Smith & Wesson Gun Violence protest David Hogg
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Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. are being pressured by minority shareholders – and the odd protest – to “do something” about gun violence. Granted, both companies are being castigated in the press by what appear to be activist investors; various groups buy just enough shares in the company and then use them as a means to advance a political agenda.

In this case, that agenda happens to be gun control.

Setting aside the idea that individuals choose to be violent criminals and therefore should be the parties held responsible for their actions, is there anything that gun manufacturers can actually do about “gun violence?”

Probably not. Not to say there aren’t more things that can be done about any societal problem by various entities, but the causes of so-called gun violence (and violent crime in general) are very broad.

The presumption, of course, is that because the gun industry makes products that are used by a small segment of the population to commit acts of violence, they therefore have it in their power to do something about it. Which is utterly fallacious.

These same people who believe it’s in gun companies power to affect individuals’ behavior think a gun only facilitates violent intentions. But when one isn’t available, violent criminals turn to knives, blunt objects or any other weapon they can improvise. Terrorists resort to using improvised explosives and even vehicles.

Chevrolet can’t do much about an individual choosing to drive in a reckless fashion. They can install airbags, traction control, adaptive cruise control and so on, but they can’t compel people to not drive like maniacs. The gun industry, likewise, is pretty far removed from being able to do much about people who do stupid or illegal things with their products. The individual chooses to act, and is responsible for those it and the consequences.

Violent crimes, whether committed with firearms or not, are motivated by a number of factors both large and small. There are both proximate and distal causes, from bad break-ups to socioeconomic factors at play. Areas with high poverty tend to have more crime and so on and so forth.

For instance, drug and alcohol abuse is definitively correlated with violent crime. Disinhibition can induce people to commit violent acts and drug addicts can be compelled to carry out robberies in order to feed their habits. It’s also well-known that a great many crimes committed with guns – assaults, homicides, etc. – are acts of gang violence, which is largely related to the illegal drug trade.

Clearly, the gun industry has very little – really nothing – to do with the broader influences on gun crime or indeed any violent crime. They can’t affect poverty rates outside of the areas where they employ people, and certainly don’t have any influence when it comes to rates of drug abuse.

Then there’s the supply problem. The majority of gun crimes are committed with a black market firearm that was manufactured 10 or more years prior to being taken into evidence by police. (It’s usually a very long “time to crime” in most instances.)

Firearms can stay functional for much longer than that with any amount of care. Plenty of pistols, shotguns and rifles from the early 20th century (and even late 19th century) are still in working order and can shoot.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that every single gun company was shut down today, never to return. It would take decades, maybe centuries before the supply dwindled enough to make any sort of difference whatsoever.

If various activist groups were serious about tackling the issue of “gun violence,” the supply side is not where the problem lies. Addressing socioeconomic, law enforcement and mental health issues would result in a far bigger impact on violent crime much sooner. But those aren’t issues that Smith, Ruger or any other firearms manufacturer is equipped to address.


Sam Hoober is a contributing editor at Alien Gear Holsters and Bigfoot Gun Belts. He also contributes regularly to Ammoland, Daily Caller and USA Carry.

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    • Craftsman Tools via Sears & Robuck need to do something about all of the murders done with their hammers. They have a moral responsibility to account for the blood that’s on their hands. If we can all agree on some common-sense hammer control, like reinstating the assualt-hammer ban (no one needs a claw hammer with a claw over 1 inch, or a shock-absorbing rubber-wrapped grip), we can put an end to tool crime.

      For the children.

      (Seriously, more murders are done each year with hammers and other blunt objects than all long guns combined.)

      • So yesterday I went to Home Depot and bought a hammer. I smashed everything in the house.

        The hammer made me do it.

        • “So yesterday I went to Home Depot and bought a hammer. I smashed everything in the house.”

          “The hammer made me do it.”

          Obviously not a true story – if your report had been true, you would have declared that the hammer “just went off”.

  1. What hoggboy and his handlers want is for those companies to stop making guns. Gun violence is not the focus here. Ending private gun ownership is what is afoot.

    But we’ve always known ‘ we’re not coming for your guns’ is just a lie.

    • Well, YEAH. If all gun companies were run out of business, it may not help much, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. Sot they say, There would still be violence, but it wouldn’t be “gun violence.” (Idiots and dreamers. Where do these irresponsibly utopian and unachievable ideologies spring from? Not enough Wheaties?)

      • No, what would happen is every gun would suddenly skyrocket in price. Gun collecting and ownership would be the rarified thing that machine gun ownership is now. The POTG today would be it — no new gun owners. The culture would slowly dwindle among law-abiding people. That is what they want — to extinguish our toxic culture.

      • It’s not from their diets. The loony left’s problem is one of the others mentioned: Mental illness. That’s why they’re the loony left.

  2. Central America is the most violent region on earth by homicide rate yet has a lower firearms possession rate than Australia and strict gun control laws. Local culture is the most correlating factor contributing to violence. Firearms aren’t a significant factor.

    • Progressive ideology has a nearly 100% correlation with violent crime. But you won’t EVER see that on the news.

    • Along with your lumber/baseball bat comment, I thought:
      1. If gun violence is related to drug use, why not outlaw drugs. That would solve both problems. Oh yea, I forgot, those drugs have been illegal since we were born.
      2. We should make the (legal) drug companies close, because some people have a bad reaction to some drugs, and some people sell their rx on the street for profit.

  3. Before firearms there were arrows, spears, swords, and rocks. Firearms, and the violent use thereof, is just the latest technology in a line of weaponry that goes back a million years. The first true firearm we know about was used in the 12th century AD.

    The people who want to ban firearms, actually want to ban the history of the world, and create some kind of fantasy utopia.

    “In the dimness of the shadows
    Where we hairy heathens warred,
    I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
    We used teeth before the sword.”

    • And yet there is something very special about firearms.
      Spears, swords, rocks, fists, they all are more effective the bigger and stronger the wielder is. Firearms, conversely, do not get more powerful as the one using it gets bigger and stronger. It matters very little to the one who gets shot whether the trigger was pulled by a giant like Gregor Clegane, or an 85 year old grandmother.
      So the effect is to make that 80 pound old woman into a match for the Mountain. A firearm makes the weakest victim equal to the most fearsome aggressor. It’s why they were called “equalizers”. It’s why the old adage; God might have created man, but Sam Colt made them equal.
      It’s why the firearm is the very best of man’s creations. Because it makes the strong preying upon the weak much more difficult. One could almost say that firearms made civilized life possible. One could also make a very good case that the reason so many want to get rid of the firearm is so that the criminal element can make preying upon the weak healthier and easier again.

  4. Is their objection to guns specifically or is it to self defense in general? Tell an anti-gunner, “I don’t need a gun as long as I have a baseball bat. It’s all the same whether someone who attacks me is carried away with bullet wounds or a fractured skull.” My suspicion is they won’t like that, either.

    • Based on my interactions with antis, and my suggestion of replacing CCW with an eliminating switchblade laws (I’ll give you my guns if I can carry an auto knife as a test suggestion followed by more and more concessions on my side), as well as their reaction to it I suspect you are correct.

      My suspicion is that most are anti-self defense across the board.

      • “My suspicion is that most are anti-self defense across the board.”

        Take the England example –

        Now they want knives with points banned.

        What will they ban after that?

  5. Gun manufacturers actually can do something about “Gun Violence.”

    They can switch over to making tampons, which is something that the dissenting shareholders can actually use.

  6. Daniel Plainview didn’t need a gun, or a knife, to brutally murder Eli Sunday (after drinking his milkshake!).

    Be interesting to see if anyone gets that reference.

      • People who bowl are known to be prone to excessive violence. They seem to have a veritable hidden reservoir of it, just waiting to gush forth and make a mess of things. Perhaps it’s the training they have in knocking over innocent pins with their balls.

        Be that as it may, SOMEBODY had to kill Mr. Sunday. It was the right thing to do, and I thank Mr. Plainview for his service.

  7. “Chevrolet can’t do much about an individual choosing to drive in a reckless fashion. They can install airbags, traction control, adaptive cruise control and so on, but they can’t compel people to not drive like maniacs.”

    They could develop autopilot technology, remove the steering wheel and refuse to sell vehicles in favor of leasing with licensing terms giving them the right to decide where and when the vehicle could be used, and by whom.

    But, I question whether the market would allow them to survive. I wouldn’t. But, I suppose there would be some who’d think that being that disruptive was somehow good for civilization.

  8. “Firearms can stay functional for much longer than that with any amount of care. Plenty of pistols, shotguns and rifles from the early 20th century (and even late 19th century) are still in working order and can shoot.”

    Right now I am sitting next to three Snider Enfields (one of them was a Dominion of Canada issued rifle), one Martini-Henry, and my latest purchase, a Brunswick rifle from IMA. Two of the Sniders and the Martini Henry are shootable. The third snider just needs a little work, and the Brunswick would probably fire if the main lock spring wasn’t broken. All of these weapons were made in the 1800’s. Gun’s won’t go away just because some petty tyrant says they should or passes a law. I would say Hogger is a petty tyrant.

  9. It’s a shakedown with more than a slight resemblance to a protection racket.

    They’re hoping the mfrs will cough up some money. But of course the mfrs know this money would only be used to bribe politicians to foist more gun laws on the country.

  10. Dear Sam Hoober….
    How facile your blather about how gun manufacturers cannot do anything about gun violence. I am not part of the “gun industry”, not a manufacturer, not a gunsmith but these things seem simple enough for any company concerned with the safety of fellow citizens:
    – Pressure government to establish mandatory annual proficiency and training requirements
    – Pressure governments to establish mandatory mental and health background checks to weed out those likely to just snap one day and start shooting innocent bystanders (those people are the real “gun violence” threats)
    – Lobby to set a nation-wide magazine buy-back for any clips capable of holding more than four cartridges
    – Announce the immediate cessation of the manufacture of any firearm of more than .22LR caliber (excluding magnum or other enhancements of .22LR from manufacture)
    – Announce the immediate end to manufacturing firearms that look like current weapons used by militaries or militias, anywhere in the world
    – Lobby for mandatory liability insurance for all gun owners, including felony laws against anyone using a firearm, for any purpose, who does not have liability insurance within 30 days of the passing of a national law.
    – Lobby for mandatory 30 day waiting periods for the purchase of firearms
    – Support the movement to restrict firearm and ammunition purchases to one firearm and 50 rounds of ammunition to twice per year
    – Establish a buyback program for any firearm manufactured prior to 2019, firearms that look like military weapons, or are larger than .22LR caliber
    – Stop any and all national or local advertising for any firearm of greater than .22LR caliber, and so-called black rifles (including those rifles that except for exterior color/finish would have been a black rifle)
    – Lobby to end production of materials that make ammunition manufacture by private citizens possible
    – Declare a voluntary 50% reduction in market share in five years
    – Devote 25% of your market development funds to presenting for sale a rifle and pistol “safe” guns, with a target of offering for sale in three years (along with a commitment to end sales of standard firearms within seven years).

    There ya’ go. And I am not even paid for figuring this stuff out.

      • “They’d just switch over to making assault atlatl’s.”

        The atlatls I have seen on video are not black. Would painting work, or would the atlatl require some sort of anodizing to reach a black surface?

        • Atlatl’s are traditionally made of hardwood, including the darts. Wood can be easily dyed black. I’ve made a couple of primitive ones, although I’m not very good at accuracy or range with them. A good thrower can kill a deer at 100yds or better.

          • “Wood can be easily dyed black.”

            Would dye provide sufficient protection against rust and wear? You gotta consider these things in high humidity states.

    • This sounds like an amazing start for a tyranny! Before you go Europe isn’t a tyranny and they have “muh gun laws”, they actually are. If you can’t adequately defend yourself, you no longer own you own life, and are therefore owned by the state and live in a tyranny. If you can no longer criticize the state, or policies of the state without fines or jail time, you live in a tyranny. If you don’t have freedom of expression for popular ideas, you live in a tyranny.

    • None of this is a handicap if your goal is to put a couple of bullets in the back of someone’s head or hold up a convenience store and murder the clerk.

      • “None of this is a handicap if your goal is to put a couple of bullets in the back of someone’s head or hold up a convenience store and murder the clerk.”

        Think of it as a really big move to “do something”.

      • “Do you really think anybody read your sheet?”

        If you didn’t read it, how can you characterize it? Characterize it correctly?

        I do not like accepting that some people are not interested in reading beyond the superficial. But to explain…it was a take-down of an earnest but silly article. It was written just in case Mr. Hoober would ever read TTAG.

    • And gun manufacturers should make all guns white. They’ll be less violent than black guns.

      Psst: for those who can’t figure it out, I’m being sarcastic and so was Sam.

    • Dumassam, a whole lot of points, all of which need the exact same answer. Criminals will not comply, therefore none will have any tiny effect. Except for MASSIVE bother, cost, and discomfort for the law-abiding, which is, in fact, the goal of the type of lying piles of shit which would try to push such garbage. Check your sources, this might be YOU!

      • Nice tirade, but….

        Which of the proposals could not be used bby gun manufacturers to affect “gun violence”? Which are not in the realm of real actions that can be taken by manufacturers? This has nothing to do with criminals. Criminals are not the target for reducing “gun violence”.

        On a related note, I am surprised that I need to explain the commentary to you. In fact, I do not want to explain it; eliminates the need to read, reflect and project conclusions. Go beyond the simplistic kneejerk reaction. You’re up to the challenge.

    • I have a more effective option…. Whenever someone goes wacko and shoots people for no reason, or in the commission of a felonious assault that person should be HUNG, with a short rope, in the public place that will afford that best viewing.
      After a few of those there will be some serious thinking going into OTHER ways to commit crimes. Same thing they did in the old west to stop horse thieves, and it worked. Cattle? Not so much.

  11. Only someone of the Tard persuasion would think such was even a reality,then again unicorns jumping rainbows in a Tard utopia are not a reality either but hey they can dream can’t they.

  12. They could get Republicans elected in Chicago. That would take out a huge chunk of “gun violence”. It would also take out a huge chunk of their assets, which is not something a publicly held company can do.

  13. He should wipe that stuff off of his face before he goes out in public. Or, better still, just stay home.30

  14. Yo, dummies, you won’t end gang and drug violence by getting rid of guns, simple as that. You’re thinking too small, you need to work at changing that.

  15. You guys seriously need to proof-read your articles before you post them. It’s becoming quite unprofessional. Otherwise, this article is spot on and I plan to utilize the information within to embarrass radical right-hating fascists when they open their blowholes.

  16. Gun prohibitions are about controlling people with fear of arrest and imprisonment. There goes your normal life and you live under a bridge digging through trash cans. So turn over the guns.
    The law abiding will do just that.
    They don’t care about crime or victims because they have security around them. Not their dilemma.
    And let us not forget a police state can appropriate whatever it needs from the productive. What are they going to do about it?

  17. This is just a stupid ass story that doesn’t need to be written, it’s as dumb as the people making up this shit.
    Anything that you own could be the next weapon or maybe it will just be another illegal alien killing American citizens.

  18. If I may, the following comes to mind. Regarding those who demand that gun manufacturers “do something”, seems that the following duty falls squarley on their shoulders. EXACTLY WHAT, other than perhap disappearing from the face of the earth, something unlikely to happen. I await a sentient, adult response, though I admit that I do not plan to hold my breath while I wait.

    • Do Something? Yeah… Make lots MORE and sell them at LOWER prices so that there are 400 Million out there! And pass Reciprocity, and then stop prosecuting people who defend themselves since they are “protecting the thin Blue Line”. They should be handing out LE ammo to those folks along with a “courtesy card”… Seriously.

  19. The placard shown in the opening photo proclaims, We Can End Gun Violence. Interestingly, nowhere is HOW mentioned. Buzz phrases are easy. Actual performance is another story.

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