Brookings ‘Scholars’ Find Solution to America’s Gun Problem: Collusion

It’s a problem that has vexed politicians, academics, the media and civilian disarmament types for decades…Americans’ embarrassing national love and support for firearm freedom. More specifically, they can’t figure out what to do about our terribly inconvenient affinity for the nation’s most popular rifle, the AR-15 . . .

Gun controllers have tried passing laws, advocating for repealing the right to keep and bear arms, promoting and shaping a consistent message that more gun control is the “rational” solution and, well, moral suasion. Somehow, none of this has worked, particularly on a national level.

Now, along come two ivory tower academics to take another crack at the problem.

Yale’s Ian Ayres and Texas’s Abraham L. Wickelgren have put their pointy little heads together and looked at the frustratingly persistent popularity of AR-15 rifles from an economics perspective. The result: eureka! They’ve managed to come up with a gun control solution gun manufacturers can get behind!

But the problems with their incisive analysis start early and often:

One of the more daunting tasks in the current struggle to pass sensible gun control legislation is how to neutralize the political power of gun manufacturers who potentially have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

Here’s some news for the distinguished perfessers: among the panoply of individuals and interests that fight against restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, gun makers and the political influence they wield play only a bit part, at most.

The reason politicians are so reluctant to impinge on Americans’ cherished right to armed self defense isn’t because Smith & Wesson, SIG SAUER, GLOCK and the rest are out there, sprinkling cash around Washington, D.C..

It’s because there are tens of millions of gun owners who are passionate about their natural, civil, and constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They’re politically aware and they vote. That’s a lesson you’d think the anti-gun left would have learned from painful past experience.

Ayres and Wickelgren are off to a rollicking start with a big, juicy false premise on which to base their prescription for getting to an “assault weapon”-free nirvana. So let’s get to the meat of their argument.

But there is a straightforward, if perverse, way to co-opt the gun industry into supporting some restrictions: Help firearm manufacturers cartelize their industry. Congress could immunize gun manufacturers from antitrust liability—making it legal for them to collude and raise gun prices.

Oh noes! Now we’re really screwed! These two have finally stumbled on the secret…the magic bullet (so to speak) aimed right at the heart of gun demand that will finally cut the number of civilian-owned firearms in this county. The one we hoped no one would would ever discover!

Ayres and Wickelgren want to use gun makers’ own greed as a weapon against the rest of us. We’ll never be able to afford to buy another AR now!

Our antitrust laws are designed to prevent firms from agreeing to limit supply in order raise prices. In most markets, this is in the service of protecting consumers and enhancing efficiency. But for products that cause harm, both the public and the producers of the product can benefit from higher prices and reduced supply. Legalizing a gun cartel by itself is a kind of gun control. Just as OPEC is the friend of any environmentalist who wants to reduce oil consumption, a gun manufacturing cartel will reduce the quantity of guns sold in order to raise prices.

Yes, and how well has that arrangement worked out for OPEC?

Ayres and Wickelgren are apparently unfamiliar with the oil industry phenomenon that is fracking. Whether it’s oil or small arms, just like those fences and elaborate security systems put up around Jurassic Park, nature (and the market) always finds a way. Just ask Cody Wilson.

Consider, for example, the AR-15 rifle. The AR-15 isn’t a brand name sold by single manufacturer.  Rather it is a genus of rifles produced by more than a dozen competitors—sometimes with prices less than $700. But protected by antitrust immunity, these erstwhile competitors could band together and raise the price toward what a monopolist would charge.

Pure genius. Since there are only a dozen or so makers of AR-15 rifles, it should be easy to cartelize the business and incent the few makers of these weapons of war to pad their bottom lines once they’re granted an antitrust exemption. Right?

Just one problem. In “researching” their seminal piece for the port-leaning boys at Brookings, Ayres and Wickelgren apparently spent all of three minutes Googling “biggest makers of AR rifles” to come up with that one, lame blog post to link.

