Another Case Of A Gun Company Marketing To Youth

The gun prohibitionists like to compare firearms manufacturers to tobacco companies in that both supposedly have to market to youth because their customer base is old and white and dying out.

For example, this article from Think Progess asserts that Americans have a declining interest in the shooting sports and the gun companies have to hook kids on AR-15s.

Responding to Americans’ declining interest in shooting sports, gun manufacturers are developing programs to market their products to younger children. The National Shooting Sports Foundation trade association and the industry-funded National Rifle Association spend millions of dollars annually to recruit kids as gun enthusiasts. And those efforts increasingly focus on pushing semi-automatic assault weapons, including the very model used by the shooter in the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.

The mainstream media loves this meme and repeats it incessantly as evidenced by stories in the paper of making things up (NY Times), CNN, the Guardian, and others. It ignores the fact that one has to be 18 to purchase a long gun from a FFL and 21 to purchase a handgun. Moreover, many states forbid the possession of a firearm by youth under certain ages unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Of course this is utter bovine excrement. If anything, introducing kids to firearms through proper training programs like 4H, the NRA Junior programs, and the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation programs help build more responsible and more mature youth.

Thus, when I got the following press release from Glock yesterday announcing their contribution of $25,000 to the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, I smiled. I knew it would help kids and piss off the gun prohibitionists which is a true win-win.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Apr. 10, 2015 GLOCK, Inc. donated $25,000 to the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) at the 144th NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Ed Fitzgerald, Special Projects Manager at GLOCK, Inc. has worked closely with the SSSF over the years. “As an industry leader, GLOCK understands the importance of promoting safe and effective ways of introducing competitive shooting to young men and women who are just starting in the sport,” Fitzgerald said, “The next generation of shooters are fostered through organizations like the SPP. We will continue our efforts to lead the way by supporting the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation.”

Accepting the check at the GLOCK Booth (#633) were Ben S. Berka, President and Executive Director of the SSSF and Scott Moore, National Director of the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP). Presenting the check on behalf of GLOCK were Josh Dorsey, Vice President at GLOCK, Inc., and GLOCK spokesperson, R. Lee Ermey, “The Gunny.” The ceremony was attended by an exclusive group of Industry media.

GLOCK has been an active sponsor of the SPP since its creation in 2012. “The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is honored to receive this major gift from GLOCK. GLOCK’s support of the SPP is a key element to building a foundation from which to grow all action pistol sports,” Ben S. Berka said. “This donation will help local Scholastic Pistol Programs at the grass-roots level and provide local teams with the education, support and resources to run successful programs.”

I do wonder what The Gunny might say to those who would criticize Glock’s donation to SSSF as merely buying future customers. It probably wouldn’t be printable in a family publication.

Pathetic Sad Sacks

Sometimes our opponents in the war for gun rights reveal more about themselves than they quite realize.

The Demanding Moms sent out a tweet earlier today announcing the court decision that found the City of Chicago’s gun store ban as unconstitutional. I retweeted that with comment that the court’s decision was as it should be. A gun prohibitionist was quick to reply.

Now you might think that someone who has the Twitter name “Ferrarimanf355” might drive something like this.

If you thought so, you’d be wrong.

Actually, Ferrarimanf355 drives a red Fiat 500….that he bought with help from his mom.

That’s not only sad but it’s pathetic. No wonder I make him worry.

Attack On One Of The Safest Ranges I’ve Even Seen

Back in October 2011 I had the opportunity to take a class from Brian Searcy of TigerSwan. It was a fantastic class on a fantastic range. The range was set on a 1,000 acre property. It is one of the few ranges not on a military base that actually meets DoD safety standards. The danger zone is contained entirely within property controlled by TigerSwan.

Nonetheless, some Cumberland County, North Carolina residents want the range shut down despite being in the middle of damn near nowhere. I remember it being almost 10 miles from I-95 and almost a mile from the road to the range.

Frankly, I cannot conceive of any reason to try and shut down this range beyond some vague anti-gun hysteria. The land owners are claiming reduced property values, the danger of stray bullets, and noise which in my opinion is just a smokescreen.

TigerSwan has reapplied for an operating permit under new rules promulgated by Cumberland County. County Commissioners will vote on this permit on Monday, October 21st. Grass Roots North Carolina has issued a release and action alert which I have reprinted below. Having shot on this range, I’d urge everyone to assist TigerSwan in obtaining this permit. If TigerSwan is shot down by Cumberland County, it would mean no range in North Carolina is safe.

