The firearm community consists of two primary groups: The gun owners and the gun manufacturers and sellers. The firearm industry provides the goods and services we all need in order to enjoy our Second Amendment rights.
Going after gun owners is, typically, a losing strategy for anti-gunners. It doesn’t take much to show that gun owners are law-abiding folks and that if we were all dangerous, with over 400 million guns in private hands, violent crime would be much worse.
So, they’ve long gone after gun stores, but they haven’t exactly left gun manufacturers alone.
In fact, a recent op-ed tries to blame them for a whole lot.
We often talk about where and how weapons are purchased — but rarely where and how they are manufactured. These realities challenge the conventional way we talk about guns in terms of a “culture war” between red and blue states.
For example, the blue states of Massachusetts and Connecticut have some of the strictest regulations on firearms carrying and possession. But they are also major sites of gun manufacturing in this country. The weapons used in the 2018 Parkland shooting, for example, were manufactured by Smith and Wesson, a gun manufacturer based in Massachusetts.
The deeper and bigger point is that the U.S. is the world’s principal supplier of weapons.
The U.S. weapons industry makes both heavy weapons like military aircraft, bombs, and missiles, and small arms like rifles and handguns. As of 2021, over 40 percent of the world’s exported arms came from the United States — many of them manufactured in deep blue states.
Blue states with strict gun laws often suffer gun violence when weapons are trafficked in from red states with looser gun laws. Similarly, many countries surrounding the U.S. with high rates of gun violence, like Mexico, obtain guns both legally and illegally from this country.
With no system to effectively control and track who ends up with those guns, these weapons are often obtained by military units or police that have committed human rights abuses or who work with criminal groups.
In other words, literally every sin ever committed with a gun rests on the gun manufacturers’ heads.
However, I’m going to clue the writers–there are two of them, so they’re clearly twice as ignorant–on a few facts about how gun distribution works in this country.
First, let’s talk about domestic gun sales.
The gun manufacturer builds a given firearm and then sells it. It’s true that, in theory, anyone can buy that gun and have it shipped to pretty much any city in the nation…to a point.
The weapon needs to first be legal in that state, for one thing. An AR-15 that’s legal in Georgia isn’t legal in Massachusetts, so local laws need to be obeyed.
Second, that gun must go to someone with the proper licensing. Since most people don’t have an FFL, they are generally shipped to a gun store, which then conducts all the required background checks and whatnot. As such, the gun manufacturer can ship it out trusting that everything required will be done.
Yet after it leaves the store, they have absolutely no control over what happens. That customer could have the gun stolen or he could just hand it off to someone else. They have no say.
Then the writers talk about atrocities abroad as if companies like Colt are to blame.
Except, those companies can’t just export guns because someone cut them a check. Due to federal law, weapons exports must be approved by the State Department. Again, Colt can’t ship a bunch of M-4s somewhere just because they want to. They need government approval to do so lawfully.
Once they’re sent, the gun manufacturers are, once again, powerless to do anything about what happens with those weapons.
See, our intrepid authors are convinced that these gun makers are the scum of the Earth, but they can’t seem to grok that they’re ruled by numerous regulations other industries simply don’t have to deal with. They couldn’t be the merchants of death they’re painted as even if they wanted.
Frankly, these two should be embarrassed by what they wrote and the publication that printed it should be embarrassed as well. What we have here is a screed dictated by ignorance with a few links thrown it to make it look like they did their research.
They should actually try doing some next time.