That’s apparently the sum total of their knowledge. So in their abject ignorance of the firearms business and half-assed attempt to gain a little insight into their topic, they somehow overlooked a few other noteworthy players in the AR manufacturing game. Little companies like . . .

  • Sturm, Ruger (publicly traded, largest maker of firearms of all types in the US)
  • Vista Outdoor (diversified, publicly traded maker of Savage rifles)
  • FN America (largest maker of the US military’s AR pattern rifles)

And then there are . . .

  • Springfield Armory
  • Lewis Machine and Tool
  • ATI
  • CMMG
  • Noveske
  • LWRC
  • Knight’s Armament
  • Spike’s Tactical
  • Midwest Industries
  • Palmetto State Armory

Just to name a few. Never mind the dozens of smaller bit players that turn out thousands more guns a year.

Another six minutes of searching — or actually talking to someone who, you know, is familiar with the gun business — might have revealed to these lazy academics that AR manufacturing isn’t nearly as concentrated as they think. But Ayres and Wickelgren apparently couldn’t be bothered.

Monopolists sometimes charge prices many multiples of their cost. The demand for guns has been estimated to have a fairly high price elasticity—so even relatively small price increases of these deadly firearms might have put them beyond the means of the purchasers of the AR-15 style rifles used in the Parkland, Newtown, and Aurora mass shootings.

Right. Because with loads of manufacturing capacity, the ease of making an AR yourself and at least 10 to 20 million scary black rifles already out there in the hands of gun owners nationwide, it would be nigh on impossible for someone like a James Holmes, Nikolas Cruz or Adam Lanza’s mother to get their hands on one.

Once we realize competitive gun prices are the enemy of harm reduction, other traditional government goals will stand on their head. Under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, most countries in the world are committed to multi-round negotiations to reduce trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. But as applied to guns, raising the tariffs of foreign imports can again save lives and increase gun industry profits—by reducing the threat that new entrants will flood the American market with cheaper guns undercutting the price that domestic manufacturers can charge.

So they plan to choke off imported ARs through high tariffs. That would cut out Hecker & Koch, TAVOR (not technically an AR) and, well, just about no one else.

Indeed, seeing gun-control through the lens of industrial organization helps identify the types of legislative initiatives where the intransigence is likely to be weakest. For example, banning bump stocks or high capacity magazines would negligibly affect the industries’ overall profits. In fact, the industry should welcome efforts to reduce the stock of existing guns because this would increase the willingness to pay for new guns. As long as the package deal of an antitrust exemption and additional gun control measures results in a net increase in gun industry profits, it should have the support of the gun industry.

As Ayres and Wickelgren see it, these newly-cartelized AR makers will gladly trade corporate support for “high capacity” magazine bans, outlawing bump fire stocks and, say, raising the long gun age to 21 for the promise of new, easy profits to be had by hiking their prices.

Another of the mysterious aspects of the firearms business and America’s gun culture, about which the authors are apparently blissfully unaware, is what happened to Smith & Wesson and Ruger (to say nothing of Springfield) when those companies made common cause with politicians who would degrade or eliminate our Second Amendment rights. There’s no reason to think American gun owners would be any less forgiving now of colluding gun makers that signal support for universal background checks or a national magazine capacity limit.

Professors Ayres and Wickelgren, however, come out smelling like roses. They have one more publishing credit for their no doubt impressive CV’s. The fact that they’ve managed to publish a half-baked, minimally researched and fatally flawed article won’t matter in the least to their colleagues in the faculty lounge. They’re on the “right” side of the guns in America question and that’s all that really matters.

comments

  1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    Let’s raise the age for buying long guns to 21. And driving. And voting. And enlisting in the military.

    And all those that are between 18 and 21. We give them the home address of snowflake hogg and his supporters.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      You now, there are a ton of 18-21 year olds who are as fine Americans as one could ask for. This doesn’t rebut your argument per se, but it’s just something to think about.

      1. avatar No one of consequence says:

        The problem is that this is the transition region between youth and adult. Since humans mature at different rates, mentally as well as physically, any age you pick is going to have some fraction of the population still mentally not ready to be in an adult world.

