NRA Convention Sells 'Ex-Girlfriend' Target That Bleeds When You Shoot It

At the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Houston, Texas this weekend, a company that sells shooting targets "designed to help YOU prepare for the upcoming Zombie outbreak" displayed much of what is wrong with the pro-gun movement with its foul "Ex-Girlfriend" target that bleeds when you shoot it. The more you shoot the iconization of the woman, the more she bleeds and her body, once sexy, becomes mangled. It is a startling reminder of the normalization of violence against women in America, and the latest delegitimization of the pro-gun lobby's claims that firearms are an equalizer for women.

Here she is, before being shot:

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"full","fid":"482840","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"302","style":"width: 400px; height: 335px;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

And after:

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"full","fid":"482839","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","style":"width: 400px; height: 291px;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"478"}}]]

Zombie Industries (which also sold a life-sized target with an uncanny resemblance to President Obama, but pulled it from the convention following controversy) sells 15 different zombie targets, but only one, the ex-girlfriend, is female. In another reminder that the company -- and the gun industry at large --  has little regard for how damaging its product is to women, its website says "To discriminate against Women by not having them represented in our product selection would be just plain sexist.”

Thanks but no thanks. News flash to Zombie Industries: Violence against women, particularly by intimate partners, is a huge problem in America. "Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined."  In 2010, nearly six times more women were shot by and killed by husbands or intimate acquaintances than were killed by male strangers. A woman's chances of being killed by her abuser multiply by more than seven if he has access to a firearm. In America, women are targets, especially when it comes to guns.

 As Elizabeth Plank writes in PolicyMic,

Gun violence is a gendered issue since it impacts women and men in very different ways. Because women are more vulnerable to violence within the home than men (and men are most often the perpetrators of violence against women), the presence of a gun makes females less safe, not more. How do we know? A woman's likelyhood of a violent death within the home actually increases by 270% when a gun is kept inside the house. Homicide figures don't lie. Having a gun within their possession didn't protect women from murder. In fact, it accurately predicted their higher likelihood of death.

With at least three women in the U.S. being killed by an intimate partner daily, selling "ex-girlfriend" targets that normalize a phenomenon of often deadly violence against women is an outrage that demands accountability. Plank is calling for Americans to "make sure those numbers go down, not up," and says that "companies like Zombies Industries know that we're not buying it." She recommends that people ping Zombie Industries on Twitter (@ZombieInd), using the hash tag #NotBuyingIt.  

Here's what she offers as a sample tweet:

@ZombieInd Stop promoting men's violence against women. 1 in 3 women murdered were killed by an intimate partner. #NotBuyingIt.

Give 'em hell.

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