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Lawmakers Call for Stricter Gun Control Even As They Subsidize Gun Industry

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By Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. You can follow him at http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller

One of the consequences of the tragedy at Sandy Hook is an ardent debate over gun control laws all over the country. In Massachusetts, for instance, which has an assault weapons ban, Governor Deval Patrick, along with members of the legislature, is now trying to figure out how to close gun loopholes. Rep. David Linsky says he wants to go over “every single line, every single comma of our gun laws” to prevent ownership of the kinds of gun used in Connecticut. These debates are interesting mostly for what they leave out – the economics of the gun industry itself and its subsidization by the state through various tax credits, direct spending, and legal forbearance.

Smith & Wesson, one of the largest gun makers in the country, is headquartered in Springfield, MA. According to the company’s 2012 annual investment report to the SEC (10-k), Smith & Wesson received a large multi-million dollar tax credit from the state that started in 2010 and will continue until 2017. This tax credit, of $6.0 million, brought a maximum of 225 jobs to the state, or roughly twenty seven thousand dollars of taxpayer money per job, and was awarded by an obscure committee called “the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.” That amount works out to a little less than $1 per person in Massachusetts, money that goes straight to Smith & Wesson’s bottom line. Most Massachusetts residents don’t know their legislators and Governor have donated a dollar in their name to Smith & Wesson through job creation tax credits. Regardless of their views on gun control, I’m guessing Massachusetts taxpayers probably don’t favor subsidization of the industry at such a rich rate.

At the same time as Smith & Wesson receives such bounty from the state, the gunmaker has given over $1 million to the National Rifle Association (NRA), the biggest lobbying group for guns. This means that the state of Massachusetts, while considering further regulations on gun purchases, is at the same time indirectly funding the gun lobby. To actually reduce the number of guns on the streets, Linsky, and many of our state and Federal officials, could start by ending the subsidization of gun makers through tax credits and security funds.

Subsidization goes well beyond tax credits like this. According to Smith and Wesson’s investor documents, gun sales growth is driven by two factors. One is security spending by law enforcement. The other is media-stoked fear of the political process driving consumer purchases. Or, as the company put it, ”speculation surrounding increased gun control and heightened fears of terrorism and crime can affect consumer demand for our products.” In the 1990s, Bill Clinton was considered “gun salesman of the year” by gun culture magazines, and gun makers were licking their chops in anticipation of Obama’s Presidency. In 2009, according to CNN, gun makers were a hot investment.

The election of President Barack Obama brought worries of new gun regulations, and the country’s growing economic malaise led talk radio to whisper of coming food shortages and unchecked crime. Such concerns engineered a surprising surge in gun and ammo sales, a trend Smith & Wesson CEO Michael Golden called “pretty exciting.”

Smith & Wesson’s 2012 annual report to the SEC (10-k) lays out how consumer demand works. “There was a substantial increase in sales in the early 1990s during the period leading up to and shortly after the enactment of the Brady Bill,” and then handgun sales increased by 50% from 1992-1994 due to “the fear of prohibition of handgun ownership.” Gun sales dropped back to pre-1992 levels until “late in calendar 2008, when sales increased in what appears to be fears surrounding crime and terrorism, an economic downturn, and a change in the White House administration.”

But it goes beyond that. State subsidization of the gun industry is extensive. In an article published in 2009, the Christian Science Monitor noted that the “surprise winner” of the 2009 stimulus package was the gun industry. As journalist Patrik Jonsson wrote, “Police departments are using some of the stimulus money to arm up, helping to make Obama ‘gun salesman of the century.” Consumer sales in 2009 were up 29%, a remarkable amount due to intense fear among consumers. Even so, law enforcement spending on guns jumped even more, by 32%. Gun purchases by government were apparently shovel-ready, as the expression goes.

