Al Sharpton Targeted by Zombie Gun Product?

“Poor Al he was a Sharp guy,” begins the description of a gun target firm’s newest “Life-Sized Tactical Mannequin Target.” With a dark skin tone and features that seem to resemble the civil rights figure and MSNBC cable news host Rev. Al Sharpton, the Zombie-looking gun target called “Al Zombie”comes with the disclaimer that “[a]ll Zombies Industries’ products represent fictitious characters and are works of fiction” and “[a]ny resemblance to actual persons (living or dead)” is “entirely coincidental.”

Was “Al Zombie” meant to resemble Rev. Sharpton?

“No,” said Nicholas J. Iannitti, Vice President and Director of Sales for ZMB Industries, LLC, by telephone from the firm’s headquarters in Poway, California. “If you look at our website you can see” our statement that all Zombie target characters are fictitious.

But Zombie Industries, on its Facebook page, attributes what seems like a fictitious quote to a a colleague of Sharp ton’s, who, like him, has criticized Zombie Industries for making a Zombie gun target that seems to resemble President Barack Obama, and that was briefly on display last month at a National Rifle Association convention.

“I don’t know,” said Vice President and Sales Director Nicholas Iannitti, when asked about what seems like a tongue-in-cheek product endorsement attributed to the progressive, nationally syndicated talk radio host Joe Madison on Zombie Industries’ Facebook page. “I wasn’t involved.”

In May Madison was on Sharpton’s MSNBC show PoliticsNation, where they both criticized the presence of “Rocky Zombie,” which they said resembled President Obama, at an NRA convention.

Rev. Sharpton called the target a “stunning, offensive display from the far right,” dubbing it the “Right-Wing Horror Picture Show.” Madison on the same program said, “They are a sorry bunch of people that I can’ t use words for, but I do take offense and I think anyone else, black, white or any other color, would take offense at this.”

Little more than one month later, ZMB Industries decided to apparently make use of the controversy. Now the firm has added what seems to be a mocking quote attributed to Madison on itsFacebook page boasting of another new Zombie mannequin target.

“New Model: Gun Control Lobbyist,” reads the main image on Zombie Industries’ Facebook page. “Lower than a snakes Belly!” reads what seems like a product endorsement on the same page, attributed to “Joe Madison, Radio Host describing Zombie.”

Madison, who now has a program on Sirius XM, could not be reached for comment.

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Was that gun used in a crime? Now you can find out

On Sunday in New Orleans, Laderika Smith, 28, returned from the store to find her five-year-old daughter bloodied and lying on the bedroom floor with a gunshot wound to her head. The girl soon died. Her mother has been charged with Relative Cruelty to a Juvenile. She has not yet entered a plea.

“It is all too common,” Doctor Gary A. Smith, president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, told MSNBC. “Children are curious. They watch TV cartoons and a make-believe world,” he added. When kids see guns, “they don’t recognize the danger.”

Smith’s daughter fatally shot herself with a .38 revolver that her mother kept in the home, as Smith admitted to New Orleans police. For decades, a .38 revolver was the firearm most commonly used in crimes, according to ATF studies including a July 2000 report, which is the last time that the ATF issued any comprehensive report. Instead, for more than 12 years– since the first inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2001–the ATF has provided little or no such national data to the public.

“Why was it stopped for over 10 years?” ATF Acting Deputy Chief of Public Affairs Donna Sellers told MSNBC. “I cannot really answer why a decision was made to stop publishing that information,” she added. “The decision was made this year to increase transparency and provide the public with more thorough information on crime guns.”

On June 19, the ATF published its findings for Firearms Trace Data for 2012. Data for previous years posted on the ATF website’s statistics page include no more than very general information for each state along with the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands, making in difficult to discern national trends of the types of firearms used in crimes, or where they were bought.

The data for 2012 includes nationally aggregated summaries including “Firearms Types” and “Top Calibers” of weapons “Recovered and Traced” in crimes, along with data on where the weapons used in crimes were purchased and where they ended up, and how long they have been in circulation.

“Tracing crime guns provides critical information that assists domestic and international law enforcement,” Sellers told MSNBC.

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