“Not all Muslims are terrorists” — this is a statement that is repeated over and over whenever there is an incident involving Islamic terrorism. All intellectually honest and reasonable people can attest to the statement’s validity. Even if there were critical views of the role of religion in terrorism, we as Americans like to give the benefit of the doubt. As a leader among democratic nations, we esteem individual attributes over bequeathed titles. This is the beauty of America. So, why is this courtesy not extended to gun owners?
Whenever there is a mass shooting committed by a member of a protected racial or social category, the mainstream media bends over backwards providing cover for that community. They adamantly point out that the actions of the individual do not represent the behavior of an entire people group. Again, reasonable Americans have no contention with this issue. What conservatives should be quick to point out, however, is that discriminatory labels are immediately handed down on those that support or practice the Second Amendment.
Not all (insert social group here) are (insert criminal action or behavior here). But all gun owners are potential mass murderers. That’s the message behind the instantaneous reaction to any violent crime involving firearms. The media does not talk about bringing law and order to ghettos or imposing strong limitations on immigration. That apparently would be racist, or some other form of “-ism.” But it is perfectly acceptable to go after law-abiding gun owners with extreme prejudice and vitriol. The audacious hypocrisy has to be acknowledged to be believed.
From a financial perspective, there’s not much that can be done about the attacks against the Second Amendment, save from donating to advocacy groups. Of course, with the number of scams that are out there, such generosity has to be tempered with the reality of our era. Perhaps the most practical course of action is to be an active procurer of firearms. Given the political climate, we just don’t know how long we can enjoy the relatively unencumbered right to bear arms.
Even firearm stocks as an investment is a tricky arena. Sure, companies like Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (NASD:SWHC) have been given a large boost in the wake of the Orlando attack. But how sustainable is a company that is somewhat dependent on bad things happening to innocent people? As the FBI statistics show, the rate of firearm purchases (based on the number of background checks conducted) have been declining against prior years. This is especially true for so-called black rifles, like the popular AR-15.
What we can surmise is that those that have wanted to buy guns due to fears of government-imposed restrictions have already done so. Yes, there will be more shootings, and that will inevitably drive fear-based sales for firearm manufacturers. But profitability in the firearm sector isn’t guaranteed.
The main challenge is that gun makers are in a business, and not many businesses can survive with so much bad press. Clearly, gun owners are the universal target for all manners of prejudice and discrimination. Until that culture is reversed, we can expect companies like SWHC to face fundamental headwinds.