Monday, April 16, 2012

Gun owners take aim at zombie products with NRA

Across the country, gun owners are prepping for the zombie apocalypse by unloading their wallets for undead-themed products, according to Reuters.

The news agency reported from the National Rifle Association's Guns and Gear exhibition on Saturday during the NRA annual conference in St. Louis about the impact of entertainment like The Walking Dead has had on gun culture.

"The Hollywood-inspired zombie craze - featuring blood-soaked ghouls rising from the dead to attack the living - has extended to gun enthusiasts," wrote Greg McCune of Reuters. "At the huge NRA exhibition, vendors displayed zombie targets, zombie bullets, zombie paint coating for guns and zombie patches for a shooting jacket." In addition to the green-tipped zombie bullet by ammo maker Hornady or zombie Osama bin Laden ("ZombiLadin"), other merchandise includes "small packets of blood-colored liquid that can be purchased to attach to the back of the zombie target so that it bleeds when shot ... if an explosion is desired, a grainy mixture is for sale that will blast like a firecracker when hit."

McCune also noted the boom of zombie merchandise for gun owners - with targets alone expected to grow about 30 percent to a million this year - the appeal extends to firing ranges that offer themed shooting events at twilight and nighttime, and speculates that shooting at cans and standard targets is simply less fun.

The article additionally interviewed Addison Sovine, a zombie-merchandise salesperson who said the interest has "has gained momentum from 'preppers' - people who are preparing for doomsday - and the belief by some that, according to the Mayan calendar, the world as we know it will end in December." Sovine then said that, "As soon as we pass December if we are not all dead, we live on, and it is really not the end of the world ... I think you will see it (zombie target sales) start to come back down the other side."

Sovine's comments once again put the zombie fan dead center in the conversation about apocalyptic cultures. Of course the unique aspect of zombies is that they are a fictional pop culture device that has been carried over into the real world with some serious attention.


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