Smith & Wesson, unlike a lot of American corporations, still makes products in America, specifically, in Springfield, Massachusetts. One doesn’t typically think about Massachusetts as a center of the gun industry, or of the seat of opposition to gun control laws, but that’s because the frame of the debate is social, not economic. When Smith & Wesson shut down a smaller manufacturing plant in New Hampshire in 2011, it moved 225 jobs from that state to its much larger plant in Springfield, MA. This was partially due to economic efficiencies implied in consolidating the plant, but also due to state subsidy mentioned above. So far, $4.4 million of the tax credit has been doled out. And the program is considered a success. Even as the Governor discusses new gun control legislation, local business development officers are bragging about bringing new jobs making these weapons to Western Massachusetts, with taxpayer money.

There’s more. It won’t surprise you that the gun industry is pretty dirty. Back in 2010, about the time Massachusetts was deciding to grant the company a $6 million subsidy, the VP of sales for Smith & Wesson was indicted for attempting to ”bribe the representative of an African country that was taking bids for a $15 million deal to outfit that country’s presidential guard.” The representative, it turns out, was an undercover FBI officer. Bribing a foreign official is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that Department of Justice criminal chief Lanny Breuer has bragged about enforcing vigorously. The SEC commenced an investigation as well. Yet, just two years after indicting, “22 individuals from the law enforcement and military equipment industries, one of whom was our former Vice President-Sales, International & U.S. Law Enforcement,” the DOJ “filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice the indictments of the remaining defendants who are pending trial, including our former Vice President-Sales, International & U.S. Law Enforcement.” This is potentially legal forbearance, where lax enforcement of laws could be considered another type of subsidy. It would be consistent with the economic aid going to this company, and the corporate world in general, in other areas.

This is simply one example of one gunmaker getting subsidized under various schemes, at the state and Federal level. The use of Federal stimulus funds to increase the profitability of gun makers is a significant policy consequence, as is the public policy choice of giving away taxpayer money to attract jobs building controversial weapons.  Fortunately, there can now be a debate that goes beyond the question of mild measures to ban specific types of weapons, to the economics of the gun industry itself. After all, the council that awarded taxpayer money to gunmaker Smith & Wesson serves ”at the pleasure of the Governor.” If Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick wanted to make a statement about gun control that went to the root cause, he could simply ask his council to attach rules on disbursed government funds to restrict them to companies that do not manufacture weapons. And if local and state officials, or think tanks, or concerned citizens, want to make a difference, they can uncover more taxpayer subsidies going to the gun industry.

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54 comments

  1. steve from virginia

    Credit subsidizes all industries, the gun manufacturers are no different.

    At the end of 2012, the primary credit provider in the US is the Federal Reserve. Credit flows from the bank through the commercial banking transmission mechanism to consumers and thence to the manufacturer. Smith and Wesson is borrowing against the accounts of both its customers and the national account. The state and local government(s) must themselves borrow to manage the consequences of the government’s prior lending to the firearm industry.

    Right hand, meet left hand!

    Ditto other industries: government/public lends to the auto industry to support it and its waste of fuel, it must also lend to local communities … so that they might scrape the auto customers off the highway surfaces with spatulas and shovels and wheel broken survivors to hospitals.

  2. Dan

    Hi Matt,
    David Linsky is my representative. I sent a note with this link included. Many of us have concentrated on the national aspects of issues, and forget that these same issues play out in a variety of ways in our own home states. Thanks for the headsup.

    Dan
    Angry Bear

      1. nonclassical

        interesting stat-for every home WITH guns, broken into and intruder shot up, there are another 43 homes where gun violence is perpetrated on a non-intruder…a spouse, child, parent, innocent bystander, or gun taken from owner-homeowner shot…

  3. Dan Lynch

    Almost all industries receive state and local tax credits for agreeing to locate the industry in a particular place.

    No doubt much DOD/DHS/stimulus was/is spent on weaponry, but that’s not a subsidy, it’s a purchase. Would you rather the government buy from Israel or Russia or North Korea, instead ? The real issue is the police/military state, not the vendors who supply the police/military state.