They talk about ‘Gun Safety’ but don’t want anyone to practice and train…

The Second Amendment supporters responsible for developing Tiger Swan, a relatively new but well-used Cumberland County outdoor range, have done everything right. The operation was recruited by county officials in 2008 to locate in Cumberland County and began operations in 2010. After years of work and at great expense they have exceeded the numerous difficult requirements now required for establishing new outdoor shooting ranges. For their range they have:

  • Obtained almost 1000 acres of agricultural land, five times the 200 acres required by county rules.

  • Carefully and professionally engineered their site to contain all “Surface Danger Zones” on the property itself.

  • Maintained access control.

  • Secured liability insurance of $5 million, exceeding the required $2 million.

  • Hired an engineer to plan and certify that the range to complies with EPA “Best Management Practices.

Since opening three years ago, a small group of residents has sued Cumberland County to revoke Tiger Swan’s zoning, effectively “moving the goalposts”. Although this group cites concern over noise, danger from stray rounds, and unsubstantiated claims of reduced property values, it is clear what they are really attacking: the right to use firearms in Cumberland County.

While fighting in the courts, Tiger Swan has reapplied for an operating permit under revised County rules established by Commissioners in June, 2013. The Commissioners will meet this coming Monday, October 21 to decide if the permit will be granted.

Denial of this permit will eliminate training opportunities for citizens and law-enforcement officers, as well as cause a chilling effect on range development everywhere in the state. If this first-class operation can be “run out of town” by the gun grabbers, anyone can.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!

  • Email Commissioners. Tell them you support the range operated by Tiger Swan.

  • Sign the petition in support of granting Tiger Swan’s operating permit HERE or go to: http://grnc.org/tigerswan-range-petition

  • Plan to politely attend the Commissioners’ meeting this Monday, October 21, 6:30 pm, at the Cumberland County Courthouse, Room 118.

  • Help GRNC continue to defend your rights by joining and/or donating HERE or go to: http://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute

Contact Information

Contact Cumberland County Commissioners using the cut-and-paste list of email addresses below:

jkeefe@co.cumberland.nc.us; jcouncil@co.cumberland.nc.us; kedge@co.cumberland.nc.us; cevans@co.cumberland.nc.us; wmfaircloth@co.cumberland.nc.us; bking@co.cumberland.nc.us; emelvin@co.cumberland.nc.us

Sign the pro-Tiger Swan petition HERE or at: http://grnc.org/tigerswan-range-petition

Directions to the Commissioner’s meeting at the Cumberland County Courthouse, room 118 are HERE or go to: http://goo.gl/maps/dV6MG

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: “I Support Tiger Swan Range”

Dear Cumberland County Commissioner:

Those opposed to the Second Amendment often cite concern about safe handling and adequate training as excuses to infringe on the right of citizens to bear arms.

At the same time these same groups attack efforts to provide training and practice by making it impossible for shooting ranges and training facilities to operate. They cannot have it both ways.

As you know, the Tiger Swan range has bent over backwards to comply with rules and regulations, and has safely operated in Cumberland County for years. This organization provides important training opportunities to both citizens and law-enforcement. It is in the best interest of both citizens and the County for this operation to continue. In addition, it is only fair.

I expect you to approve Tiger Swan’s operating permit. I will be monitoring progress through Grass Roots North Carolina alerts.

Sincerely,

Journalism Ethics? Yeah, Right

In a column posted earlier this month, Rob Cox, global editor of Reuters Breakingviews, says it would be good business for Starbucks to ban guns in their stores.

Still, the economic downside for Starbucks may be much greater than the company has let on. The current furor could explode into a nationwide call for a boycott – something that many gun control organizations are now publicly embracing, particularly following an insensitive, though legal, call by one gun rights group for its members to parade their weapons at the Starbucks in Newtown, Connecticut – where 20 children and six educators were massacred in an elementary school last December by a gunman wielding an assault weapon with high-capacity magazines.

The truth is, Starbucks and its shareholders may have more to lose than gain by resisting the adoption of a policy like the one it has for its own corporate headquarters that asks gun owners to check them at the door.

This column predated the call by Moms Demand Action to boycott Starbucks today by a few weeks. However, I think it highly likely that Mr. Cox was well aware of the impending boycott today.

Why?

Because Mr. Cox, in addition to his work for Reuters, is a founder of the gun control group Sandy Hook Promise and is their Development Director. He discloses his role as a founder of Sandy Hook Promise at the bottom of his column.

I don’t know whether Mr. Cox is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. If he is a member, shame on him for ignoring the Society’s Code of Ethics. It states that journalists should “Act Independently”.