        I suspect that over time, especially since the 60s, the “age of 50%” has gone up somewhat.

        1. avatar Red in CO says:

          It’s the NEW transition region, not the default one. As ever, there is no intrinsic lack of capability for anyone in that age group to be a real adult. However, these post-adolescents (my term for anyone who is an adult solely in the chronological sense) are, in so many cases, coddled by their families, their peers, and society, and allowed to put off adulthood indefinitely. I’m 22; dropped out of college after a year and went into construction and I see this firsthand with depressing frequency. Somehow, there is now almost zero stigma to being a 25 year old college graduate whose mom still does their laundry. And that shit continues indefinitely

      2. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        Raising the age to 21, I do not support this, wasn’t my real point. My point was to raise all the rights to 21 and let the young people know the home addresses of those that support this move. Including the snowflake hogg from florida.

        I was 17 when I enlisted.

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          I was too.

        2. avatar DJ says:

          I was too. Volunteered for Vietnam. Majority of the guys I went in with were 18 and 19 year olds.

    2. avatar J says:

      Let’s put a 3 day waiting period on something Democrats like for no reason other than to express our contempt for them.

      1. avatar Rincoln says:

        Voting?

      2. avatar Bill says:

        Abortions

    3. avatar Brian says:

      It’s funny how the left says 18-21 year olds aren’t capable of handling firearms properly, yet a FIVE YEAR OLD BOY is perfectly capable of making a life altering decision of turning himself into a girl before puberty hits. Then there’s the 14 year old girls who don’t need adult permission to get abortions.

      But bringing THAT fact up just makes them throw out the bigot card by not being accepting of trans children or we’re slut shaming teenage girls.

      1. avatar Eighty says:

        Brian,
        I’ve seen the comparison of January’s Tide pod chewers becoming February’s gun policy makers; Yours is a better!

        1. avatar Brian says:

          Before I forget, you have kids at 16 who the government deems capable of driving a 3000 metal bullet alongside other 3000 metal bullets- most of whom can’t even put their cell phone down long enough to look for a light switch on the wall.

          At 18, kids enlist in the military via the draft. They can also make the choice to legally buy cigarettes, buy loto tickets, vote, hunt by themselves, sign forms for loans(car, house, school, etc) and other legal documents(health insurance, car insurance, home/apartment rental, etc.) and leave their parent’s house because they are deemed adults by the government at that age.

          Eighty, and anyone else for that matter, feel free to bring these points up with anyone who says 18-20 year olds aren’t mature enough to handle firearms. I’m sure the responses will be interesting.

  2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Congress could immunize gun manufacturers from antitrust liability—making it legal for them to collude and raise gun prices.
    Go ahead and make my day. Antitrust legislation is BS anyway as there is not that much of a barrier to getting into the gun making biz.

  3. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    So they plan to choke off imported AR’s through high tariffs. That would cut out Hecker & Koch, TAVOR (not technically an AR) and, well, just about no one else.
    We are sort of already there with some Assault Rifles requiring so much domestic content. Title 18 Chapter 44 Section 922(r) of the United States Code, defined further by Title 27 Part 478.39 of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR), ambiguously restricts semiautomatic rifles and shotguns to no more 10 imported parts from a list of 20 parts.
    Of course, overseas gun companies could just make the guns in the USA.

  4. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    Gig ’em

    1. avatar Bfitts says:

      BTHO Michigan

  5. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Oh look, another couple of socialist who believe that they have the right and the ability to control other people because, after all, they are the important intelligent ones. God save us from Ivory Tower intellectuals!

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Pretty sure if you search on “Ivory Tower” “Univ of Texas” this is the first and only item that would pop up.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        When I Googled ““Ivory Tower” “Univ of Texas””, I got 15,100 results.
        What did you use?

  6. avatar john says:

    They are also totally ignorant of the history of firearms manufacturing. Many of firearms out there today were designed and manufactured it little more than what amounts to a garage workshop. You push prices to a point that most cannot afford and you create an enormous black market.
    One master machinist, some blueprints, raw materials, a little space and the market could be flooded. This with firearms that have no record of being made.