    Not mentioned is how gun owners pay a hefty 10% – 11% Federal Excise Tax on the purchase of guns and ammo, in addition to state and local sales tax. Far from being subsidized, gun owners are heavily taxed.

    1. Matt Stoller Post author

      So you’re saying that things are the way they are therefore they are the way they are. Good point.

      1. Kenneth Thomas

        Matt, I have researched subsidies for 20 years and written two books about them. This is very typical, and wasteful, giving subsidies to a company to relocate production.

        You can see all the state and local subsidies Smith & Wesson has received using the Subsidy Tracker tool at the Good Jobs First webstite. The company has received local tax breaks in Springfield. Here is the company’s page: http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/subsidy-tracker/search-results?field_subsidy_company_value_op=starts&field_subsidy_company_value=Smith+%26+Wesson&field_subsidy_value_new_value_op=%3E&field_subsidy_value_new_valuevalue=&field_subsidy_type_value_many_to_one=All&date_filtervalueyear=&field_subsidy_state_value_many_to_one=All&field_subsidy_program_value=&field_subsidy_agency_value=&field_subsidy_city_value=&field_subsidy_county_value=

        It certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented to restrict subsidies from going to a particular industry. Missouri restricted cities from using tax increment financing, the most commonly used local subsidy tool in the country, from going to casinos after the city of St. Charles used a TIF for what was then the Station Casino St. Charles.

        Best,
        Kenneth Thomas
        (Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-St. Louis, blogger at Middle Class Political Economist and Angry Bear)

    2. too chicken for SYSTEMA, ka-ching!

      Lynch is right. This is one tax they will pay and pay. If smokers will pay nine, ten bucks a pack, we can certainly jack up the price of a Glock by by a thou. Fix the deficit off these bedwetters’ fear of strapping negroes.

      1. Phil Kaminski

        Strapping Negros, you mean hood niggers on vouchers, yea, the wrecked this area once Chicago closed down its Felon Producing CHA Niggerplexes. Bring on the niggers I got lots of ammo for those Thugs!

      2. Phil Kaminski

        You see, they will steal the white women that I hope to date someday with their outsized masculine members and their kinaesthetic abilities and their sense of style, unless I shoot them.

        1. abprosper

          You don’t get to use punitive taxation on an individual right, sorry. And yes it is a right (D.C vs Heller 2008)

          As for the insurance idea, I’d be fine with such a tax if and only if accurate, non biased reliable data was used.

          This means if we find that say the Kleck study is accurate, no taxes at all are allowed. Heck logically if we find having guns saves money they should be subsidized !

          I do not believe that getting such data is possible nor can any methodology be agreed upon.

          Why i think that? Let me give you and example of a cold equation.

          Most of the people shot and killed (up to 75%) are criminals, gang members and drug dealers mostly who prey on society and are shot by their fellows .

          The other 25% of them are more mixed, many done in by their own stupidity

          How do we weight those lives, the lives of people they touch in a positive way and the lives of people they hurt?

          Ignore the money here (they are mostly poor) ignore race (not relevant anyway) , just count behavior.

          Let me use Wikipedia first

          People with a criminal record were also more likely to die as homicide victims. Between 1990 and 1994, 75% of all homicide victims age 21 and younger in the city of Boston had a prior criminal record.[36] In Philadelphia, the percentage of those killed in gun homicides that had prior criminal records increased from 73% in 1985 to 93% in 1996.[12][37] In Richmond, Virginia, the risk of gunshot injury is 22 times higher for those males involved with crime.[38]

          We really can’t measure the real costs in these cases and thats the vast bulk of them.

          . Some innocent kids killed in a school, easy. They are a huge loss. Some drug dealer killed in a deal wrong not so much.

          Unless we can find a way to handle this paradox, any policy prescription is moot, In fact it becomes collective punishment of law abiding people (the vast bulk of gun owners) for the benefit of crooks and bad guys.

          Worse because the vast bulk of these guys are not White it becomes racial. Ugh.

