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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Anti-Gun Crowd Just Doesn't Get It!

Will liberals ever get it? I really have my doubts.

To most of us owning a gun is a basic right. We understand that God has given us the right to protect our family, our belongings and our nation. Sometimes it takes guns to do that.

That's why The Constitution of The United States of America has language in it, specifically the 2nd Amendment(in the Bill of Rights), to allow private citizens to protect themselves from government tyranny and all foreign and domestic enemies.

But some folks have been wrongly informed or downright lied to about what the gun industry means to America, and why most gun owners strongly support gun ownership.

Many of these uninformed 'whiz kids' think gun owners are a bunch of crazy right wing anti-government survivalist types just waiting for a chance to participate in a coup and overthrow the government!

I received this email from Jim Shepard over at The Shooting Wire.
TSW is a newsletter Mr. Shepard produces a couple times a month about the shooting sports industry and how politics affect our 2nd Amendment rights:

Paranoid? Probably. Pointless? Don't think so.
When we named Barack Obama the gun salesman of the year a few weeks ago, we received what could only be described as a mixed reaction from inside the shooting world. Some thought it was pure PR grandstanding, some thought it appropriate, and others were afraid we were teasing the anti-gun forces when we should be keeping our heads down and our respective mouths shut.

Looking back, we do not regret the decision, but certainly didn't expect the responses we received. Surprisingly, it was better received and taken more seriously outside then industry than in it. "Mainstream" media bombarded us with interview requests. I talked with newspaper and magazine reporters and did radio and TV interviews that made me realize that gun owners are regarded as curiosities by many of my former colleagues.

It became blindingly apparent that these "mainstream" reporters, editors and talk show hosts had absolutely no concept of the depth of the contributions the firearms industry made to local economies, tax revenues and, perhaps most shocking to them all, conservation.

Apparently, they thought the gun business was the exception to all business rules, existing only because of a base of dedicated loonies (that's us) who were living outside society, hoping for an outbreak of martial law or something.

When it came time to talk about the economic value of the firearms industry, it seemed they had never seriously considered the possibility that single-mothers might work for a gun company or gun companies actually employed normal people.

In interviews from California to New York City, when radio hosts were asked if they knew that a voluntary tax on firearms was the majority source of conservation funding, the response was a stunned silence.

They had no idea firearms owners willingly paid to support conservation, or that legitimate gun owners could be schoolteachers, ministers, rabbis, lawyers, doctors or even youths who competed in recognized sporting events.

In other words, we had been effectively marginalized by those who had dictated the terms we used in discussions (they didn't like my use of the phrase "modern rifle" rather than "assault weapon" but agreed it was actually more accurate), defined our image ("you mean you worked for CNN?" was more than one incredulous inquiry), and created a caricature of gun owners that was part clown, part-menace, and always loved to shout "from my cold dead hands."

But a pattern of behavior emerged in each of these conversations. When presented with facts, their positions grudgingly began to change.

When they realized firearms was a billion-dollar industry category that employed real people and made significant - and quantifiable -contributions to conservation and their communities, they realized they had either: 1) been sold a bill of goods by anti-gun groups, or 2) been intellectually lazy in their so-called pursuit of accuracy.

Either way, it was surprising how these interviews turned from rapid-fire deliveries of bad jokes about shooters or accusatory questions to an honest discussion of the financial impact a revitalized "Assault Weapons Ban" would have on a billion-dollar industry. An industry that employed real human beings and did not need a government bailout.

They saw it as an opportunity to have some fun with a gun group and found themselves discussing a business story. In that context, nothing about an AWB made any sense. Neither did holding an industry responsible for the actions of criminals, but that's a conversation for another time.

Meanwhile, it becomes even more apparent that the boom in gun sales is not across the board. Retailers we've contacted are telling us hunting rifles are sitting on the shelves but shotguns have joined high-capacity pistols and modern rifles as hot sellers - especially in the pump-action category that is adaptable to many uses - including home defense.

In Rochester, New Hampshire this week, more layoffs at Thompson/Center Arms. Company owner Smith & Wesson has reportedly furloughed thirty-seven workers and laid off sixy-six others. That's nearly 29 percent of Thompson's full workforce. Combined with the thirty six layoffs last March and eighty more in September, the T/C workforce is down to about fifty percent of what it was a year ago.

Smith & Wesson says the layoffs are in response to the continued low demand for T/C's black-powder hunting rifles.

That low demand in blackpowder may be further reinforced by publisher Grand View Media Group's decision to discontinue its "Blackpowder Guns & Hunting Magazine". We hear Grand View plans to incorporate some of the former title's content into other magazines - if they can obtain the advertising to justify its inclusion.

With cutbacks across the industry in virtually every category except modern/modular rifles and handguns, many retailers and distributors are becoming increasingly nervous about the future.

When you consider that the Republican National Committee's new head, Michael Steele, is quoted in the Examiner as saying "society should draw lines. What do you need an assault weapon for, if you're going hunting? That's overkill. But I don't think that means you go for a total ban for those who want to us a gun for skeet shooting or hunting or things like that. But what's the point of passing gun laws if you're not going to enforce them? If you want to talk about gun control, that's where we need to start…"

Actually, Mr. Steel, your comment makes it obvious that gun owners have once again been hosed by a political party that claimed it was solidly in support of the Second Amendment.

It's high time we judged our "friends" by their actions, not their words.

For example, Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and current Co-Chairs Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) along with current Vice-Chairs Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) have introduced HR 510, a measure that would allow the firearms and ammunition industry to pay the FAET on a quarterly basis, the same payment schedule as every other industry supporting conservation. Currently firearms and ammunition manufacturers must pay the FAET bi-weekly.

They're working to the benefit of the industry.
Thanks, gentlemen.
--Jim Shepherd

Thanks Jim.

If you're a gun owner, you need to contact your representatives and tell them that you support the 2nd Amendment and Gun Rights - NOW!

We can't wait for the other shoe to drop!
The uninformed electorate of our country has elected a Marxist as our President. How long do you think it will take him to sign an executive order or sponsor legislation to come after your guns?

"An armed society is a polite society!"

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