Act Independently
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.

Journalists should:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.


  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.

  • Disclose unavoidable conflicts.

  • Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.

  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

If Mr. Cox and the rest of the mainstream media ever wonders why gun owners (and conservatives and libertarians) have such a distrust of the media, he need only look to this column and his role as a founder of Sandy Hook Promise. Knowing of his role in a gun control organization, who would ever believe anything that he wrote or edited for Reuters that concerned firearms? The answer is no reasonable person because it would be it be slanted against guns whether consciously or unconsciously.

I Know Where I’m Getting Coffee Tomorrow!

By now, you may have heard of the call by the gun prohibitionists to “Skip Starbucks Saturday” in response to the coffee chain’s determination to remain neutral in the gun debate and to allow carry in accordance with each state’s law. To those of the gun prohibitionists’ ilk, neutrality – while smart business – is an affront to their crusade to make everyone unsafe. While they would not consider a gun-free zone unsafe, those zones have become one of the favorite places for the mentally deranged to commit their heinous acts.

So, of course, I do plan to go to one of the local Starbucks on Saturday to have some nice frou-frou coffee drink that I might not otherwise buy. The Complementary Spouse has a couple of gift cards for Starbucks that we need to use and this seems like a good time to do it.

The good folks at Grass Roots North Carolina note that this is also an opportunity to reinforce the message that it is in all restaurants’ best interest to support the expanded carry provisions of HB 937.

No support is more clear than doing business with those who cooperate with us. We need to demonstrate, in a practical way, that standing behind North Carolina’s gun owners is a winning proposition for restaurants. Inducing failure of this anti-Second Amendment boycott will provide initial momentum for when HB 937 becomes effective in October.

Support Starbucks Saturday…

As you make weekend plans be sure to include a Saturday stop at your local Starbucks for a beverage and snack. Make sure to let your barrista know that you appreciate their respect for carry laws. Drive this message home by printing-out and handing your server the message below.

The alert isn’t up on their website yet so I’m posting their card below. I don’t know if other state-based gun rights groups are doing this but I’d suggest checking their websites for details.

This is certainly an easier way of the getting the message across than try to find a bank that has any $2 bills.

Jim Shepherd in The Shooting Wire also has some wise words about this counter campaign with which I tend to agree. I like his statement about it being a personal choice and not a political one.

I think a gun-neutral position is smart for the company, but it seems that some groups are determined to make guns a polarizing issue. That, I don’t like- no matter which side of an issue you fall on.

So….we may find it advantageous to show up at a Starbucks (or two) this weekend, order one of their innumerable combinations of coffee and simply say “I wanted to thank Starbucks for not taking a side in the gun debate. I think it is a personal choice, not a political one.”

Feel free to put that into your own words- but speak them if you have the opportunity.

Responses Of The Increasingly Irrelevant Old-Line Gun Prohibitionists

The old line gun prohibitionists are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the debate. When Obama threw his hissy fit yesterday after Manchin-Toomey was defeated, he didn’t have Josh Horwitz or Dan Gross by his side. He had Gabby Giffords, former Congresswoman and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, by his side.

When Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) partnered with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to revive gun control, it wasn’t out of fear of pathetic demonstrations by CSGV or an ad campaign by the Brady Campaign. While we will never know for sure what convinced him to go over to the dark side, I’m sure the pressure from Mayor Bloomberg and his fat wallet had something to do with it.

So I find the petulant responses of groups like CSGV and the Brady Campaign to the defeat of the gun control measures yesterday more amusing than irritating. They are like the high school prom queen who has not aged well and is still expecting to get the same attention she got in high school.

From the Brady Campaign:

“This is an insult to the 90 people killed by gun violence every day and the 90 percent of Americans who believe that felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerous mentally ill should not be able to buy guns without a background check, no questions asked. The Senate failed to pass something that virtually all Americans support and would undoubtedly make this a safer nation. It is unfathomable that a Senator could sit across the table from a Newtown parent who lost a child, and then days later vote against this amendment. We will not give up in this fight and we should not lose sight of the progress we have made. That we have come this far only strengthens our resolve to make the American public heard until we can make the Congress listen. And we will work to make sure that those Senators who refuse to represent the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans on this crucial issue are replaced with others who will.

In addition to continuing the fight for expanded background checks at the federal level, the Brady Campaign continues to work to keep the American public safe from gun violence. We are working to maintain momentum at the state level and pass common sense legislation, as we’ve seen in several states including New York, Colorado, and Connecticut. The Brady Campaign has also created groundbreaking programs to help change the way we approach guns in our communities. With 300 million guns already in the nation, it is imperative that we take shared responsibility for how they are stored and handled.”