          Its far better to find smarter solutions.

  4. Susan the other

    Well let’s just give the gun industry all the subsidies they want with one condition. That the manufacture of guns must be restricted by law, and strictly enforced by the DEA, to guns, or any other weapons, than can only fire backwards. Call it the Julian Jaynes solution, guaranteed to fix your euphoric paranoia and self pity but fast.

    1. nonclassical

      ..some of us have been recommending for years to our gun owner fanatic co-workers, that they are not truly fully armed, with PND…that all the same “rationale” applies to much more effective weaponry….that they won’t even have to learn new propaganda…(PND=personal nuclear device)…take the whole block with you…

  5. Dave of Maryland

    We will all dick around and talk about this until the next big massacre. Why not a large, permanent candlelight vigil outside the plant itself? Wave the bloody rag. Or outside the homes of the CEO of company?

  6. craazyman

    Not only that but Smith & Wesson guns are ugly as sh*t. How can anybody be a gun nut when the gun is a butt-ugly metal death machine? Any normal person would want to hide these away in a drawer under long johns, it seems to me, or keep someplace in a dark garage behind the lawn chairs and gardening tools.

    Winchester Repeating Arms Company, on the other hand, still knows how to make a firearm that a man can show off. They still make the wood-stock lever action 30-30 that was the cowboy’s saddle gun in TV westerns and probably in “Bonanza” too, maybe even in Sergio Leone’s Clint Eastwood films like Pale Rider. Even after 100 years, it’s a timeless piece of sculpture.

    Nobody shoots up a school or commits a crime with a Winchester 30-30 — it’s purely a machine for range work and horse trips in the back country — and if you put it in the gun rack above the fireplace it actually competes with the fire for visual appeal. You can fondle your gun while drinking whiskey and never have a violent thought, just the reverie of plinking cans and bottles off a fence post from 40 yards. If you’re a gun nut and can’t drill a beer can dead center at 40 yards, you’re a hoax. They’re giving tax breaks to hoaxers who think that just holding their gun makes them a rifleman.

    1. run75441

      crazy:

      I though Naked Capitalism was a family place? I am sorry we are going to have to rate your post “17 and above reading” for the innuendoes in it. :)

      My fear has always been to get caught in a cross fire of good guys and bad guys.

  7. charles sereno

    “Gun purchases by government were apparently shovel-ready, as the expression goes.” (Matt Stoller)
    I’m damn slow but I got it! Guvmint is now subsidizing the Grave-digging Association.

  8. Sam

    Within the GOP, we have Right to Lifers “protecting the rights of the unborn.” We also have gun nuts and 6 year olds as dead as if Al Qaeda gunned them down. *rolls eyes* Does the GOP ever tell Karl Rove how nuts his wedge issues look?

  9. abprosper

    I am in favor of eliminating nearly all gun laws, not a popular opinion on this blog but one based in the letter and intent of the Constitution and the writings of the Founding Fathers , shall not be infringed meaning just that.

    That being said, subsidizing the gun industry is stupid.

    1. Charles LeSeau

      I agree, but for different reasons. I’m not beholden to the constitution as some holy relic and I’m certainly not a gun freako, but I always wince when after one of these mass shootings the question immediately goes to gun control rather than what the hell has happened to American society that makes this sort of thing now a genuine epidemic – the question that needs to be hammered home immediately now that we all know the next one of these things is just around the corner.

      There were always guns in America, and for the last century semiautomatic ones too. But there weren’t always rampage shootings – and we seem to be the only country in the world to have this as a now regular part of our cultural tapestry. I read Ames’s book on the subject and he attributed a lot of it to the post-Reagan world and its quiet brutality, plus America’s bully environments from school to the workplace, then Ames compared it to slave revolts of times past. It seems to me at least he’s asking the right questions, but I don’t see too many others.

      1. abprosper

        I do not disagree. I think the US is a very sick society. I also do not think its the Left that will fix it, I’ll go as far as to say economically its the Right but culturally its the Left that are at fault in a broad sense.

