Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hard Choices

Should Remington have decided to leave New York?  Should Mossberg and Colt leave Connecticut?  Magpul made the tough choice to leave Colorado, and I cheered.  HiViz has decided to follow suit and leave with MagpulBeretta has decided to leave Maryland and I cheer again.  Does this mean we should never buy Remington products again? 

I find these decisions harder than the simple black and white "move back to America" idea that's so widespread.  After watching this video between Cam Edwards of "Cam and Company NRA News" and Joe Bartozzi, VP of O.F. Mossberg and Sons, the other side of the argument started seeping into my consciousness. 

Connecticut is his home, and it has been the home of O.F. Mossberg and Sons for almost a hundred years.  Their families are there; their family's roots are there.  The employees and their families are all tied to the state, too.  It's hard to move a factory, but even that pales next to uprooting a hundred or more families.  But Mossberg, Stag Arms, magazine maker ASC and others are considering doing just that.  Individual gun owners are putting pressure on these companies; some to bring the jobs into their own state, most (I believe) because they intend to boycott anti-gun states.
Hundreds of emails are pouring in from customers, like this one to Stag Arms: "I've narrowed down my purchase of an AR-15 to a few companies and yours was one of them until you decided to stay in that communist state."
There are good reasons for these companies to move out of the states hostile to the very industries enriching them: stand by their customers in that state.  Take the tax income away from the state.  Hit the politicians with the very real economic consequences of what they do.  It seems to me that to the true leftist tyrants (I repeat myself) that want to eliminate all civilian ownership of guns, the tax money is undoubtedly "blood money" they'd rather do without.  I'd be glad to help them not have that blood money to irritate their consciences.  Pragmatically, the economic consequences are the part that hurt the states the most.  Why else would every state considering these bills write in exemptions to the manufacturers to keep them from moving?  They need the tax income like any other crack ho needs her crack.

But let me tell you where this gets me a little queasy.  At what point does every gun company leaving a state that passes crazy anti-gun bills turn into the equivalent of giving up your house if a home invader breaks in to your garage?  At what point is the right answer fight, not flight?

By that logic, in the rabidly anti-gun states like Connecticut and New York, the invaders aren't breaking down the gate, they've been there forever.  They already had absurd gun laws - they've just gone from absurd to ludicrous.  In others, like Colorado, the invaders are winning the territory for the first time.  Is leaving Colorado at this point is just giving the state over to Nanny Bloomberg's shock troops?  Is that saying Magpul is wrong to leave?  I just don't know.  Part of me says boycott the state, get your money out, and the part says no; stay and fight.  While researching some links for this, I came across this link at Natural News speculating on companies leaving pro-tyranny states as being the sides forming for the new civil war.  I can see the logic behind that.   

I have a modest proposal.  I wouldn't want to say that Remington, Colt or all the other companies shouldn't sell to the government at all.  I don't want guys in the sandbox to be denied their M24/Remington 700 or other needed tools.  But could we make it so they don't sell to the state or local police forces or other agencies?  There are sticky issues to work out if the companies are under contract to those buyers, but let's conveniently ignore those.  If citizens of New York, or Colorado or whomever are denied AR-15s, well, police are regular citizens, not military, aren't they?  Why should the police be treated differently from the other citizens, just because they've been sprinkled with the magic fairy dust of working for the state.

Would it hurt the gun companies? Not really. Before It's News speculates that of the 11 Million new guns bought last year, police sales add up to less than 1% of sales.  Of course, they don't need to give up that whole 1% of sales; they only give up sales to police in the crazy states that abuse their citizens.  I can imagine a great deal of customer loyalty being created by that. A good starting place is Sean's New York Boycott List.  I'd like to see this grow to a list covering New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland and any others. 
Personally, I'm avoiding spending money with any business in those states.  I know the effects of one guy are small, but since this all started, the choice of buying something from an occupied state or a free state has come up a few times, and I've gone to the free state every time.  


  1. Unfortunately, Beretta has NOT decided to leave MD. That opposing view article is factually inaccurate. If you google beretta leaving MD, every reference you'll find points back to that article. Here's the video they take their assumption from.

    The rep never says they are leaving. He only mentions it as a consideration, and a vague one at that. He gets all lawyer-y when asked about transportation under the law. Last official word from Beretta was they want to see the law. I suspect they'll settle for a big government contract and sell out.

    1. Thanks for the clarification, David.

      I was probably predisposed to fall for that story, since I've heard it talked about as fact so many times.

  2. Complex issue, so not every manufacturer will make the same decision. I understand some will stay behind and try to reverse bad legislation.
    On the other hand, I recently closed accounts with even non-firearm businesses just because they are in New York. This is shaping up to be a war, folks.
    Remington took $80,000,000 in government largesse to stay. They don't get a free pass from me.
    III N TN

  3. I don't see complexity at all; "the friend of my enemy is my enemy"

  4. There is nothing there to fight for, the position is overrun - surrounded by hostiles.

    Pack up. Move to a state that values your business and your customers. Let CT, NY et al become the socialist hellholes of the planners dreams.


