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The forces arrayed against our civil rights are starting to recognize that a single, all-encompassing legal win against the right to keep and bear arms in Congress or the judiciary is just not in the cards for now. So they push in areas where they believe the terrain is favorable for a win — places such as the media and academia. This strategy was explained in a December 2013 article in the old New Republic, which breathlessly mentioned gun banners in the same (virtual) breath as people who protested Apartheid-era South Africa, the tobacco industry, and the fossil fuel industry. They showed surprising restraint in leaving out human chattel slavery, though that may be because those who fight against slavery have often found it advisable to keep firearms and other weapons handy . . .

Anyway, they’re finding that these days, even in the soft underbelly of American politics, a win for their side isn’t guaranteed. The Boston University Board of Trustees recently rejected a proposal to divest from civilian market firearms manufacturers pushed by BU’s own Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing (ASCRI).

ASCRI’s proposal was to “prohibit new and divest of any existing direct investments in civilian firearm manufacturers until, in the University’s judgment, a level of state and/or federal regulatory control over firearm sale and/or ownership is achieved that merits repeal of this policy….” The Board of Trustees “did not find the ‘overwhelming consensus’ required to support the proposal,” and referred it to its Executive Committee, “which determined that it should not be adopted.”

It’s always nice to see an unexpected win like this especially given Boston U’s own general positions on armed self defense on its campus. But what has me scratching my head is that ASCRI’s proposal specifically targeted manufacturers who make firearms for civilians.

I suppose any involvement Boston University might have with manufacturers of weapons systems from large defense contractors like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, or General Dynamics is okay with people who advocate ‘socially responsible investing’ I mention those companies specifically, because ASCRI does so in their own brief on the subject, which can be found here at slide two.

Not that they I think they should divest from companies such as those, but it would at least allow me to offer them a little respect for intellectual integrity. If you want to claim, a la Lorenzo “LSD” St. DuBois, that if everybody in the world today had a flower instead of a gun, there would be no wars…fine. We can have that conversation because we’re at least being honest with each other.

But to say, “Gosh, it’s socially irresponsible to make handguns and sell them to average people who are just looking to protect themselves and their families and maybe have a little fun at the shooting range. But all you manufacturers of fuel-air explosives, drones, and stand-off missiles, you guys are great – keep being awesome!”… well, isn’t something a little out of balance here?

Let me pose this question to ASCRI members: How is it that an organization dedicated to “socially responsible” investing can argue that civilian firearms manufacturers are somehow more of a scourge on humanity than manufacturers of weapons for the military and other government security services?

Was this just a simple matter of elitists treating average citizens as a peons, undeserving of respect for their basic rights, especially when one could pose as “socially responsible” while doing so?

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  1. Minor detail: shouldn’t the acronym be ACSRI instead of ASCRI? Unless they’re pulling a South Park move… “The WGA: World Canadian Bureau”

  2. The lives and especially the deaths of the “useless eaters and breeders” are only relevant to the what is “best for the greater good” which the ones in power determine, of course.

    And with a gun, our deaths don’t come so easily.

    • “Useless eaters and breeders’ was a term started by Progressives like Sanger, Wilson other “enlightened shepherds” of the masses. Then it was taken up by Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and the gaggle in Pyongyang.


  3. “How is it that an organization dedicated to ‘socially responsible’ investing can argue that civilian firearms manufacturers are somehow more of a scourge on humanity than manufacturers of weapons for the military and other government security services?”

    Arguments about civilian firearms are a ruse … nothing more than an attempt to manipulate us into compliance. The real objective is civilian disarmament. The motivation: our “betters” get-off on “controlling” us. It is sick and evil, nothing more and nothing less. And our “betters” are perfectly fine with police and military armament because our “betters” believe they control the police and military.

    I hope everyone is noticing the common thread in all of this: our “betters” want to “control” everything. Surprise, surprise.

  4. Given the proximity I wonder how many Boston U alums work for Smith & Wesson? I further wonder how many Smith employees have children who attend the school. I have to imagine there are at least a few of each.

  5. Got to wonder if ACSRI has divested from companies that make Christmas lights and remote-control devices for model cars, since such things were used to make the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon.

  6. Certainly this was a business decision; follow the money.

    No doubt the BU Board will become “socially responsible”, or not, if and when it ever becomes financially expedient to do so.

  7. Did I miss the part where they cite studies showing the unethical nature of firearms? I checked multiple times and saw a lot about manufacturers and laws. I read nothing showing the impact of the laws or the impact of guns in increasing crime or decreasing it.

    You need to explain clearly the ill effects of gun manufacturing and the unethical nature of gun manufacturers if you want to ban investing in them. Maybe you are just expecting the audience to already have a prejudice against them, and/or you simply cannot make a case that retail firearms increase violence.

  8. BTW – Raytheon has either its HQ or a very large division right there in Boston suburbs. Lots of corporate-sponsored engineering research . .

  9. Fiduciary duty. Don’t invest in what will make me money and I’ll sue you. Also this is a slippery slope for the trustees. They will be hammered by other left wing nut bags whodon’t want them investing in chickens, cause the are treated inhumanely.
    Kind of like how Ringling won a multi million lawsuit against the ASPCA (9.3 million) and the Humane Society and others (16.0 million) because these non profits paid a guy to abuse animals so they could prove Ringling abused animals. How do you feel about donating through the ASPCA and the Humane Society (and others) to Ringling?
    This is a slippery slope for many legal entities.

  10. I just read about this in the Boston Glob. I was pleased that BU made this decision and surprised that the Glob published it as it _almost_ supports the existence of firearms.

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