Having just returned from the crazitude that is the SHOT Show, I can personally attest to the health of the firearm business. Mile upon mile of exhibitors and over 60,000 convention-goers pushed, shoved and elbowed for access to the gun makers’ latest and greatest. And while it may have been cool to get your picture taken with the Gunny at the Glock booth, all those gawkers and old fat guys taking up precious walking space while they cruised on their Rascals were there to buy. . .
By all accounts – including the NSSF’s – the firearms industry is one of the true, unalloyed bright spots in an otherwise persistently crappy economy. And everyone from Hornady to H&K, from KICK-EEZ to Kahr and from Cor-Bon to Colt has one man to thank for all of the wealth creation the industry has enjoyed in the last three plus years – Barack Obama.
Sure, a lot of the higher profile companies actively and publicly support the NRA and, by extension, second amendment rights advocacy. And sure, the vast majority of people walking the Sands Convention Center aisles would have avoided an Obama 2o12 booth – had the President’s flacks had the balls to set one up – like Kirstie Alley avoids mirrors.
But that’s the gunmakers’ public stance. Privately, being the rational economic beings they surely must be, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that they’d like nothing better than to see four more years. And in this new post-Citizens United world of super pacs, it’s certainly possible for big gunmakers (and even the smaller ones) to put legally unlimited amounts of their money right where their financial interests lie.
Of course, the super pacs are required to disclose who contributes to them. Eventually. Most will be able to remain technically compliant with election laws and still delay publishing their contributor lists until after November 6. And the news – whenever it’s released – that the Zic-Zac Corporation, parent of BigShot Firearms, Inc. contributed to Priorities USA Action might tend to alienate potential future gun buyers.
So the question is, whether their employees and customers are pro-2A or not, will those with a vested interest in the continued health and growth of the gun business support – morally or financially – the reelection effort? Would they risk the PR blowback that news of that support would elicit from a majority of their customer base? Would they be that duplicitous?