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Reader dmac writes:

Usually, gun related stories on CNN are aggravating due to their incompleteness and/or use of skewed statistics. This piece, “Why the NRA fights background checks”, actually angers me because of the implications Mr. Donohue makes about those who work in in firearms industry. Some of those people are personal friends of mine and to imply that all they care about is bottom line profit, that they are not only okay with criminals and the mentally ill having guns, but are down right giddy about it!? Them’s fightin’ words . . . 

[Gun manufacturers] are the ones who call the shots at the NRA, and they are the most important people in the opposition. The manufacturers don’t want anything that interferes with total gun sales and profits.

Background checks would impose a minor burden on gun transactions, but more importantly, limit the size of the market (and therefore, profits) in two ways.

The direct loss of profit comes because closing the current gaping loophole in the background check system will shut off sales to criminals and the mentally ill who are effectively free to buy all the guns they want at gun shows and through private transactions.

But there is also an indirect loss of profit: Cutting off sales to the mentally ill and criminals will reduce crime and thereby reduce the public’s demand for guns for self-protection.

It’s not hard to tell that Mr. Donohue is a lawyer (okay, a professor of law). If this was a line of questioning it would be so leading that the other side would be jumping up and down screaming “Objection!” And well they should. I have to wonder if the author is being knowingly misleading or if he really is this jaded against the the firearms industry.

This stuff is on the front page of  At least it’s labeled as “Opinion”. This time.

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  1. Right, gun manufacturer’s control the NRA, that’s why millions of gun owners keep demanding companies like Colt leave anti-gun states and they refuse.

  2. um, isn’t killing the customer bad for business? So if we hand out sell guns to the felons and criminals who subsequently shoot each other, then what? whos gonna buy the ammo?

  3. “Cutting off sales to the mentally ill and criminals will reduce crime and thereby reduce the public’s demand for guns for self-protection” CNN let that slip through huh. You mean that normal law abiding citizens might need guns to protect themselves from criminals and crazies?

  4. After reading the latest article on Boehner it looks like we cannot depend on the House to stop gun control legislation. Everyone assumes they would vote it down but it looks like they are willing to pass whatever comes out of the senate. Notice he is up there with relatives of sandy hook victims. Democrat or republican, they are both traitors and nothing will change until citizens decide to do something about it, which will never happen. They will just cry and moan and go along with the new laws and continue lame threats like “I can’t wait for the next election” over and over.

  5. “Cutting off sales to the mentally ill and criminals will reduce crime and thereby reduce the public’s demand for guns for self-protection.” If he’s ever walking down the street with his sweetheart and a couple of gang thugs start heading his way, he can keep repeating that line to himself. I’m sure it will be very reassuring.

  6. What? Only private sales do not require checks(in some states), new sales do. The manufacture doesn’t get a cut if the gun is resold.

    • I was wondering about that too. It is a major cannon ball through the gun-grabber’s smoke and mirrors. It would actually be in the gun makers profit-making interest to have a background check law for used gun private party sales since then less people would be motivated to buy from a used gun from a private party and would shift to buying more news guns.

  7. There’s also the point that closing the “gun show loophole” would hurt sales. Fact is that most gun sales that fall into this category are person to person not ffl to person transfers. Person to person sales are usually secondary market transactions. The gun companies already got the money from the initial sale. They would not make any more money with these sorts of person to person transactions. Thus closing the loophole doesn’t impact manufacturers in the slightest.

  8. How many gun makers are doing private sales at gun shows? I figure zero. With that questioned answered, riddle me this: exactly how many tinfoil hats do I need? I have one for the guberment, one for the NRA, and now one for the gun makers? Jeeesh…

  9. This kind of stuff drives me crazy. First of all, I’m pretty sure that the only guns one can buy without a bg check are used guns so expanding background checks would really only hinder the market of used guns and maybe take away an edge of convience that buying a used gun would have over a new one so an extension of background checks would probably be good for the business of selling new guns.

    Also, wouldn’t gun manufactures have a ton to gain from restrictive regulations. Didn’t the 94 ban give birth to an entire market of small size small capacity handguns because they were new a fit within the requirements? Wouldn’t car manufactures have a lot to gain if they made a law that all cars on the road had to be at least hybrid?

    I know that gun manufactures usually are big supporters of the rkba but the notion that they hav a ton of financial interest in keeping regulations out of the used gun market is just incorrect.

  10. “Cutting off sales to the mentally ill and criminals will reduce crime and thereby reduce the public’s demand for guns for self-protection”.
    And we’re the paranoid conspiracy theorists. I wonder if anyone actually takes this seriously because they shouldn’t.

    As said, sales without a background check make up the secondary market, making the main argument invalid.

