STUMP » Articles » Banning All Things Gun: It's a Poor Weapon That Points Only One Way » 10 May 2018, 06:48

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Banning All Things Gun: It's a Poor Weapon That Points Only One Way  


10 May 2018, 06:48

There have been weapons in the past that were pointed in only one way (fixed guns/cannons in times of yore); it would cut off approach from a specific direction, but that just meant people were likely to come from the rear. Alas, unlike details about public pensions, I cannot name any specific battle this occurred in… but one very famous example of the opposite is the Parthian shot.

By Original photo by User:PHGCOM, contoured by myself पाटलिपुत्र (talk) – Derived from:, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Famously used by Parthian horseback warriors, who could use a weapon going in the same direction as the horses… but their special maneuver was being able to twist backwards and shoot behind as their horses retreated. It takes a lot of skill.

But to point a gun in various directions? Not quite as difficult.

And those on the “let’s ban guns!” bandwagon are learning that they can be banned in turn.


Dick’s Sporting Goods Hired Three Gun Control Lobbyists In April

Dick’s Sporting Goods, which announced in February it would no longer sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21, hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby Congress for gun control, according to federal records reviewed by The Federalist.

The lobbying records show Dick’s hired two Democrats and one Republican from Glover Park Group, a DC-based government affairs firm, for “[l]obbying related to gun control.” No other policy issues were listed in the disclosure form filed by the firm. The disclosure forms show Dick’s pro-gun control lobbying effort began official on April 27, 2018. The official registration form noting Dick’s retention of Glover to push for gun control was filed on Monday morning.

What, exactly, is Dick’s business?

Why does a sporting goods store that has decided to limit its gun sales (and all the bad PR is likely limiting the amount of gun sales at Dick’s anyway) need to lobby for gun control laws?

I looked up Dick’s stock price for the past 5 years… if I were a shareholder in Dick’s, I might ask them what the hell they’re doing.

Dick’s stock price has dropped quite a bit since its peak in 2016. FOR SOME REASON, it seems their stock has done a huge dive since then.

I mean, that’s one theory. But trying to destroy a market you don’t want to play in… I’m not seeing that as a growth strategy.

Here is prior lobbying on the part of Dick’s:

Prior to retaining Glover Park Group to push for gun control, Dick’s Sporting Goods retained the services of CSA Strategies LLC, which pushed for issues such as tax reform, cybersecurity, and patent litigation reform on behalf of Dick’s during the four-year relationship between the two companies. Both firms are headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

That makes a hell of a lot more sense from a business strategy point-of-view. Shareholders – you may want to task the management what the hell they’re doing with your investment.


For instance, in direct reaction to Dick’s own stances, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) dropped Dick’s:

from the press release:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, Board of Governors today unanimously voted to expel Dick’s Sporting Goods from membership for conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation.

Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired a Washington D.C.-based government affairs firm, for “[l]obbying related to gun control.” Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward W. Stack announced earlier this year the Field and Stream stores in the retail chain would end sales of modern sporting rifles, voluntarily raise the age to 21 to purchase firearms in their stores and called for more restrictive legislation. Dick’s later announced they would destroy the remaining modern sporting rifle inventory. NSSF responded that business decisions should be individually made, but was nonetheless disappointed and the decision does not reflect the reality of the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners.

Well, I guess that Dick’s may as well drop all gun sales, not just those to people age 18-20.


Springfield Armory drops Dick’s:

The NSSF’s move, however, puts the company back in the firearm community limelight. Once again, consumers are being reminded that Dick’s doesn’t value its customers’ right to keep and bear arms.

In time, some people probably will forget. Or maybe the fire of anger will dampen and they’ll think, “Well, Dick’s has a hell of a deal on a firearm I really want, and that was a while ago. I’m sure it’s different now.” Time heals all wounds, as they say, but it also masks over reality, if we let it.

However, Springfield Armory made a move that, if followed by the rest of the gun industry, will make it so that’s not a possibility.

If enough other companies stand up and refuse to do business with Dick’s, then people simply can’t forget. They can’t ignore the reality that this one company opposes the Second Amendment so vehemently that it’s cutting into its own profits just to finance lobbyists who will push for anti-gun legislation.

And, in a way, they’ll be doing Dick’s a favor. They’ll be removing the possibility of the company continuing to look like profound hypocrites for selling guns while working against your right to keep and bear arms.

You can see Springfield Armory’s official statement on facebook, and here’s the key:

Springfield Armory is severing ties with Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring a group for anti-Second Amendment lobbying.
It is clear where Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, stand on the Second Amendment, and we want to be clear about our message in response. Their position runs counter to what we stand for as a company. At Springfield Armory, we believe in the rights and principles fought for and secured by American patriots and our founding forefathers, without question. We will not accept Dick’s Sporting Goods’ continued attempts to deny Second Amendment freedoms to our fellow Americans.

Freedom of association works in all sorts of ways. Springfield Armory doesn’t want to associate with Dick’s. And so, they won’t.

And, as Tom Knighton writes, if enough gun-related vendors make the same decision, Dick’s won’t have to worry about sullying their precious stores with any guns at all.