        The sad thing is there is no political solution. We can’t (not don’t, can’t) trust each other enough to work together, We can’t even understand each other.

        Sometimes I feel like one of the few people who speaks Liberal and Conservative both, I tend Reactionary Right but at least I get where the Left is at. I can’t say that for many of my fellows and I can’t say that for people on the Left either.

        We need people who understand, can find the real middle ground on issues and can avoid the topics (guns, abortion mostly) where there is no middle. That way we can steer this ship of state on some kind of useful course.

        Those folk however are thin on the ground and I fear a greater spread of tribal warfare (something we already have in California to a degree)

        1. Michael

          Oh yes, please save us, he who happens to be in the middle of some artificially shaped spectrum. Yes, what we need is more sensible people who draw their own lines, or use the ones readymade by the handlers of those who lack critical thinking, and then plot themselves right in the middle.

          1. abprosper

            all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll whisper “no.”

            Who said I wanted to save anyone or was unbiased? i sure didn’t.

            I did say I can see both points and would like leaders to do the same but like anyone I have a clear bias. Mine is Reactionary Right on most issues so that renders me null and void for a good chunk of the population

            However we are reaching a point where communication between any faction is impossible, trust is a forgone conclusion (and unwise) and a basic sense of us in the US is just not there.

            If we are going to stay an intact Republic is it to much to ask for leadership from everybody, heck anybody, somebody ?

            Leading like we do by ad-hoc sort of majority or mob rule is exactly what the founders wisely feared. Democracy is awful.

  10. Ed

    What a cruel irony that those who are such staunch opponents of the American ruling class oligarchy in its’ financial depredations are so ready to surrender the gun rights of American citizens to that same oligarchy. How do you spell unwitting tool?

    1. Yves Smith

      The oligarchy has already executed what Simon Johnson called a quiet coup in 2009. You gun enthusiasts did nothing about it and continue to do nothing about it. So please don’t pretend you and your buddies are an effective counter to the 0.1% and their hired help and enablers. It’s an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has a passing acquaintance with the news.

      1. Buck Lucky

        The cable TV is still on, beer is still cheap and the ole Visa card is still good for a few fun credits so why would the gun-owning masses who don’t know a CDO from a CFO be ready to start a bloody war against an enemy they do not know or understand? Last time I checked Wall Street villians weren’t crashing through anybody’s windows in the middle of the night snatching babies and raping women. If they were they would already be dead, in this country anyway. A well-armed population cannot be fully subjugated without disarming them first. This is military history and tactics 101.

        Naked Capitalism has been at war against the financial crime syndicate since 2006 (?) and yet it grows stronger and more evil by the day so perhaps the pen isn’t any mightier than the sword and the contributors here should surrender their first ammendment rights since free speech in this country has been compromised and its not all that effective anyway?

        Now that’s not the way I feel, and I greatly admire what you do here day in and day out, “unwitting tool” was certainly way out of line, but is there not just a wee-tiny little room for dissent from the official Naked Capitalism anti-gun polemic? Suddenly it’s like anyone around here who may want to pause before totally scraping the second amendment is an enemy combatant. It reminds me of the irrational prejudice right-wingers harbor against “muslims”. I agree America’s gun laws are in need of an overhaul, but surely there is still room for some civility and debate on this topic.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Have you given consideration to the idea of actually responding to Yves’s point? You need to figure out whether gun [nuts|advocates|owners] are noble defenders of the Repubic or teebee-addled sots. Which is it?

          1. abprosper

            Gun people (not gun owners per say) who care are not politically monolithic except (mostly) on the gun issue. Some of them are even far to the Left of Yves.

            As such you can’t call on “them” to support X or Y cause as there is no “them” only some people.

            So what Cris said is perfectly true for some, other support the Oligarchs and some (most) just want to be left alone.

            How such a thing could play out is, well complex.

