Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 9/28/08

Predicting The Next US Bail Out: Gun Industry.
By Grey Business
Following the massive bail out of supposed financial giants and safe houses some are wondering just who and what the US government will rescue from financial folly next.
Most readily admit that the bailouts had to occur lest the entire world economy collapse into an inescapable black hole doom to Wisconsin. However the Federal government is not rescuing everyone, concerned that to do so would encourage the same recklessness that led to the current financial meltdown that has pretty much capped George W as “Worse President Ever.”
The agricultural sector is well protected and the automotive industry has been flexible enough, due to constant changes, to theoretically ride out the storm.
Surprisingly the one area that is suffering trouble and is quietly expecting assistance is the “home defence” industry, also known as the handgun manufacturing sector.
The gun industry is, publicly, riding high on a wave of public concern and paranoia, hard economic times lend themselves towards an increase in crime, leading to increased gun sales for the purposes of self defence and “protection”.
Privately there are concerns that gun manufacturing may fall. While surge purchases at difficult times provide a boost the bread and butter of the industry are collectors and gun nuts, both of whom will be looking to their wallets and seriously considering whether they need that German Luger when there are other collectors and gun nuts with deeper pockets in on the bid.
Furthermore there gun industry has attempted to be as innovative as the financial sector, without quite as much risk though greater frivolity.
Much funding has been spent, some would argue squandered, on lobbying, the main cost of doing business for gun manufacturers.
Still more has been spent “seeding the earth”, laying down positive media for future customers and growth in the industry.
Programs like “Guns in Schools” have massively, massively backfired, literally and figuratively when a batch of defective firearms shot backwards.
Only the sheer incompetence of the wielders saved lives, though millions in masonry and drywall was destroyed and had to be replaced.
New product lines have also proven disastrous. Attempting to market themselves to conservative interests, including “traditional homemakers”, the Handy Housewife Helper Home Defender, a weapon that combined the power of a shotgun with the utility of a vacuum cleaner and blender, failed to sell due to overly complex instructions, counterintuitive controls and the simple fact that there were eighteen buttons to control three devices located at fifteen different points on the appliance/weapon/small land vehicle.
It would be a stunning twist to the argument surrounding the right to bear arms if the Federal Government had to mount a bailout of the industry.
Sadly the quid pro quo of politics means that many a senator may attempt to force the issue as the gun industry calls in favours to save itself from financial ruin rather than liberalising weapons laws.
Not that this would be without cost, direct government intervention means direct government
oversight, not the sort of thing the gun lobby would want.
At the very least a number of cost cutting measures may soon be introduced, including the “nine guns in one” concept originally pioneered by Franklin McGurk shortly before his untimely death when seven guns simultaneously exploded in his face while two more shot him in the upper leg and lower jaw.

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