Additional: Ace of Spades: Now Mossberg Discontinues Sales to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Too

Gun Free Zone: Dick’s troubles keep dripping.


New York Bans NRA Gun Insurance

New York has banned an NRA-branded firearm insurance program. The program is popular with NRA members and covers the legal fees stemming from a shooting. The ban is an abrupt change and calls into question the very concept of gun insurance.

In 2013 several states considered mandating firearm insurance as a way to shift the cost of gun violence onto gun owners. This never took.

But now New York is going in the opposite direction. It found a technicality in its insurance law that forbids coverage of criminal acts. The entire reason for firearm insurance is that legal self-defense shootings can still end up in criminal court.

Bob Hartwig, an insurance expert at the University of South Carolina, says, “If you happen to be speeding and you caused injury to another individual, your auto insurance will defend you even if you were speeding.”

Hartwig says without this insurance, gun owners acting in self-defense could end up paying thousands of dollars in legal fees.

It’s called liability insurance, btw. And yes, they’re right, insurance can’t be used for covering criminal acts (which is why some insurance companies push back on liability claims from some companies… but that intersects the day job, and is not for now)


Oh, here’s a nice little letter.

New York Officials Weaponize Regulatory Power Against the NRA:

Do you need another demonstration of how dangerous regulatory power can be when it’s weaponized by politicians? Look no further than New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recent directive to financial regulators. Cuomo wants them to pressure private companies to break ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA). The “or else” is just a hair from being overt.

“I am directing the Department of Financial Services to urge insurers and bankers statewide to determine whether any relationship they may have with the NRA or similar organizations sends the wrong message to their clients and their communities who often look to them for guidance and support,” the governor wrote in a statement.

The Department of Financial Services, which regulates the banking and insurance industries in New York, followed up with guidance letters to insurance companies and banks.

I didn’t mention this in the section above, but New York state is well-known for being a pain-in-the-ass re: insurance regulations.

As a result, almost all national insurers have a special New-York-only subsidiary, to containerize the damage. A few insurers are so silly to have New York as their domicile (New York Life can’t get out of that, for obvious reasons), but most have learned to make sure that even if they have NY offices, the core business is officially placed elsewhere.

A comment by lawyer Scott Greenfield:

Whether anyone looks to bankers and insurers for “guidance and support” is a question few consider, probably because no one has ever done so, but what other words could Andy use to explain why he was using his authority over regulatory agencies to deny basic availability of private services to an organization that supported a cause he didn’t? He has to say something, and “because they’re awful and we need to destroy them” sounds a little negative. Nobody likes a governor who is negative.

Ohhhh, too late. Nobody actually likes Cuomo. Especially people in his own party dislike him.

In other words, if you want the regulatory agency to smile upon you, do as you’re told, and you’re told to sever your relationships with the NRA. To promote health and safety, of course.

The question isn’t whether the NRA is a wonderful organization or terrible. The question is whether a governor, who happens to lead a regulatory agency in the financial capital of the nation, should order his agency to use its fiat in the myriad aspects of its legitimate concern to undermine the necessary business relationships that sustain an organization reflecting a disfavored political view.

No one can force banks and insurers to do business with the NRA if they choose not to. But forcing them not to is as New York as it gets.

Depriving the NRA of the infrastructure it needs to exist is a pretty big job, so it falls to Gov. Andy to do the dirty work. And most New Yorkers won’t lose a moment’s sleep over this latest use of regulatory authority to destroy an organization that has few adherents in the state. So what’s the problem?

If the tactic is fine when used against the NRA, it will be just as fine when the tide turns and it’s used against other organizations. At some point, it could be one that New Yorkers like better than the NRA. Or the governor of another state which holds sway over banks and insurers, a redder state, may decide to pick up his phone and pen and flex his muscle.

The NRA is exceptionally controversial, but to point out why it’s the worst doesn’t make weaponizing regulatory authority to destroy an organization with a political agenda you despise a good idea. Once the bludgeon has been raised, it can fall on any organization, on any cause, that’s out of favor with the person wielding it. That may not always be your guy.

Given all this negative attention has actually been swelling the coffers of the NRA, it’s hard to say there’s some kind of actual financial risk in lending them money or letting them, say, have a checking account with the banks.

A New York politician responded: (Kieran Lalor is local to me, and in the past, I helped hand out brochures for his campaign for U.S. house of representatives.. he’s in NY legislature:

I just received a memo that was sent by the New York State Department of Financial Services to all state chartered financial institutions advising those banks not to do business with the NRA – National Rifle Association of America or similar 2nd Amendment groups. Setting aside the 2nd Amendment issue for a moment, in America the government should not blacklist a lawful organization just because they have a political disagreement. That the state is using taxpayer resources to essentially threaten banks that do business with organizations defending a Constitutional right, is beyond the pale.

Meanwhile, on Friday this same administration is releasing from prison a man who shot and killed 3 police officers. Last year this administration put on the parole board the wife of a convicted murderer. In 2016 the same administration commuted the sentence of Judith Clark and made this domestic terrorist eligible for parole. Clearly, this administration is attacking law abiding gun owners while simultaneously setting free those who committed homicides with guns.



