Last month’s farcical House Oversight and Reform “assault weapons” hearing has finally sparked a spirited response from the gun industry. Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith refused to participate in Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney’s inquisition blaming gun manufacturers for the murders in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York, among others.
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Ruger’s Chris Killoy and Daniel Defense’s Marty Daniel endured nearly six hours of propaganda, deliberate misinformation, and outright wild claims about their businesses and marketing. Maloney (D-NY) was visibly angered that Smith declined to subject himself to the same. She vindictively subpoenaed Smith & Wesson’s records, hoping to defame Smith and his company.
Mark Smith Responds
Smith hit back with a truly epic open letter that I hope will restore the gun industry’s spine. Gun controlling politicians love to blame gun manufacturers for rising violence. They know the media and other useful idiots parrot whatever they say without any kind of critical thought. Responsible citizens and the gun industry have tried not rocking the boat for too long.
Smith laid the blame for rising crime squarely where it belongs: politicians and their soft on crime policies. “A number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media have recently sought to disparage Smith & Wesson. Some have had the audacity to suggest that after they have vilified, undermined, and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, overseen the decay of our country’s mental health infrastructure, and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers are somehow responsible for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies. But they are the ones to blame for the surge in violence and lawlessness, and they seek to avoid any responsibility for the crisis of violence they have created by attempting to shift the blame to Smith & Wesson, other firearm manufacturers, and law-abiding gun owners.”
Bravo, Mr. Smith! I rarely include such long quotes, but it’s necessary. Politicians are past masters at shifting blame for their own missteps and even their deliberately ruinous policies. And regular people pay the price. In this case, it’s responsible gun owners who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights. It’s the employees who work hard turning out quality products, whether they work for Smith & Wesson or some other gunmaker. But it’s never the politicians pushing their agendas.
Blaming the Inanimate Object
Smith points out that the most violent cities also have the most stringent gun control laws. That’s no surprise to most of us, but, again, the politicians running those cities never take responsibility for the conditions there. It’s always someone else’s fault, whether it’s neighboring gun-friendly states, gun manufacturers, the “gun lobby,” or gun owners in general. But not the politicians and not the criminals themselves. No. Never them.
Smith noted something that we have said for years: Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. He pointed out that “a Smith & Wesson firearm has never broken into a home…assaulted a woman out for a late-night run in the city…or carjacked an unsuspecting driver at a traffic light. Instead, Smith & Wesson provides these citizens with the means to protect themselves and their families.”
Smith is exactly right and good on him for making the distinction. Many of us have been saying just that for years but have often wondered whether the industry actually has our backs whenever the gun controllers are feeling frosty.
Smith says his company is proud of its history, as it should be. He also promised to continue working with people of good faith “who genuinely seek productive discussions, not a means of scoring political points.” Take that, Carolyn Maloney. You’ve built a career targeting responsible gun owners and levying the most outrageous accusations. Mark Smith has finally thrown it back at you.
No First Amendment for You!
Smith also pushed back against the recent trend of targeting gun companies’ marketing. It stems from the bewildering decision allowing the Sandy Hook parents to sue Remington into bankruptcy because their advertising supposedly incited the murderer on that dark day. Never mind that his mother purchased the gun in question, and he murdered her before stealing it.
Gun controllers were emboldened by victorious lawyer Josh Koskoff, who seems hell-bent on tearing down all firearms advertising to enrich himself. Never mind about rights and things like that. Advertising was the focus of Maloney’s theatrics last month too.
But Smith replied that “We will continue informing law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutionally protected right to defend themselves and their families. We will never back down in our defense of the 2nd Amendment.” Again, well said. Mr. Smith. You’re standing up for the First Amendment too.
Stop Playing Defense
Gun controllers, whether they be politicians, activists, or both, have controlled the narrative since at least 1968. Never mind that the narrative is mostly fabricated. Well, I’m tired of hearing it. I’m tired of taking the blame for bad policies and criminal actions. I bet you are too. Gun controllers clearly want to destroy the gun industry and disarm the population. And they will use any means necessary, including turning Congress into a star chamber style circus.
Say it with me: The operative word in “gun control” is “control.” These true-believing zealots will not stop. Ever. We have been saying it for a long time. It’s time to stop playing defense, hoping they will somehow be satisfied with the latest concession. They won’t, and it’s about time the industry stood up for itself. Smith’s letter is hopefully the first step toward speaking the truth and rebutting the propaganda. Time will tell if the other industry heads answer the call.
Here is Mark Smith’s entire letter: