Shortly before a media firestorm erupted over Phil Robertson’s anti-LGBT comments, a weapons manufacturer released a series of ads featuring the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch and pandering to aggrieved conservatives.
The Connecticut-based gun manufacturer Mossberg announced a partnership last summer with the reality show star’s company, Duck Commander, to sell a line of 12 “Duck Dynasty” themed weapons coated in hunting camouflage and stamped with the words, “Faith. Family. Ducks.”
In one 40-second TV spot released last month the reality show star, two of his sons and his brother solemnly prepare for a duck hunt as he recites the opening lines from the Constitution.
“Those are rights that no government can take from you to live, be free and pursue happiness,” Robertson says in a voice-over. “You know what makes me happy, ladies and gentlemen? To blow a mallard drake’s head smooth off.”
Another spot suggests biblical inspiration for his hobby: “Where there is a design, there is a designer. We were designed to kill ducks.”
However, not all of the Duck Commander weapons are designed for duck hunting.
Mossberg’s website advertises a .22-caliber pistol and rifle that are “perfect for small game, plinking (and) target shooting – or cleaning cottonmouths out of your duck blind.”
But a pistol and one of the rifles featured in the TV-themed lineup are military-style designs with large capacity magazines holding at least 25 rounds, and are too powerful for small game such as waterfowl.
The manufacturer says each gun will come with an American flag bandana similar to one worn by Willie, one of Robertson’s sons who appears on the show.
Some of the shotguns have been shipped to distributors, according to a Mossberg spokeswoman, but she declined to identify which retailers would sell the weapons.
Robertson was suspended from the TV show by A&E after his homophobic comments and other comments about race relations in the segregation-era South were published by GQ, but the cable network reinstated him after receiving complaints from the show’s fans and conservatives.