"The truth is that the gun culture changed first, and then the gun culture changed the industry. The industry did not change the gun culture. When is the left going to recognize that this is a movement composed of millions of actual people? Thinking people. People who are often smarter than the journalists who write this crap."
Absolutely! Industry is reactionary. That's the very nature of capitalism. The gun industry didn't decide to go "hey, lets start pumping out millions of these AR-15 dohickey's and then try and make people want to buy them." No, they responded to demand, and like Sebastian points out many in the industry were very resistant to the change. (Zumbo anyone?!) I am not the least bit surprised that leftists would fail to understand this, because hey, they're leftists.
As for Sebastian's question, I'm not sure they ever will. Leftists are in such deep denial about such a great number of things that I honestly don't think they will recognize it. They hate us. They want us marginalized. We are freedom loving people with guns, and thus we are like very real boogeymen in the closet that they don't want to recognize are actually there.
They live in a completely different reality than us and they think in a completely different way. Instead of being smarter than the journalists who write this crap, they lap that crap up and regurgitate it without thinking, and they continue to do so even after being informed of the facts.
See the whole NRA = Gun Lobby as an example. These folks are Sad But Predictable, and recognizing that the NRA is a civil rights organization that would not exist if not for the millions of American men and women who pay them voluntarily would burst their ideological bubble, and so they live in denial. This is of course their natural state.
The Left can't even recognize that there IS a vibrant gun culture comprised of a melting pot of normal, everyday people from all walks of life, nor can they separate this from the "thug culture" that is the root of our violent crime problems.
Also, I don't think we can overlook the driving force behind exactly why the AR-15 became so popular. Its immense popularity came about because a bunch of leftists told us we couldn't have them. We may have elected Obama, but this is still a country in which many, many people are inclined to say "Fuck You!" to the government when they tell us what we aren't allowed to own.
The AR-15 is my only modern long gun, and my first rifle. I bought it for one reason. Because of bunch of smarmy assholes told me I shouldn't be "allowed" to own one.