    1. avatar mustrum ridcully says:

      I am a 70 year old retired airline pilot. my non shooting (SASS competition shooter with SAA and Winchester 1873 in .45 long colt at over 3000 rounds a year between practice and competition is the other hobby) pastime is as a self trained machinist for over 40 years and with my Bridgeport, Hardinge tool room lathe, heat treating oven etc. etc. I have over the years built from scratch over 16 firearms (i have yet to rifle any barrel smaller than .45 but I have the skills to modify my rifling bench to do down to .22 with only minor modifications to my bench.) Using bought or repurposed scrap barrels I have built single shot and semi auto firearms that are functional and accurate. The main lapse in my abilities so far is the acquisition of sheet metal skills required to fabricate reliable magazines so I repurpose commercial magazines. I have used the design of the AR- 18 rather than the AR-15 that most play with but I have found it amenable to one off production in my shop my newest project is in .300 blackout and it is now running well with bought in magazines. in my todo list is to improve my sheet metal abilities but it is a tougher nut to crack than I think most realize.

      the point of all this that there are many thousands of us out there both amateur like myself and retired tool and die makers and machine operators as well as machinists and with all the machine tools available used at low prices at salvage dealers as the industry has converted We can provide a hell of a lot of support to the community for both repair and if needed manufacture of all sorts of firearms. At the the moment I have on my bench a new design by myself of a lever action repeater in .45 colt but it is for me more complex than a semi auto design. I am using a variation of the AR-18 bolt because I have already made tooling I can adapt.
      do not discount the abilities of ordinary metal working hobbyists and the retired.

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        You do all this cool stuff on top of being the Archancellor of the Unseen University? Impressive!

  7. avatar 61north says:

    Given that they are trying to make an economic argument, they should be aware of how black markets form when any item is regulated too tightly or when prices are artificially high. If the government were to form a cartel of gun makers and raise prices through the roof, a black market would quickly form in homemade or smuggled firearms. They aren’t just ignorant about guns, they are also ignorant about basic economics and human nature.

    1. avatar Rodd H says:

      And once they start making black market weapons, why bother to make semi auto only?If i was going to break the law i’d go big or go home. Select fire all the way. Did these two geniuses think of that pandoras box?

      1. avatar Larry says:

        Make dumb laws and even law abiding individuals will ignore them. Think gun free zones. To many whom carry concelled,
        those laws/signs mean absolutely nothing. However, the problem with ignoring inconsequential laws is the slippery slope.

      2. avatar Scoutino says:

        Unintended consequences are a bitch. When taxes on alcohol are too high, people start making moonshine.

      3. avatar Jay Williams says:

        I’m all in favor of their plan. I want full auto!

  8. avatar Kenneth says:

    One thing here was forgotten. IF the big factories ever collude to raise prices, they will go up by double or more. Anybody with a CNC mill can easily set up to become a ‘manufacturer’ themselves. It might be illegal to do so without a license, but if the price of an AR lower goes to a thousand a pop, there will be a great many out there longing to take advantage of that gravy train. When the profits become insane, so do the sellers.
    That’s all the ‘war on drugs’ ever did in this country. Raise the street prices of narcotics until it created billion dollar cocaine and heroin cartels. Unless there are still some out there naive enough to think that after three decades of the drug war, there are fewer drugs on the streets now?

  9. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    These newly-cartelized AR makers will gladly trade support for “high capacity” magazine bans, outlawing bump fire stocks for the promise of new, easy profits to be had by hiking their prices.
    Yeah, ask Colt how that turned out.

    1. avatar Special Ed says:

      Check with Springfield and see how getting in bed with the enemy is working for them.

  10. avatar Nanashi says:

    Professor Ayres? Any relation to Obama’s favorite domestic terrorist?

    “sometimes with prices less than $700.”

