” potty mouth in flip flops attractive. Purchasing an assault rifle out of a desperate need to prove one’s maleness is the epitome of pathetic. An assault rifle will not increase masculinity any more than a life-sized Tonka truck will.