  5. Purely from an economic standpoint, having production facilities in a geographic location where the authorities have demonstrated an overt willingness to violate individual rights bodes poorly for the future. Moreover, you can be sure that down the road, when the present war of words and ideas becomes a war of blood and bullets, that those same authorities will insist that the manufacturers support those same authorities.

    FreeFor ought to bend every effort to persuade arms makers to move to FreeFor friendly areas now, so as to deny our enemies ready access to the weapons that will be used by totalitarian tyrants to coerce and kill us. One of the reasons that the Confederacy lost the War between the States was that they had little indigenous manufacturing capability, nor did they have much to offer in payment but bulky hard to transport agricultural commodities. (Lack of transportation infrastructure crippled them as well.) The more manufacturing capability we can deny to our enemies, the better for FreeFor in the long run. Let us force our future oppressors into having to deal with importing weapons and ammunition and paying in worthless dollars. Let them suffer the risks of shipping and transportation of high value cargoes across hostile territory.

    In short, there are moral, philosophical, and practical reasons why we should bend every effort to deny our enemies all the benefits of indigenous arms manufacture.

    1. Interesting points. We have a decent gun industry here in Florida, and while we have some sanity in our gun laws, we're a long way from ideal. Still, it would be a better place for Remington to operate than New York. I'd think just not having income tax would have to be an improvement.

      The choice of stay or fight seems to be over for New York, as Itor comments. They've been been anti-liberty for a long time, they've just changed their flavor somewhat. Now that the Supreme court has refused to hear the case against the New York law, it underlines how desperately sane people need to get out of that state.

  6. I think this is the first post I've hit that addresses the fact that it is not so simple as the people living outside of these states would like it to be.
    I'm a nearly lifelong Ct resident, my family has been on the same hill for generations, and before that...well Hartford wasn't named yet when they moved here, let's put it that way. Leaving would break my heart.
    The thing is that pulling factories looks spectacular; but the message that is also being sent is that the factories do not support the legislative process. It is similar to the threat that 'if G.W. Bush is re-elected, I'll move to Canada' which was so very popular with liberals. Only they didn't have the balls to do it. The factories seem willing to, which is very exciting of course, but I don't think it will do anything to reduce the inflammatory behaviour. Furthermore, it sends the message that the people of those states are not worth the time. I have to admit, despite being a gun owner, my opinion of many of the gun owners outside of Ct has dropped recently. They seem to refuse to recognize that running away from the states they don't like is going to leave them with no where to run to. Colorado should be a warning. The country's demographic is not a friend of the tactic of going and playing in the shrinking corners.
    I don't want to belong to a Red state or a Blue state; I want to belong to a USA state. Increasingly both sides have abandoned that idea. Deliberately segregating population is not a good idea. Nor will it play well for the gun owners. We already have a reputation as the scary 'Other', this re-enforces it. Now, it maybe that the gun owning population wants a Civil War. I'll agree that the dissolution, probably violently, of the USA is possible. But do we have to encourage it?
    I'd much prefer to see companies refuse to sell to governments anything that it wasn't legal for the citizens of that state to own.

    1. Thanks for your input.

      I don't see it as an easy decision at all. Remington over in Ilion and Colt up your way are two of the oldest corporations in America. Heritage means something. My wife, BTW, comes from an area of Connecticut where her family has been since the 1600s.

      As we both say, there's a time to leave and a time to fight. If someone breaks into a detached garage do you take up arms or run away? What if they're in your living room? I think the idea of running is a tendency to want easy answers.

      As a country, we have had a tendency to accept hardship in order to move to wherever life seemed better, from the earliest settlers in your area to "go west, young man", to building the Hoover Dam and so on. It is hard to uproot and move, yet we often do it.

      For my part, a civil war may be coming, but I don't want to encourage it and I don't want to give up places like Colorado. At some point though, we are all likely to get backed into a corner beyond which we simply can't compromise further. We all need to determine just where that line is.

    2. @Anonymous New Englander:
      I understand your reluctance to move and your resentment of those who deal starkly from outside. I had a similar reaction when Karl Denninger called for a hardline stance against Texas after the business with the TSA bill a few years ago. Texas is home. Some of my family have been here since the earliest days of the Republic. Our peoples' graves are here. For Texas, I would take arms against foreign invasion from any direction. More widely, the South is home, on both sides of my wife's family and my own. I would defend Albany Georgia as readily as Albany Texas.
      However, as much as I respect the legislative process and the consent of the governed, the laws which Bloomberg's money is currently buying are not worthy of respect. Both their content and the process by which they became law display their contempt for us. They are Intolerable Acts in the truest sense of the words. They are of as much value as laws decriminalizing rape. The lawmakers who pass them deserve only contempt, though I won't heap the same scorn on folks like y'all who will not pull up deep roots. Having trampled the rights of their own sons and daughters, these "lawmakers" reputations ought to be trampled in turn. If we are all very lucky, that will be the worst of it.