    Man, before this panic buying I could get a complete, functional, AR for 400 without trying: 300 PSA kit, 60 buck lower, 25 buck UTG rear sight and a magazine. That’s not even getting into the really cut rate stuff or sub-5.56 calibers, which could get even lower. Even with a prebuilt gun PSA, Ruger and S&W all consistently had offerings for under 500. Even now 700 can get me a hell of a lot of AR: 450 PSA kit, 70 lower, 150 Vortex Crossfire (140 if I got a Cabela’s 100 dollar gift card for 80 bucks ahead of time, 130 if Cabela’s didn’t charge sales tax despite no Florida presence), a mag and a punch set.

  11. avatar rudukai13 says:

    How much does it cost to get an article printed in a peer-reviewed journal? I’ve got one I’d like to pitch:

    Title: Why gun control is unconstitutional.

    Hypothesis: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Conclusion: The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

    /Article

  12. avatar neiowa says:

    Two problems with the “anti-gun left” is they are institutionally stupid. And each has a world view that began when their point little, not aborted head pop out of mom. A generation is about 10minutes long.

    Thus they have to relearn what billybob, hellery, algore learned many generations ago. Attack gun owners and you’ll have your political ass handed to you. Problem is for us is the same thing over and over and over and over again. Gets old. Then our whiners start yapping about the NRA _______.

  13. avatar davida says:

    Get the anti rights law makers out of office NOW for sedition to constitution for breaking there oaths of office . No more talk on it.
    Our rights are not for sale .

    URL: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/oppose-gun-control-and-weapons-ban-legislation

    Facebook Email Twitter

  14. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Somehow, none of this has worked, particularly on a national level.”

    In other words most people reject gun-control. By all means a majority opinion does not necessarily mean that opinion is true/right. Having said that, it should be enough to cause dissenters to take a hard look at their position. And that would include gun owner control proponents.

  15. avatar nick says:

    Does no one remember the Gun Control Act of 1968? Not only did put an age restriction on buying a hand gun raising it to 21 it also established a points system to stem the import of cheaply produced guns coming in from overseas commonly called saturday night specials. Does no one remember what happrn after that? We had the 70’s introducing the war on drugs on a full scale federal level. Then we had the coke and crack boom of the 80’s an 90’s which saw kids not even out of middle school or high school with handguns and it still continues today with kids under 21 having handguns. Then lets just adress the big elephant in the room the restriction on cheap import guns was a racist move made inpart to not allow those living in housing developments and ghettos the ability to afford a gun to protect themselves and family while criminals did as they pleased. So please tell me how raising the age of buying a rifle or AR or cartelizing the gun industry do anything but affect the impoverished an middle class or an 18 year old from protecting themselves and family or having fun. Way to go ivory tower proffessors you not only want to abolish the 2 amendment but also the 14th amendment and the erosion of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Way to get a threefer in one paper bravo idiots.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      yep not allowing the cheap imports which was designed to stop low income people in the housing tenements made the gang problem far worse because it forced those low income people to have to join the gangs to be able to protect their family even if only somewhat

  16. avatar JDH says:

    Dipshits.

  17. avatar doesky2 says:

    Creatures of the Left live in a cocoon where all their Leftist friends agree and they never get a challenging question. Then every once in awhile the really stupid ones present their “ideas” to somebody like Tucker Carlson, Dennis Prager, Ben shapiro, or Jordan peterson and they get their ass handed to them. Then they yell RACISS!! and go back and write some more articles for WAPO and NPR.

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    Duh…that’s all I got.

  19. avatar Craig Moore says:

    They never get it. People don’t buy because they make it. They make it because we want it. Simple for some, to difficult for others.

  20. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    What comes after unconstitutional and draconian gun control…Statism and Authoritarianism….(re: Enhance MAssachusetts vehicle inspection with state RMV surveillance…The Massachusetts Panopticon…..)

    https://www.muzichevyma.com/details-about-the-new-massachusetts-state-inspection-changes.htm

  21. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    Is it me or do educated people in America seem to be getting dumber ?

  22. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    This is what happens to a Disarmed Population…….

