“We’ve faced tyranny on the battlefield together; helped tame the Wild West; kept the streets safe; and shared in successful days afield and fun trips to the range. America celebrates its 237th birthday this week and its relationship with Smith & Wesson remains a close and longstanding one, as evidenced by a recent survey that listed the iconic firearms manufacturer as one of the country’s most patriotic brands.” So sayeth Smith’s press release. Brand Keys conducted the survey in question, based on some kind of interaction with 4500 consumers. The press release fails to mention that BK asked respondents about 35 pre-selected brands. Which kinda throws a wet blanket on the following statement . . .
The survey results indicated that the Smith & Wesson brand is one of the 25 most patriotic brands in America, a result the company credits to its 161-year commitment to consumers, law enforcement and military customers, as well as its tireless support of Second Amendment freedoms. Founded in 1852, Smith & Wesson is the third-oldest brand on the list and the only firearms manufacturer to be named. The list also included a host of other industry-leading brands and top market performers across multiple product categories.
OK, so they kinda did mention the pre-selection bit. Ish. In fact, Smith & Wesson didn’t make the top ten. Or the top 16. And then there’s a question about Smith’s “tireless support of the Second Amendment.” If I recall correctly, S&W (British-owned at the time) got a little fatigued on that whole 2A thing at the turn of the century. Wikipedia:
In 2000 the Clinton administration reached an agreement with Smith & Wesson, to end federal and state lawsuits, in exchange for marketing and design changes by the company. Some of the items Smith & Wesson agreed to were; to sell guns with locks, to build the locks in the weapons within two years, implement smart gun technology, and take ballistic fingerprints of its guns. Clinton called the deal a “major victory for America’s families.” The NRA and other gun rights groups heavily criticized the settlement calling Smith & Wesson’s actions “a sell-out”, with the NRA calling the agreement “”tantamount to back door blackmail”. Smith & Wesson’s ownership changed in 2001 and the agreement fell apart after George W. Bush came to office and supported lawsuit protection for gun manufactures. However, Smith & Wesson continues to sell guns with internal locks.
I reckon Smith & Wesson learned their lesson. A massive consumer boycott tends to focus the mind. But who knows? When a company whitewashes its history they risk proving George Santayana right about memory failure leading to unconscious repetition. Just sayin’.