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Op-ed claims gun makers to blame for even more

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I understand that not everyone will agree with me on guns. If you’re a regular reader of Bearing Arms, the odds that you and I agree on most things are pretty high, but beyond that, I understand that agreement isn’t always likely.

However, there are things that shouldn’t be controversial, such as gun makers having the right to make guns. It’s a legal product that’s manufactured and sold in accordance with federal and any applicable state laws.

If laws work, there shouldn’t be a problem. If not, then there’s no reason for them to exist.

It seems that one op-ed takes issue with gun makers because, well…after reading it, they simply exist.

It starts out basic enough.

There is a familiar pattern after the mass shootings that have become a well-known feature of American life.

The initial shock and grief gives way to demands for greater regulation of gun ownership by Democrats, while Republicans dismiss such measures and blame mental illness instead. But if we actually want to do something about it, we need to have new conversations.

We often talk about where and how weapons are purchased — but rarely where and how they are manufactured. These realities challenge the conventional way we talk about guns in terms of a “culture war” between red and blue states.

For example, the blue states of Massachusetts and Connecticut have some of the strictest regulations on firearms carrying and possession. But they are also major sites of gun manufacturing in this country. The weapons used in the 2018 Parkland shooting, for example, were manufactured by Smith and Wesson, a gun manufacturer based in Massachusetts.

OK, we’ve heard this before, and it’s always funny to me how many gun makers are headquartered in very anti-gun states.

But it goes off the rails in the next paragraph.

The deeper and bigger point is that the U.S. is the world’s principal supplier of weapons.

The U.S. weapons industry makes both heavy weapons like military aircraft, bombs, and missiles, and small arms like rifles and handguns. As of 2021, over 40% of the world’s exported arms came from the United States — many of them manufactured in deep blue states.

That’s right, American industry is bad because it makes products that we and our allies use to help keep our nations free.

If this were just some anti-war rant, I could at least respect where they’re coming from. The thing is, it doesn’t look like they are.

For example, in September 2014, local police in the state of Guerrero, Mexico were responsible for the disappearance and murder some 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College. The police were armed with rifles that were supplied legally from Colt, a prominent U.S. gun manufacturer headquartered in Connecticut.

Most Americans, including most gun owners, support some level of gun control or background checks. But gun lobbies like the NRA, which are so influential in red states, don’t really represent gun owners — they represent gun manufacturers. In fact, of the NRA’s corporate partners, several are gun manufacturers based in blue states.

As long as these corporations flood the U.S. and the world with guns, debate over who accesses these guns won’t get us very far.

That’s right, this horrible human rights abuse carried out by government agents – police officers, who are the only people generally allowed to carry a firearm in Mexico – is really all because an American gun maker sold firearms in accordance with federal law.

Remember, sales outside of the US require State Department approval. These sales weren’t carried out in a vacuum.

Further, while the United States makes a lot of weapons, we’re far from the only producer. Many of those other producers aren’t very picky about who they sell guns to.

To say that Mexico shouldn’t be permitted to buy guns from the US wouldn’t stop atrocities like what happened in Mexico. If anything, forcing them to get guns from China or Russia would make it harder to work with Mexican authorities to combat things we should all stand against, like human trafficking.

Honestly, this idea that gun makers are responsible for the misuse of their products – either my homegrown psychos or psychos abroad – is beyond stupid. That’s like saying the truck attack in Nice, France, was really Renault’s fault.

Just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself.

Read the full article here

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