          2. Buck Lucky

            I thought I did respond, and no I don’t need to decide anything regarding the character of gun owners. Who says gun owners are an easily classifiable homogenous block? I thought that kind of binary thinking was supposed to be anathema to Naked Capitalism. I think most gun owners only aspire to protect home and hearth although I can’t pretend to speak for even one gun owner since I don’t have one myself. I know many people who do own guns and there’s not a single generalization I can make except they are Americans. Gun owners are all races, creeds, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Attempting to group them all together as paranoid, inbreed, right-wing hillbillies is lazy and wrong. My sister is a political “liberal”, she is an animal lover and vegetarian, she holds a masters degree, she is the mother of a darling six-year old girl, she is a kindergarten teacher and she just so happens to be a gun owner. If Adam Lanza would have walked into her classroom I have no doubt she would glady given her life to protect her class and she would have been the subject of a thousand media eulogies. She reluctantly purchased a gun so she wouldn’t feel helpless to defend herself and her child when her husband wasn’t around. As a public school teacher making south of 30k a year she can’t really afford to live in a gated community with full-time security. Anyone who thinks they have a right to feel morally or intellectually superior to her just because she exercises her constitutionally protected right to own a firearm where others may not is a real asshole in my opinion.

            Opinions and assholes are two things that have a lot in common as the saying goes, so in my humble opinion, a little tolerance is in line when discussing emotional wedge-issues like gun-control and abortion. Is that clear enough?

          3. Yves Smith

            1. I see no evidence that gun owners or even a meaningful subset of gun owners have either the inclination or interest in acting in a group. Individuals standing up against the powers that be will get all of nowhere. And I strongly suspect even groups of gun owners greatly overestimate the efficacy of their weapons. The cops can use tear gas, smoke bombs, sound weapons, attack at night behind blinding lights (so they can see you like sitting ducks but you can’t see them behind the light perimeter), send in helicopter gunships, etc. And i’m not even up on the full array of their toys.

            The Branch Davidians at Waco were heavily armed. Lotta good that did them. And that was 1993. The weaponry advantage of the officialdom has widened greatly since then.

            2. Any coordinated action requires communication. How far do you think you and your wannabe revolutionaries will get in our surveillance state? Answer: not very.

            This fantasy of armed citizens uprising successfully is at least a decade too late.

          4. Lambert Strether

            @Buck Lucky

            Gun [nuts|advocates|owners] collectively are certainly well-coodinated enuogh to pay dues to, and determine the direction of, one of the most powerful and effective lobbies in the United States: The Mational Rifle Association. It’s hard for me to imagine a better test of being “monolithic” than that.

            As for wedge issues, it’s not the slaughtered kids that get me, at least not any more than Obama’s slaughtered kids. It’s the bullsh*t, the noble indidividual defender of the Republic perhaps being the most offensive one. That particular card keeps getting played over and over again, in at least as “monolithic” fashion as, say, an Obama supporter saying “give him another six months.”

            So shoot me.

        2. nonclassical

          …somebody missed the stat whereby for every intruder shot intruding a home, there are 43 home shootings having nothing to do with “intruder”…

      2. Ed

        You and your blog didn’t stop anything either, Yves. Why don’t you give up the 1st Amendment?

        Clearly, you are not thinking clearly.

        1. citalopram

          Her and her blog aren’t shooting school children either. The mere presense of this blog isn’t allowing any deranged psycho to kill others. The sheer number of guns out there is a problem. More blogs like this are not. Apples and oranges.

          1. Ed

            Don’t think that speech is so clean; it has caused injury or death to untold numbers of people throughout human history. And yet we defend free speech as a right, not so that it can be put to some inane use, but as a tool to resist oppression.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      Ed, you must have an armed cell of resistance fighters well stocked, all legally of course. It must be terrible to think what could happen to our country when the revolution comes. Just look at Syria. The police state requires licensing for guns and ammunition, and just look at how the state is crushing the unarmed people of Syria. I just wonder, when the revolution came to Syria, how did the police wind up losing so much territory to its unarmed populace? Hmm, I mean, legally of course, you could not get a gun or ammo without going to the blood thirsty madman and all out dictator of the terrible and awful police state for a license. How do people in the course of civil war get arms? oh well, it is just another mystery of life.

