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Women, Obama and Jews insulted at NRA convention

"Alexa" is sold on the company's website. (Zombie Industries)

It was meant to be a celebration of American gun culture, with 70,000 guns-and-politics fans in attendance.

But the NRA’s annual convention, which wrapped up in Houston this week was riddled with controversy.

Perhaps the biggest?

The revelation that one vendor in the hall – the notorious Zombie Industries, which supplies targets for gun ranges across America – markets a life-size, well-endowed female target called “The Ex,” that bleeds when shot.

While the mannequin wasn’t on display at the convention, it was promoted in brochures available at the Zombie booth as Buzzfeed.com points out. It's also sold on the company's website as "Alexa."

Women’s groups and civil rights advocates were appalled. And social media lit up with fury for obvious reasons: violence against women remains a staggering reality in American life – and around the world.

In the Twitter verse, Jessica Valenti reminded her followers that, “1/3 of US women murdered are killed by their partners.”

Gun owners, too, called out the vendor as well as the NRA. “As a gun owner & supporter of the 2nd Amendment I find @ZombieInd’s “The Ex” egregious. Stop promoting violence against women,” wrote @NoneMorePaige.

Zombie Industries, based in San Diego, has long inspired revulsion – even within the gun business itself. In 2011 America’s Crossroads Gun Shows banned Zombie from appearing at shows, declaring its products “too graphic, offensive and ghoulish.”

Zombie Industries brazenly replied in a blog that these were, in fact,  “all the reasons why we think you’ll want one!”

At this week's convention, the company was also forced to remove another bleeding zombie target: “Rocky” – who bears a striking resemblance to U.S. President Barack Obama.

And if insulting women and African Americans were not enough, conservative commentator Glenn Beck went one step further, raising the ire of the Jewish community, depicting New York’s gun-control advocate Michael Bloomberg making a Nazi-like salute.

As the polite version of the saying goes, "You can’t make this stuff up."

RELATED: The many faces of the NRA

Bill Schiller has held bureau postings for the Star in Johannesburg, Berlin, London and Beijing. He is a NNA and Amnesty International Award winner, and a Harvard Nieman Fellow from the class of '06. Follow him on Twitter @wschiller


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If I were Trudeau I'd ban their members from Canada as terrorists.

so here goes the right of free speech.

These gun manufacturers marketing arm .. I mean the NRA ... are way out of control.

This isn't Free Speech. It's Hate Speech. Maybe you should learn the difference.

Can The 'Ex's' face be customized?

I am against violence, but I am not against target shooting. Target Shooting shouldn't be seen as promoting violence. Whether it's a propane tank, a silouette of a man woman or animal, or life sized maniquin; people must keep in mind that unless the recreational shooter has a serious mental illness they will never bridge the gap of reality and believe what they are shooting to be a real person! I would argue people are being too sensitive, what's next? Someone going to inspect every garage in the world to be sure we're not throwing darts at pictures of our ex's or heads of state?!?

Yeah, pretty disgusting that ignorant, misogynist and racist views would be shared at the NRA, but not surprising. Time people realize fighting for the right to kill, that's what useful guns do, is not only barbaric but it goes along with a very primitive mindset that views anyone else as disposable.

@ Mike: how does this article signal some limit to "free speech"? Nowhere in it is there any evidence of government intervention to prevent this stupidity. Rather, the article details the objections of various people. FYI, criticizing an idiot for saying or doing something stupid doesn't constitute a limit to free speech; rather, it is an act that itself perpetuates free speech by ensuring that it can be exercised by everyone and not just gun-toting clods who hide behind phrases like "Second Amendment" and "free speech" without bothering to understand what they mean. So if I say, "Mike, your post is a poorly conceived, kneejerk waste of time," I'm not saying you should be barred from saying it, but just that you wouldn't embarrass yourself if you refrained from doing so. I'm just trying to help you.

Wow, that Zombie site is rather horrifying. As a non partisan of the gun world- this Zombie business as a whole is horrifying.Zombies should look like Zombies not like the "people" portrayed... Why are the women sexy x wives?..There are no male sexy x's. There are political leaders though- Does that make up for it?
All in all- gross,hateful to all human and animal kinds.
If you want to hunt- hunt something that is food oriented or something that is overpopulating and potentially a harm to society. Last time I checked...X's were not on that list.

Nice Terry. Well said. Some days the wall of ignorance feels insurmountable.

Seriously? It's a target. You're offended, big surprise... It's not as though "Alexa" is the only target they make. They have "Leo" and "Chirs". "Chris" is a white guy, should that offend me? You guys are so anal retentive, everything offends you... I'm pretty sure there is medication for that. As for the Micheal Bloomberg thing, I thought Mr. Beck hit the nail on the head (I actually watched his entire presentation). Bloomberg is out of control. Wave good bye to freedom and choice. The government will make all of your decisions for you.

Interesting the Women's groups and civil rights activists are unable to distinguish between women and zombies. Now THAT's insulting!

If this toy was a man, I doubt any newspaper would run with "we need to stop promoting violence about men"

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