  23. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    ….. “Creeping Incrementalism…..”

  24. avatar Nick says:

    A ban on imports would also choke off imports of the Scorpion (though not a rifle, it would still likely be considered an “assault weapon” by the left).

    They probably wouldn’t stop there either. They’d want to do the same with ammunition, so cutting off cheap imported steel ammo would probably be on their to-do list.

    1. avatar Larry says:

      We need to make the public aware just how disingenuous this all is. The ONLY reason anyone cares about the school massacre is that this was a school of mostly wealthy white kids. Where’s the walkouts over the daily back youth murders? Oh yes, the Left doesn’t care about them. Think about that. Let’s call this what it is.

  25. avatar MyName says:

    One of the things that, apparently, the more ‘intellectually inclined’ of the gun grabbers assume (and I don’t know why, there is plenty of contrary evidence) is that guns, in general, and “assault weapons” in particular, are exceedingly complex and sophisticated items that are unusually dangerous and, without huge industrial support, would not be possible to make or use or own. This is, of course, ridiculous. They cannot seem to comprehend that the very reason that these types of arms are chosen by the world’s military authorities is because they are cheap, simple, relatively light and easy to maintain – not because they are particularly lethal. This seems to be a serious problem for the antis – to accept that the military has reasons for adopting a weapon pattern for reasons other than its deadliness. They seem to assume that whatever the military uses is, necessarily, the biggest, baddest, deadliest thing there is.

    I have tried, and failed, to explain to people that the military uses the M4, or M16, or their variants, not because of their extraordinary capabilities, of which there are none, but because of their modularity, simplicity, weight (including ammo) and cost. They simply don’t believe me. I have pointed out that anyone with even a modestly appointed machine shop could build an AR and that with even fewer resources, an AK. I’ve provided examples, both actual objects and video evidence to support this – usually fruitlessly. I have reached the conclusion that these antis are convinced that we, the POTG, are lying to them and that we are trying to obfuscate the unlimited lethality of certain weapon platforms. Apparently, they think that “assault weapons” are actually a thing and that we are trying to trick them into believing that “they” are not extra super deadly. I admit that I do not know how to deal with this impasse.

    There are, I’ve come to realize, people for whom facts, demonstrable facts, do not matter. What one does with such people, I do not know. All that said, these two academicians are clearly barking up the wrong tree. The past sins of Ruger and S&W notwithstanding, most in the firearm industry, I believe, understand that they do not merely produce a product but also support a world view and way of life embraced by their customers. The backlash that many companies have experienced when they have failed to live up to the expectations of their customer base is testament to this observation. So, if these two were successful in their endeavor to push the established firearm manufacturers to collude in using price controls to limit access to their products, I think they would be surprised by the simultaneous rejection of those companies and the emergence of new enterprises more closely aligned with the attitudes of their customers.

    TLDR: These guys are fools and don’t get how gun owners think.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        because most gun grabbers are intellectuals and have no practical skills or knowledge to be able to make anything much more than a spitball blow tube from a pen body. at best some of them are engineers who design shit but still have no practical experience in actually making anything….. at worst they are literary intellectuals whose only ability in life is reading books….. shame they dont read and understand history a bit more

  26. avatar David Thompson says:

    Staggering ignorance of the firearm industry as well as basic economics. What their plan would do is create a huge opportunity for companies who stay out of the cartel to sell thousands if not hundreds of thousands of guns at “normal” prices.

  27. avatar ironicatbest says:

    1 booze company,1 tobacco company, 1 firearms company and 1 explosives company, all controlled by 1 government organization. I can probably learn to speak Mandarin

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      That’s what socialism looks like.
      Also one toilet paper company. Then it burns down and you learn the value of the state produced news print. (Real story.)

  28. avatar 33Charlemagne says:

    The economic incentive really isn’t there with this half baked idea. First it would be likley to spark a boycott of those firms that joined the cartel. Second it would offer the opportunity for any manufacturer or manufacturers who did not join the cartel to virtually take over the cartel’s AR15 business simply by building and selling ARs at a reasonable price. In the final analysis is there any reason to believe they would make more money selling fewer ARs at higher prices notwithstanding the other difficulties i have pointed out with such a strategy?

