Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Wednesday called on Zombie Industries, the California-based maker of “life-sized tactical mannequin” targets that are painted to look like “zombies," to stop selling a new model mannequin called the "Gun Control Lobbyist."
“This representation is incredibly offensive to both to the victims of gun violence and to the dedicated people who advocate for gun violence prevention, many of whom have lost loved ones to guns or are survivors themselves,” Murphy wrote in a letter to Zombie Industries CEO Roger Davis.
On Tuesday, gun control advocate and Virginia Tech shooting survivor Colin Goddard criticized the company for including a picture in which he appears in a promotional image for the mannequin.
Read Murphy's full letter:
Dear Mr. Davis,
I am contacting you today to ask that you immediately end the sale of your “Gun Control Lobbyist” shooting target. This representation is incredibly offensive to both the victims of gun violence and the dedicated people who advocate for gun violence prevention, many of whom have lost loved ones to guns or are survivors themselves.
The creation of this product, in addition to the description you are using to sell it, indicate an utter lack of awareness on the part of your company for what is going on in our country today. Last December, I sat in the firehouse in Newtown, Connecticut, as parents held their breath and waited to find out the fates of their young sons and daughters. In the six months since that terrible day, I have spoken with these parents and so many other advocates for gun violence prevention—again, many of whom have been shot themselves—about the need for a change in the way our society views gun violence. These people have suffered in a way that is difficult for anyone to internalize, and their losses are impossible to truly understand. To trivialize these experiences and attempt to portray such knowledgeable, passionate people as villains is a shameless and despicable ploy to make a few bucks.
Moreover, the text on your website alongside this target describes a character that could not be further from any of the people I have heard from over the past six months. The dedicated people who have come to share their experiences with me have been well-informed, open-minded, patriotic people who are interested in finding real solutions to the serious problems facing our country today. What’s more – even if the description posted on your website was a wholly accurate representation of any person, would that make them worthy of being violently shot, as your website implies?
I believe that your company has made a gross error in judgment by reducing an important national conversation to violent imagery and an opportunity for a cheap sale. I hope you will recognize this offensive mistake and remove this product from the market immediately.
Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator