Gun control advocacy groups CREDO Action and The Gun Truth Project have released a report criticizing LivingSocial‘s refusal to ban deals from its site that combine gun use and alcohol.
The report, called “DyingSocial: Deals To Die For,” alleges how LivingSocial, by continuing to offer such deals, is choosing to profit from “an unambiguous and well-documented threat to public safety.”
The advocacy groups argue that LivingSocial has become a marketing arm for the gun industry.
The deals in question offer LivingSocial users the opportunity to drink alcohol and fire weapons in the same outing. Here’s an example from Chicago:
“In the wake of Newtown, I’d like to know how the people who own or work for LivingSocial can justify profiting from the packaging of AK-47 shooting sprees with an evening of bourbon shots,” said CREDO’s political director, Becky Bond, in a statement.
Andrew Weinstein, the chief spokesperson for LivingSocial, defended the online deal platform on Friday, outlining the company’s policy of turning away any individuals who have consumed alcohol or drugs before the gun portion of the event.
LivingSocial has no policy against “offers for educational or recreational shooting activities.” And since Newtown, Weinstein clarified, “we have not changed our policy on offering such deals.”
Here’s another example from the LivingSocial site:
LivingSocial’s stance is especially controversial in light of Groupon’s decision in January to cancel all gun-related deals until further notice. Groupon CEO Andrew Mason was reportedly behind the action. Groupon is LivingSocial’s top competitor in deal-of-the-day online offerings.