From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic):

The outcome of today’s votes is a stain on the reputation of the U.S. Senate, and insulting to victims and survivors of gun violence nationwide.

At the same time, gun violence prevention advocates have made tremendous progress in changing the political dynamic of this debate, and we will keep the heat on both the Senate and the House of Representatives until we get meaningful reform. More importantly, with today’s recorded votes, we will be able to inform Americans exactly which legislators are prioritizing the grade they are getting from the NRA over the safety of their constituents.

Americans have made it clear time and time again that they want real reform. Strong majorities of Americans support universal background checks, tough new criminal penalties for gun traffickers, and the renewal of the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

More than 3,482 Americans have been killed by guns since 20 children and six adults were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. We are destined to bury our loved ones following future tragedies if this Congress continues to willfully ignore this epidemic of gun violence.

Tonight was merely the first step in a tireless campaign to keep the gun issue at the top of Congress’ agenda until decisive action is taken. To Americans who want to stop gun violence, we say don’t retreat. Don’t despair. Redouble your efforts and maintain daily pressure on those Senators and Representatives who have failed to support sensible gun reforms. Working together, we can and we will enact life-saving legislation at the federal level.

Prohibitionist Pipe Dreams

Imagine if you will that the Freedom Group is bought by a consortium of investors including Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. Imagine further that the new CEO is a pro-gun control “hunter” and that the new board of directors will include representatives from the families of the children shot in Newtown. Top this all off with the notion that the company will provide “moral leadership” to the gun industry and will establish a fund to compensate crime victims who have been shot with firearms produced by the Freedom Group.

You would be right to ask if I was either showing signs of early dementia or having some sort of drug-induced hallucinogenic dream. Actually, it is neither. This comes from an opinion article written by John Macintosh for CNN.

Mr. Macintosh was a partner with private equity firm Warburg Pincus and is now a partner in SeaChange Capital Partners. The latter sees it mission as:

SeaChange Capital Partners is an entrepreneurial organization that seeks
to deploy its resources – team, relationships, reputation and funds –
to achieve the greatest social impact. At present, these situations fall
into two areas: Nonprofit Collaboration and Advisory Services.
SeaChange also engages in making markets within our extended network by
organizing convenings wherever we see topics of common interest that
are directly connected to transactions.

 Mr. Macintosh specifically suggests that a new non-profit “special purpose acquisition company” be established to buy the Freedom Group. He would call this new non-profit by the cutesy name of  BeForFreedom.org or BFF. He suggests getting the pension funds that have invested in Cerberus to roll their portion of the investment in the Freedom Group into BFF.

His “moral turnaround” plan for the Freedom Group would have the following parts:


(i) Appoints a high-profile CEO with impeccable credentials as a hunter and/or marksman who is nevertheless in favor of gun-control.

(ii) Elects a new board of directors including representatives from the families of victims killed in Newtown (and/or other massacres perpetrated with Freedom Group weapons), military veterans and trauma surgeons with real experience of human-on-human gunfire, and law enforcement and mental health professionals.

(iii) Operates the business as if sensible gun laws were in place (this may turn out to be a wise investment in future-proofing the company): discontinuing sales of the most egregious assault weapons and modifying others as necessary so they cannot take huge-volume clips; offering to buy back all Freedom Group assault weapons in circulation; micro-stamping weapons for easy tracking; and providing price discounts for buyers willing to go through a background check and register in a database available to law enforcement.

(iv) Voluntarily waives its rights to support the NRA and other lobbying groups.

(v) Creates a fund to compensate those who, despite its best efforts, are killed or wounded by its weapons.

(vi) Agrees that if the effort to provide moral leadership in the weapons industry doesn’t succeed within a year, BFF should consider corporate euthanasia, even though it entails a risk of allowing more retrograde manufacturers to fill the void in the market left by the then-deceased company.

Mr. Macintosh does realize that this would be a long shot in his opinion but it has to be tried. He goes on to say:

that a reconstructed Freedom Group, fighting for sensible change as a
fifth column from within the industry, might well find that many people
— even a significant portion of the NRA’s members — would buy from a
truly responsible (and high quality) gunmaker if given the chance.

I’m not some young semi-retired corporate raider who has found religion, so to speak, like Mr. Macintosh. However, I’d say I have a better grasp on the firearms industry and reality than does Mr. Macintosh. If he really thinks this would come to pass and people would buy from the reconstituted Freedom Group, I’d offer these three little words of warning.

Smith and Wesson.