Reddit’s Gun Gang Takes Aim at MoJo With a Pink Assault Rifle

A Redditor chose "rasberry metallic" for his custom design. Upvote?via Reddit

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


When we published our investigation of gun trafficking on Reddit—including the company’s endorsement of assault rifles emblazoned with its signature alien logo—the story promptly got yanked from Reddit’s popular /r/Politics subreddit. Apparently one of the /r/Politics moderators known as “TheRedditPope” deemed our story “off topic.”*

Lots of Redditors on the /r/Guns subreddit, on the other hand, found the story to be sufficiently political. In response to it they let loose with much talk about liberal “gun grabbers,” the Second Amendment coming under siege, and so forth. But perhaps the most enthusiastic response came from Redditor “WarFairy,” who decided to honor Mother Jones with its very own 3-D printable AR-15 lower receiver, featuring a “raspberry metallic” finish and the company’s phone number. Indeed, the Second Amendment may be in grave danger, but clearly the First is hanging tough.

The dudes of /r/Guns deserve a couple of points for creativity here, though probably no one will accuse them of being super classy.

“I would like to mass print these and hand them out to the kids on Halloween,” declared one commenter. (What a hilarious thing to joke about, especially given that kids and pink guns mix so well.)

“It looks like it has a boner,” said another.

“A glorious pink one,” replied WarFairy, who clarified that the feature in question was “actually a finger hook for use when using a magwell style grip while firing. Just a little design flair of mine.”

Another Redditor saw the feature from a different angle, likening it to female genitals, to which WarFairy replied: “Throbbing… moist… aluring… oh yes… imagine it… imagine running your fingers over it, listening to the whisper… P… Pull my trigger…”

The response to MoJo‘s investigation also included multiple Redditors attempting to list guns for sale in the comments section of our story and then getting their buddies to vote up those comments (a vote-manipulation tactic that Reddit itself forbids). “Now motherjones has become an internet weapons market. TA DA!” one of them said.

gun sale on mother jones
gun sale on mother jones

Unfortunately, in their careful reading of our report, these folks missed a key distinction between Reddit and Mother Jones: Such postings are a violation of our Terms of Service, and thus have been deleted.

For more of the story behind our investigation, check out my conversation with WNYC’s Anna Sale.

Update, Jan. 22, 2014: In an email to Mother Jones, TheRedditPope said that although he defended the removal of our story in a conversation with a site user who protested the ban, he was not the moderator who removed the story. He described the removal of the story as a group decision: “The moderators act via consensus when a moderator action is questioned and the vast majority of /r/Politics mods agreed that the post was off topic.” He declined to specify why the story was deemed off topic or which other moderator removed the story.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate