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“The company was founded on the principle of keeping Americans and our allied forces safe. We’re not saying that Pakistan would get the weapons and do anything bad with them, but there’s just a heavy set of unrest over there.” – Desert Tech sales manager Mike Davis, Honorable Utah gun manufacturer praised for refusing to sell guns to Pakistan [at]

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  1. “In 2013 we faced a moral dilemma that I wanted to get some opinions on. … After much internal review we elected not to sell to Pakistan. I wanted to throw this out to our military friends to see if our concern was legitimate and hear your thoughts on it.”

    Posting this question to their Facebook page (click for full posting) was as bald a cry for attention and press as I’ve ever seen. There’s no way they didn’t know they’d get attaboys from all the “ ‘Murica!” folks for “taking this stand,” and the fact that they acted all surprised when the post went viral seems extremely disingenuous to me.

    Other companies are faced with this decision (or one like it) nearly every day. Some choose to make the sale. Some don’t. But only DesertTech put their “internal anguish” on their Facebook page like a heartsick teenage girl, and for doing so they got the (should have been) completely expected accolades, along with the attendant promises of “now I know who I’m buying gun stuff from.” I’m not arguing that it’s not effective way to boost sales, but acting all surprised about the reaction gives me a bad taste in my mouth.

    • And what would be wrong with that? Are “Muricans” bad guys now? Is business promotion illegal or immoral? Shouldn’t all businesses be doing the same? Are you just jealous?

      • No, but it is dishonest.

        I would be okay with them not selling to Pakistan and saying that they simply dont sell there.

        But making it seem like something big on their FB page is just unprofessional.

      • As I said, my issue was with their reaction.

        Oh, we never expected all this praise! Oh goodness me!”

        Well, then you’re stupid. But I don’t believe you’re stupid, which means you’re lying to me about your surprise.

      • He didn’t say anything was wrong with their decision, nor with the people sending praise/business their way.

        He simply said that the company’s “surprise” at people’s reaction is…surprising.

    • I run a small business (not firearm related), as I’m sure many of us here do, and if experiences are similar, you do stuff like this all the time. You perhaps anticipate a response from your community, and hope that if you did the right thing you’ll increase customer loyalty and word-of-mouth, sure.

      But anticipating a post going viral and going big like that? You can’t do that. They could have done something like that a dozen times before and seen nothing but a few people acknowledging it. So yeah, their surprise could very well be genuine. Maybe not on the approval, but on the scope of it.


      Because, America!

    • Good heavens they’re just doing PR, which is disingenuity by definition. All companies do it. Let’s not get our panties in a wad because this company is doing it smarter than the others. We have bigger fish to fry than one gun maker being suspiciously open about not selling guns to a hotbed of Islamic extremism.

    • The founder of the company posted it. Perhaps he was trying to build a relationship with his customers, I don’t have a problem with that. Even if he wasn’t surprised by the amount of praise he got for his actions, saying so isn’t a problem. Every company promotes themselves by telling people how much good they have done; most cases if they didn’t no one would know. I find nothing at all disingenuous by this action.

    • An arms company with morals? Terrible!

      /end sarc

      Matt, I’m not gonna hire you for any marketing work.

      I’ll take “fake” surprise from a gun manufacturer over bald faced lies from Fienstein / Obama / Holder / MAIG / news media any day.

  2. Yup. Agree that a smarter marketing strategy would have been to let this “leak” via their employees… i think their intention was pure but they need a publicist.

  3. They turned down a lucrative contract that would have supplied arms to a barely-veiled enemy of the United States, and managed to leverage it into some (manipulated) good publicity.

    Accepting excessive praise for a decent act doesn’t make that act indecent. It just makes it a bit less altruistic.

  4. Cash rules. i’d sell it to them. unless they believe they can get more than $10 million in sales by NOT selling a $10 million contract to Pakistan.

    if we weren’t over there poking around, then we wouldn’t have to worry about troops getting hurt. right?

      • Thats a different case, “Ronnies big F.U” was simply him deciding to sell the same things to both LE and citizens(which LE are)

      • Cash does rule. 2 million potential sales to LE/Mil vs 200 million potential sales to all citizens. That may not have been Barrett’s intention, but it makes good business sense. This current case is interweb marketing IMHO.

        • Got to agree, Tomas, I just ain’t buying this song and dance. The Pakis have been known as arms producers of some skill for awhile, I just can’t see them spending money for something they can,and do, produce.

          Unless there is some proprietary bit of technology that they can only get by making a large, government contracted, purchase I don’t see this “story” as being anything more than that. A story.

  5. What bleeding edge weapons would Pakistan get from these guys that they couldn’t get elsewhere? Small arms are pretty old tech for the most part.

  6. Just curious, what exactly were they asked to sell the Pakis? Pakistan has quite the weapons industry all on their own, so just what is it they were looking to acquire?

    • They make “precision weapons systems” aka $3-5000 sniper rifles in .308, .338, and .375 CheyTac (which I’ve never heard of and for which the ammo sells at $7-8 /round).

      • OK, I read the press article and it was quite vague. That said, I think I am going to call bullsh*t on this. Pakistan has no reason to buy such, they make their own at a plant in the same city Osama was hiding in for years. Large military and industrial complex there, plus a military college.

        Something smells 3 days dead about this.

  7. If the pakistanis want weapons they will get them just as any country or person can that said I had a pakistani professor last semester who probably hated America more than al qaeda so I have had a bad experience with pakistanis

    • What happened to INDIVIDUAL responsibility? You had a bad experience with an individual not an entire country.

      • Ive met one pakistani im my life and sje was a horrid person Pakistan is the country that took us dollars then protected bin Laden and alot of my good friends are indian and they think Pakistan should be a crater that said I always judge people individualy

        • And those funny little “dots” just to the right of the commas. Was going to say “period” but you know how some people twist around such things here.

  8. It’s more than teenage girl anguish. It’s $10 million, if the report is accurate. I don’t know the margins in their industry, let alone their company, but with that revenue we’re talking at least a million dollars of net income. That’s more than mere adolescent cri de couer. Regardless whether one agrees with them, it’s a serious decision with serious consequences and merits more than a patronizing “taking a stand” in quotes characterization.

    As for their spin and marketing and appeal for attaboys, so what? Virtue may be its own reward, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still nice to hear some praise once in a while. Challenging their motivation is offensive. What matters is their action. Do we praise the baker as a hero because his work feeds our families? No, we just pay him for the loaves and go about our business.

    Do we regard a murderer as a super duper monster because he’s motivated by racism? Some do, including the law, but many don’t, including many commenters here. We just observe the action and call it what it is: evil. There’s no moral discount or surcharge based on degree of evil intent. So why should there be any qualification of this company’s action?

    Finally, we all sleep and rise and live under the safety and security provided directly by, or paid for by, the “Murica!” crowd. If anyone is that disdainful of their contribition to our country, then by all means, let’s not relegate that contempt to a single zinger. It deserves at least an entire essay.

    • That was a great speech, but you’re another who missed my point. I’m not disdaining the ‘Murica! crowd or their “contribution to our country.” Where did I say that? Point it out, or peddle your strawman elsewhere.

      I’m disdaining DT’s reaction to the posting. If they posted it, and said here’s what we’re doing, and then said, “Fuck yeah, we did that!” then that, in my opinion, would be an honest reaction. But to post it, and then say they are “surprised and humbled and honored” by the reaction leaves a sour taste in my mouth. You’re not real bright if you didn’t see that reaction coming, and I don’t think they’re stupid. Kudos to them for making the decision (I guess; I never really thought about it, and don’t really care) and kudos to using it for publicity purposes to possibly replace some of the lost business. But be honest about it.

      In all honesty, I see no reason that any of us needed to know about the RFP or their decision to decline it. The fact they told us about it is pure internet viral marketing. And it worked. So good on them for that, I guess. But the innocent act isn’t fooling me.

      • “Murica!” isn’t a complimentary term and you damn well know it. Own your bias or go play daft elsewhere. There’s nothing to debate if you refuse to be honest. That degenerates quickly, as it already has, into me calling you out and refuting point by point, and you saying “nuh uh!” Come on, you’re better than that.

        • I use that term both ways. Context is king. In this context, I didn’t intend it to be derogatory, though I can see how you could interpret that I did. I suppose I could have said “pro-gun crowd” or “gun-show crowd” or the like, but those aren’t what popped into my head.

          (Not for nothin’, but now that I think about it, ‘Murica aptly sums up the folks I meant. There are clearly pro-gun folks who are not part of the ‘Murica crowd, but I’d wager that the vast majority if not all of that crowd are pro-gun. “Gun-show crowd” would probably have been a good approximation, though. Venn diagrams and stuff, yo.)

        • Fair enough, Matt. Fact is, I sometimes say it, too, and mean it as something like a collective term of endearment; but that’s with an uncommon reclaiming and neutralizing purpose. Sort of like others might use a given objectionable term in, say, rap lyrics, and that’s ok with them. Hmmm…..perhaps actions may be filtered through the prism of intentions at times?

          This was fun, Matt. As always (well, as always with those whom I respect), we part with a handshake and an otherwise unspoken understanding that reasonable men will differ. Wouldn’t have it any other way, my friend.

          • Counterpoint: I used it a LOT negatively over the past few days, because I was down at Disney, and so it was in reference to the morbidly obese people walking around with turkey legs and ice cream cones clutched in their greasy fat little sausage fingers.

  9. If they really cared about the safety of innocent people, they’d refuse to sell to the US government as well.

  10. Alright, since we’re playing the inference game – Dan, just because Desertech wouldn’t give you one of their weapons to “evaluate”, writing conjecture is yellow journalism and a disservice to what you claim this site is all about…

    • Dan posted a quote, from an article, from a source at the company, and he did so without comment. Please point out exactly where you see conjecture or yellow journalism in the post. Give specific examples.

    • OK, then. How about this, from the linked article (Young is the founder/president, Davis is the sales manager):

      “[Young] made that decision and he put the post out there, I think, because he wanted to see if he made the right choice,” Davis said. “Sometimes, going with your heart and what you feel about something is the hardest thing to do.”

      Seriously? Going with his heart? To see if he made the right choice? Did he expect, by posting that question, that a million voices were going to rise up on Facebook to tell him no, he was wrong, he should sell to Pakistan? Come on, now. Nobody really believes that, do they?

      • Regardless, business is business. Perhaps they have capitalized on free publicity, who wouldn’t?

    • I’m not sure who “we” is, and though I don’t want to put words in his mouth, I don’t think Dan presented it in that light. The comments above are simply what I thought as soon as I read about this story a couple days ago.

      I don’t think it was “only” a marketing ploy, but it’s definitely a huge benefit. Like I said just above, “to see if he made the right choice” is pretty disingenuous, I think. Who’s gonna tell him he’s wrong? And if someone did tell him he was wrong, I guarantee someone else would say “STFU, it’s his company, he can do what he wants” whether they agreed with the “Pakistan angle” or not. So there was literally zero downside to putting the post up.

  11. I don’t have a problem with this company’s decision. If they had any sand, however, they’d cut off all trade with the Middle East, or any country known to tolerate radical Islam. Here’s looking at you, Saudi Arabia.

    • Any sand? Curious term. I’m not disagreeing with any point, just taking note of the wording, as I always love a new turn of phrase. I get the general meaning from the context, but what does it specifically mean? Where does that come from?

      • It means to have guts, or balls, or be strong willed. “Intestinal fortitude” if you will. Courage, toughness.

        It’s been around for years, and my 30 second web search didn’t come up with an origin. Mark Twain used it in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

        You may say what you want to, but in my opinion she had more sand in her than any girl I ever see; in my opinion she was just full of sand.

  12. So many drama queens here.

    They drummed up some positive PR while at the same time making a decision to not sell to Pakistan.

    The only question that matters; Why does this bother you?

    Because if it does, I find it ironic you are busting on them for manufactured drama. =/

    I wish more companies would be “Merica” now a days.

    You guys are a bunch of retards – you bust on someone for not showing pride in our country, then when they do you pull the “Merica” insult.

    • Wow, BravoWhiskeyGolf, you got a LOT of self hate their, honey. Perhaps you should work on that.

  13. PR is PR: Good for them but, here’s a question How did they get on the “short list” if they weren’t trying to sell to Pakistan in the first place? I call BS. But smart PR to drum up business and that is what business is about.

    • Ding ding ding.

      Is it possible that they didn’t win the bid and then came out with this to save face and try to drum up more business?

    • Yea! I gots several items of sell-able interest and ain’t none of them going to Pakistan. I think it is discrimination cuz I’m a White Boy. Perhaps we could sue!?!?!?

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