  29. avatar Scoutino says:

    Antis love to come up with dumb ways to restrict those scary deadly weapons. We should remind them often and loud that firearms are used to save lives many times more then to take them. Gun is a good thing!

  30. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Why get all worked up about baloney like this? Putting any credibility on the theories of these two bobos is like listening to Paxton Whitehead lecturing Rodney Dangerfield on “real world business economics” in “Back to School”. (And I teach at an actually-prestigious small college…) They obviously are cut from the same rag/cloth as obama, and I believe the US has had enough of his economic policies for a while.

  31. avatar Johnny108 says:

    When I was young, I read alot about how communists took over various countries.
    I always read the same thing: First people executed were political leaders, followed by their loyal security/intel forces.
    Then?
    These executions were ALWAYS followed by the “purging” of intellectuals.
    I always thought this was why communist countries were so backwards- killing of your intelligent people is not the best way to advance your society.
    At least, that is what I used to think, until now.
    Considering the rate at which “intellectuals” in our society constantly try to undermine The Constitution, I now fully understand why more than a few need to be “put up against a wall”…

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      Yep- It really sucked to be you if Mao’s kids found out you wore glasses in late 40s/early 50s. Instant one to the back of your head.

  32. avatar Ryan Carlin says:

    For economists, this is about the best solution you could come up with that doesn’t involve outright bans. Still nature abbhors a vacuum, and the vacuum would be this: Low priced AR-15s.

    It would be satisfied in one of two ways: Some company goes rogue and keeps the prices down or gunsmiths start offering and marketing “AR Assembly” services, where you bring them the low-cost parts and they build it a cost less than the newly colluded AR-15s.

    Still none of their arguments involve the word “Ban” so let’s give credit to someone thinking outside the box and actually coming up with a new idea, even if it is an unworkable one.

  33. avatar Joe R. says:

    Ayers? Not another cack sacker lube salesman like Bill Ayers, professional terrorist co-funder of the Ohole campaign?

    Whoever asked these assholes for help is entitled to it, just don’t get that sh_t on the rest of us, you fuxtix.

  34. avatar rt66paul says:

    If the rider laws about using a firearm in a crime were not something the prosecutors could use to plea bargain, the list of violent felons would be true. A felon who dealt large quantities of drugs with no firearms is much different than a stickup artist who uses guns to threaten his victims.
    Moonbeam took these laws off the table and they should be the primary charge with robbery/rape/burglary/home invasion being the secondary charge.
    Misusing a firearm is wrong, those that do noy do so should be left alone.

  35. avatar Anymouse says:

    The government should take a page from the Agriculture Department price supports and pay for not producing ARs. For $100 each, I promise not to make 10,000 AR-15s a year. If they ask nicely, I’ll promise not to make 20-50,000.

  36. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    The oil comparison is a false one. Although exploration for oil is turning up new resources and technology allows us to refine it better, the truth is that there is a relatively fixed quantity of it at any given time.

    Gun parts are going to be manufactured so long as there is steel/aluminum/plastic/whatever materials available to make them.

    Worse comes to worse you’ll end up seeing Cartels with underground shops set up where there were previously drug manufacturing and refining facilities.

  37. avatar Alamojo says:

    About the cartel thing – if enacted you could possibly see suppliers emerge to fulfill a demand for parts resulting in weapons assembled by the end consumer that are not limited to the cartels design or pricing constraints
    I know this idea is a stretch.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      It has been happening already in small scale with 80% lowers.

  38. avatar Hans says:

    “seminal piece for the port-leaning boys at Brookings” – Well put
    Mr Zimmerman. The Brookings boy have two things in common,
    gun and free speak hate.

    They ban posters on their website, until they got rid of their forum;
    and they would do the same with firearms.

    For Brookings and their acolytes “professors” not owning a firearm
    is not good enough but to force their ideology upon the unwilling others.

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