  11. What this guy is going is what many on the left, and even a few on the right, do. He trying to establish a victim-perp dilectict. Otherwise known as good guy vs bad guy. Nuance and perspective must get lost in this and calling millions of Americans bad guys does not wash so it is the NRA, not average Americans, that profit from being bad guys (or at least arming them). Forget the fact that the same companies arm cops and the military – and good people who use guns for good things.

    The aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting is a decent and recent example of this. To many, the Martin or Zimmerman is all bad or all bad. It is pretty obvious that people are trying to pidgeon-hole these two people into alread established archtypes. But people do this because, whether they realize it or not, most people are platonists (think in archtypes).

    The perception of victimhood is powerful especially when accompanying a narrative (even an already established narrative). The left in academia has used this w/ gangbuster success over the last 70 years. Obama has been all over this hence why he picks on the NRA and gun manufacturers but tries to through average joes a bone. Individuals can vote corporations and NGO’s do not. Remember victim-perp . . . It was the best tools of the collectivist.

  12. Those on the left have a tendency to see every social evil as the result of monied corporations. Since many of them view guns as a social evil, no doubt profit-seeking corporations must be to blame.

    This claim also makes it easier to believe that their opposition is not the 50% of the population that owns guns and thinks differently from them, but a small group of corporate executives subverting the public good. If they acknowledged that their opponents were real people, and a substantial bloc of the public at that, they might actually have to try and understand where they’re coming from.

    • The left may see every social evil as a result of monied corporations but the reality is that socio-economic conditions have been shown many times to be the biggest factor in violent crime rates and gang activity. So if you then take the view of the left that government is a primary driver of the economy then it is obvious that the government and not the NRA or it’s evil companies are responsible for most of this gun violence. Add to that the flawed leftist ideas of gun-free zones and victim disarmament and the leftist government is then responsible for almost all gun violence.

  13. The direct loss of profit comes because closing the current gaping loophole in the background check system will shut off sales to criminals and the mentally ill who are effectively free to buy all the guns they want at gun shows and through private transactions.

    That doesn’t even make sense. Gun companies won’t make any money off private sales, and all new guns sold at a gun show are sold by FFLs, and must go through a background check.

  14. Being an engineer, I ask “is this a theory, or do you have any data to support it that you’ve forgotten to mention?”

    I think we all know the answer. Particularly when what data we do have, from the Federal Government no less, is that criminals get their guns on the secondary market.

  15. I wonder what his source is for the claim that gun sales dropped during the Clinton administration. I’m pretty dubious of that claim.

    In any case, crime continued to drop during the Bush administration, and people bought tons of guns. It still dropped during the Obama administration and people are buying them like there’s no tomorrow. Which given the Democrats’ proclivities towards guns, there is reason to suspect there wouldn’t be.

  16. The comments are as uneducated as usual. This is my favorite:

    “What about having a gun license (like a drivers license), that requires a background check to own, but the government would have no idea what guns (cars) we own or if we even own one at all? This might be a solution both sides could agree on.”

    “There is a gun license. If you want to carry in most states you need a CCW/CPL. It requires a class, background check, and review by the county gun board. By the way, you don’t need to register or have insurance for any automobile that is used on private property, such as a track or private land, and there is no age restriction, it’s only required for use on public roads, just like carrying in public requires a license. Some states have open carry, which does not require a license, but the places you can actually carry are limited and you cannot drive with the firearm on your person so to carry in most places you must have a CCW/CPL. A CCW/CPL will also apply additional restrictions depending on the state.”

  17. I suppose he also has percentages on how many guns the “industry” sells to criminals and the insane. I’m absolutely certain he has researched this and that his findings indicate that most guns are purchased by the insane and/or criminals. I am equally certain the the reason the NRA doesn’t support these checks is because their membership consists almost entirely of insane criminals who own and operate gun and ammunition factories. It all makes sense, really.

  18. What the man says is exactly right. The gun business is like any other business. The bottom line is king and immoral laws, or the lack thereof, which increase the bottom line are always desireable.

  19. As it becomes increasingly clear that all their blood dancing, name calling, and wasted money was all in vain, they’re going to start getting really nasty. This will seem calm and reasoned compared to others that will come out before (and after) Reids bill dies.

  20. Ask Bushmaster if the bad press over the Beltway sniper and Newton helped their bottom line.

  21. The two biggest holes in Mr. Donohue’s theory are:
    1. The idea that the population of “criminals and crazies” is a large enough portion of the overall gun market to be worth going after.
    2. The idea that background checks are going to disarm people who smuggle drugs for a living.

  22. “News” organizations like CNN (and their baby siblings RawStory, AlterNet, et al) frame it as a story of corporations vs. the will of the people because it galvanizes their readership. Nothing gets a liberal quite so riled up as thinking that corporate money is trumping somebody’s civil rights somewhere.

    • note; CORPORATIONS: are same as people. according to the supreme court. further note: most who die via a gun are suicides, eliminate those stats first, changes view of firearm deaths.

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