      See footnote link below on Syrian gun laws.

      Like the mystery of the NRA selling guns for profits, like drug dealers, except, perfectly legal of course. And, no one can keep track of the guns, the ammo or stop their proliferation no matter how many tens of thousands of Americans are murdered and no matter how many hundreds of thousands are shot and maimed, every year. The business of America is business, and guns and ammo manufacturing is one of the last small businesses of mom and pop middle class shop owners. More gun shops than McDonalds. More than supermarkets. It is a widely decentralized business, that large and small retailers all make a buck off of. It’s just business. And any fool that thinks his hand gun or AR-15 will stop the US Military from taking him down hasn’t watched the videos leaked by Wiki showing a helicopter gun ship wiping out over a dozen men in a war torn Iraqi neighborhood. If they do wage war against us, it won’t be stopped with pop guns from gun stores.

      http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/compare/179/gun_owner_licensing/192

  11. abprosper

    Yves, I agree somewhat on the cooperation issue somewhat but its not a numbers game as much as a will and guts game. I do not know if there are enough people with the traits but if there are, look out.

    If 19 guys with box-cutters can gravelly wound the world economy in 2001 or 15 guys with light weapons take out 7% of the entire Marine aviation in a super heavily guarded fort (Camp Bastion in Afghanistan) lots of guys right here many with military experience and technical skills (and some moles too) can do a lot worse.

    Now this blog is about money not sedition for idiots so I’ll go no farther but the militias are not as stupid as you think.

    It would be unwise to underestimate them.They might lose, probably would but they can inflict a heavy blow one that might not be recoverable before they go down.

  12. Swaggering_Fascist

    I see lots of name calling here (i.e. gun owners are teebee addled sots – a new insult I can add to my catalogue!). We can do better, yes?

    One of the heroes of the fight against the financial industry’s rape of taxpayers, Alan Grayson, co-sponsored H.R.197 & S.845, a bill that would have the federal government imposing reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders:

    “Establishes a national standard for the carrying of concealed firearms (other than a machinegun or destructive device) by non-residents. Authorizes a person who has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state and who is not prohibited from carrying a firearm under federal law to carry a concealed firearm in another state…”

    BTW, Matt Stoller worked for Grayson on capitol hill.

    This does not reflect poorly on Grayson or Stoller. It should, however, cause the name callers to stop and think and maybe even debate the gun issue on the merits.

  13. rob

    Our “lawmakers”,are duplicitous a-holes.who cares what they are “calling for”.
    My opinion is that gun laws are a non-issue.This is akin to abortion,or drug laws. These are precisely the things that confuse the issues.These things really don’t matter in the aggregate.
    media consolidation,political funding,the police state,banking and money creation, energy, health care, illegal wars, and foreign occupations.corporate control of our lives.these are important.I don’t care what clothes you wear,or if you have a gun.These are not real issues.
    And the real thing that needs doing is for an occupy wall street type of civil patrol to go and make “citizens” arrests of people in finance,gov’t,national security,healthcare,energy,and local political life.Armed with the actual line and verse of laws being violated, and deliver them to the courts.And if the judges fail to act, we ought to arrest them too.
    and of course, the only way to do this is non-violently.for the reality is, violence gives the police state the excuse to ramp up. Look at the bader-meinhoff. they were absolutely right, but turned europe into a police state.armed insurrection begets armed response and law enforcement and suspension of posse commitatus. It would be less than futile,we would be worse off. You all know there are pleenty of “patriots” out there who are just waiting to bash some heads.
    So YVES, we need from you what you are doing. Spell out the grievences against us. And damn if we don’t need to mass ourselves and take these corrupt minions,out of their ivory towers.That is what we need. not holding my breath,but I am waiting.

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