Ed.: 022018 – Words: 1376 – Audio: N/A
Post Introduction –
They should punt. Well sports terms aside, they might want to consider making an effort to promote/support “something” to at least give the appearance of some human empathy toward shooting victims given firearms are their business. That’s certainly a sound strategic business move.
But before any of my readers want to defend the NRA and suggesting that dissing them is “anti-patriotic” or some such nonsense, I must qualify before we go any further here.
- I’ve owned many weapons in my past, from pistols to assault rifles.
- My interest is non-hunting; I target inanimate objects away from populated places.
- I did my own reloads hence I have an understanding of ballistics physics in pursuing the hobby.
- I belonged to a sportsman’s club and did trap shooting.
- I have fired many weapons as a civilian and in the military, including machine guns… assault rifles, and the AK-47 and AR-15.
- I was once a paying member of the NRA.
My past “gun” interests and affiliations are not all that unique to conservatives or liberals who own firearms. So.. given all that above… no need to discredit me to some group with little knowledge, about “You don’t understand the hobby.” Or “You want to destroy our freedoms.” Nonsense. I’ve defended the Constitution and will continue to do so.
Also consider… likely 80% of Congress owns firearms so this debate is NOT a liberal vs. conservative thing at all.
The Gun Manufacturers…
I suppose it would be an interesting comparison to start with how much a typical pistol or even your “average” AR-15, costs to manufacture. From there we might extrapolate a profit margin and then a profit number. But like many product companies manufacturing secrets are kept secret as being proprietary, critical to the business operation. Examples might be Coke’s secret recipe and KFC’s “secret herbs and spices” recipe. Some manufacturing companies might keep their materials secret.. and operational costs. I suppose if a person is an industry insider they will have a good idea of such costs. Doing a casual lookup on the Internet I found nothing to suggest manufacturing costs. Understanding in a limited way business operations I can submit that weapons constructed from a stamping process are generally less expensive that weapons made from cast metals. For example, the AK-47 has a receiver made of stamped metal and is cheaper to make than an AR-15 which has a cast receiver.
This industry in general does manage to benefit from mass shootings. How? Well, consider the current formula that comes with each shooting.
- A shooter kills people.
- The initial public outrage, media attention
- The public demand for future preventive action and the resurgence of anti-gun feelings
- Congress squeaks and squirms about new regulations, maybe even a bill is presented, but generally defeated.
- Gun enthusiasts, thinking some gun legislation is brewing or regulations on assault weapons (or nasty accessories) is on the horizon, make a dash to their local gun store, thus placing an increase in gun sales.
- The manufacturers profit from a mass shooting, and the lack of followup by the public kicks the gun control can down the road until the next mass shooting.
- After the funerals.. the finicky public moves on and lets the event fade to a statistic.
But all that aside… we can likely make an educated guess that the major gun makers are not loosing money by any means, in public gun products, simply because of volume and public demand. Honestly, being legitimate businesses, they do add to the nations GNP.. and they provide jobs and economic security to thousands of people. Of course one can certainly debate the morality of their product in public society, we’d not be the most powerful nation on the planet if they didn’t exist to make weapons for the government for military and law enforcement use.
But their products are being used to kill our children and loved ones, and that inflames us, as it damn well should. Yet that industry exists as a by-product of the Second Amendment, supplying the market demand allowed as a freedom of our democracy; capitalism pure and simple. Again.. having stated all this… we have 17 children and adults dead as a result of the use of this product. What’s left to keep society safe from how these products are used? We will get to that.
The NRA; National Rifle Association…
Simply put it’s an interest group, not unlike the AARP for retired folks. As an interest group they also serve as lobbyists to Congress to make sure legislation favors those in that interest group. Their revenue, at least on the surface, is from memberships and advertising from their various gun publications. Likely there are other sources.. brand licensing, media sponsorships.. but in the end the sheer numbers of members provides a healthy “war chest” of cash for political contributions to members of Congress in order to help influence support or non-support of gun legislation. All this is not illegal.
[NOTE: My personal “jury” is still out on the concept of lobbyists in general in spite of the fact that they have been part of the American political scene almost for as long as the Constitution itself. Given the “cleaning up” of that process over the decades, as with campaign contributions in general, it still seems somehow bribery-complicit when their leverage with any elected official is, “Help our cause and we will “donate” to your re-election campaign (the PAC) so you can get elected.” Still sounds like a bribe to me.]
These folks really need to clean up their public relations in order to make some attempt to stay on the public’s good side (and remain profitable) because there will come a point in time where the public could get so fed up that indeed some future Congress may want to tweak the Second Amendment. In the least, if these two business entities don’t make some attempt to jump on board with some regulation AND the effort for a national mental health program, they could very easily end up with some regulations that affect profitability more than they wish.
Quite obviously some regulation is necessary; regulation to the point where it doesn’t infringe on the guaranteed rights of all Americans. What we should NOT care about are speculations, suppositions, the inferences of false intentions, the suspicions of imagined conspiracies that are assigned only to perpetuate fear of losing a Constitutional right when that was never a risk and is not a risk, thanks to our system of checks & balances.
Rather than do a common sense business thing of presenting a positive brand identification to the public to sell the product, this industry has chosen to foster fear and create a political divide along the lines of suggesting the only two choices for America are either accepting murder as a price of freedom…. or the Bill of Rights mean nothing to you, hence demonstrating that you are some level of anti-American.
As a postscript to the above… my business and social responsibility recommendations above are based on my own experience in the business world and entrepreneurship. The fact is, many of the gun manufacturers have been around for over a hundred years and that could be an indication that their business ethics, policies, programs, and strategies seem to have been working this far in keeping them in business (maybe in spite of what they chose to do or not)… so what do I know.
On the other hand…. the catalog mail order industry had been around for over a hundred years in America, with retail greats like Montgomery Wards, JC Penny, Sears, etc… and along came the internet and those companies are gone or dying. Point being…. nothing in merchandising lasts forever unless you can adapt your methods.. The public WILL get fed up with guns at some point. When they reach that point gun manufacturers and right wing Americans may just need to fear the Second Amendment not staying in its current form.