So while increasingly-desperate-to-get-re-elected Cuomo thrashes about, we find that Chicago can’t make it stick:

Even in Chicago, Plan to Push Gun Control on Wall Street Stalls – Bloomberg:

Few places know the toll of gun violence as well as Chicago. But even the city that saw more than 2,700 shootings last year is finding out that using economic muscle to push Wall Street into enforcing gun control is easier said than done.

On Monday [April 16], the Chicago City Council’s finance committee put on hold an ordinance that would have barred the city from working with banks whose clients failed to adhere to certain policies, such as not selling firearms to anyone under 21 or dealing in high-capacity magazines. Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced the proposal three weeks ago in the wake of the school shooting in Florida, saying “when it comes to fighting for stronger, smarter gun laws Chicago is putting our money where our mouth is.”

The plan stalled in the face of opposition from the entities it seeks to police. The Illinois Bankers Association called the measure “overly broad.”

If enacted, a financial institution couldn’t win or renew city contracts unless it “adopted a safe gun sales policy applicable to its retailer clients, partners or customers.” The result was a proposal that could have hampered Chicago’s ability to deposit or borrow money — especially given that the city already has a junk rating from Moody’s Investors Service, making it more difficult to float bonds.

Yeaaaaahh, it’s more to the point that Chicago can keep borrowing money. For now.

At some point, it is possible no investment bank will underwrite their bonds.


From California: CalPERS and CalSTRS must stop investing in weapons that slaughter our children

Oh, you’re divesting from cars, are you? Okay, moving on, let’s see who wrote this:

BY JOHN CHIANG [running for governor], GIULIA ERICKSON [part of gun control activist group] AND MARGOT BENNETT [part of gun control activist group]

Ah, the usual suspects. Let’s see what deep thoughts they have to share.

The pop-pop-pop of an automatic assault rifle is a bone-chilling sound that does not belong in our schools or workplaces. Yet it happens every few days in America.

automatic assault rifle

I don’t want to gunsplain to you. Go google some stuff about guns and you might actually learn something. “assault” has no meaning in this context. “rifle” does. And here’s the difference between semiautomatic and automatic firearms.

Anyway, automatic firearms are for the military only. So you’re against selling guns to the military? Fine. Noted.

In just the first three months of 2018, 76 have been killed and 205 wounded in mass shootings. Too often the weapons used are the AR-15 and other guns designed solely to kill people.

Let me know about the guns not designed to kill people. I guess a starter pistol, or the props used on movie sets.

If Congress and state legislatures are unwilling to deliver real change then we must take the fight to where the money is – institutional investors such as Vanguard, BlackRock and JP Morgan Chase and, importantly, public pension funds.

We call upon CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation’s two largest pension funds, to divest from wholesale and retail sellers of assault weapons. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s investment committee is to debate this issue on Wednesday.

Some believe that divestment for good social reasons ends up hurting pension fund beneficiaries. We disagree.

Skeptics should look at what has happened to CalPERS’ investments since it divested its holdings in gun manufacturers in 2013. While a 2015 assessment showed a $10 million loss, by 2017 the loss had been nearly erased, down to $2 million. And the current trend line is showing that we were right to pull out when we did.

Equities don’t work like that, dumbass. Are you a long-term investor, or are you only looking at TWO YEARS OF RESULTS?!

Gun company stocks are plummeting with the recent major slump in sales. Smith & Wesson, one of America’s iconic gun manufacturers, slashed jobs by 25 percent last year. Remington has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Yes, because Remington was highly leveraged and evidently made shitty guns.

But the sales drop… that’s actually kind of amusing. Why did sales drop? Because Trump.

But I bet the gun makers are very happy to hear you’re targeting gun ownership again, because I bet that has really pumped up sales.


From Massachusetts: Lawmakers want to dump gun investments from pension fund

A self-described “responsible gun owner” lent his support Wednesday to a bid to divest the state pension fund from firearms and ammunition companies.

“What’s required of becoming a responsible gun owner? You have to take responsibility,” Haverhill resident Jackson Brown told the Joint Committee on Public Service. “And how do you do that? Basically you take responsibility by making safety your number one priority. This is something I feel gun manufacturers have not done in recent years.”

Brown said the divestment bills sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Lori Ehrlich send “a clear message directly to those manufacturers that they need to start working with the public to prevent more gun violence in our communities.”

Just making sure: y’all don’t have any armed officers working for the state, right?

You guys buy guns, don’t you?

You guys are evil. Buying guns like that.


A couple more links:

Okay, one link was about knives, but that will be the next step once the gun scourge is taken care of. Any day now.

And that last link is just because it’s fun.

Okay, and this ain’t a gun, but it’s what we have to look forward to: Scottish Man to Be Criminally Sentenced
For Carrying a Potato Peeler in Public

That’s disgusting! People should peel their potatoes in the privacy of the home! (Sorry, homeless potato-peeler-wannabes)

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