Please, Please Buy This Gun Company

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Andrew Ross Sorkin writing at NYT:

The usual suspects of potential buyers are circling, including rival gun manufacturers like Sturm, Ruger & Company and some small financiers willing to accept whatever criticism would come from buying Remington.

More tantalizing is a pie-in-the-sky idea: whether a beneficent billionaire, like Michael R. Bloomberg, could buy the company and either try to transform it or shut it down — a sort of philanthropic euthanasia in the name of gun control.

Yet all of those options have challenges. So here’s a practical idea that should be considered more than just a thought experiment:

What if the big banks that have provided financing to Remington during its bankruptcy were to back — and partner with — one or more of the big private equity firms in an effort to transform the company into the most advanced and responsible gun manufacturer in the country?

After all, virtually all the banks have a “social impact” unit or at least an initiative meant to “do good.” And so do many private equity firms, like TPG and Bain Capital.

And they would not be out to kill the business; quite the opposite: They could create a profitable model for the rest of the industry using technology and sound sales policies to reinvent the modern-gun manufacturer.

A reimagined Remington with a new management and mandate could develop smart-gun technology. It could back fingerprint technology meant to prevent anyone who is not the gun’s owner from shooting it, a measure that could greatly reduce suicides and the potential for guns to be stolen. It could add an identity stamp to ammunition fired from any of its guns. It could also establish and standardize responsible sales policies for retailers to sell its firearms.

What would happen, for instance, if a consortium were to come together so that the banks offered the buyer a below-market loan, giving a socially responsible investor the advantage of a lower cost of capital? What would happen if one of the big retail chains like Walmart and Dick’s — both of which have already established that they only want to sell guns in a responsible way — were to guarantee distribution, sales and marketing support?

Yes, Andrew, in your world little girls like puppy dogs and purple unicorns throwing pixie dust in the air as they fly across the sky spreading cheer and happiness to all.  It’s a nice vision – for a little girl.

The reality is that Remington would quickly go out of business, the “smart gun” wouldn’t sell, and no more people would buy guns from Walmart or Dick’s than do now.

This is what happens when social planners who know nothing about what they’re trying to plan collide with more capital than should ever be under the control of one man.

So here is a suggestion, Andrew.  Take the challenge.

Perform a fault tree analysis of smart guns.  Use highly respected guidance like the NRC fault tree handbook.

Assess the reliability of one of my semi-automatic handguns as the first state point, and then add smart gun technology to it, and assess it again.  Compare the state points.  Then do that again with a revolver.  Be honest.  Assign a failure probability of greater than zero (0) to the smart technology, because you know that each additional electronic and mechanical component has a failure probability of greater than zero.

Get a PE to seal the work to demonstrate thorough and independent review.  If you can prove that so-called “smart guns” are as reliable as my guns, I’ll pour ketchup on my hard hat, eat it, and post video for everyone to see.  If you lose, you buy me the gun of my choice.

To date, no one has taken me up on the challenge.  That’s disappointing, because I’d like a free gun.  If you don’t like that challenge, here’s another one.

Talk law enforcement into taking a smart gun.  All officers, no exceptions.  Find a department somewhere in a large city to agree to arm all of their officers with smart guns.

See if you can pull this off, Andrew.  I’m watching and listening.

Postscript: Poor Remington.  What an awful time to be in bankruptcy.

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Comments

  1. On May 15, 2018 at 12:57 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Herschel

    Epic takedown of soy-boy Andrew Sorkin… positively epic…. but he probably can’t even do simple algebra without a calculator, let alone reason like an engineer such as yourself. The guy’s a perfect exemplar of the Dunning-Kruger Effect in operation.

  2. On May 15, 2018 at 7:28 am, Adam Baum said:

    I wouldn’t even accept a “smart gun” as a gift!

  3. On May 15, 2018 at 7:30 am, Gryphon said:

    Well, the RESULT would be the Failure of the Gun Company (due to No Buyers /Boycott efforts). For a bolshevik gun-banner, What’s Not to Like?

    Financial Warfare by the (((bankers))) is Coming, remember, the ‘money’ is only Printed, for Next to No Cost; look for Gun Companies to be Bought Out and Closed Down, with No Need for ‘profit’.

  4. On May 15, 2018 at 8:14 am, Fred said:

    Yes, if the capitalist bankers simply stop using math, be socialists and sit around eating crayons then a delicious assortment of rainbow candy sprinkles would shoot out their ass.

    You mock what is self-evident at your own peril.

    “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”

    You know what’s funny about this? These versus aren’t some ancient wisdom, well, maybe they are, but Jesus spoke them as a self-evident truth to explain by way of parable a more difficult idea.

  5. On May 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm, scott s. said:

    Sure. “Siri, take my gun off safe” and “she” dutifully reports back to HQ your request.

  6. On May 15, 2018 at 4:43 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Scott,

    It should have been, “Siri, pretty please take my gun off safe, dear.”

  7. On May 31, 2018 at 8:34 am, Edwin L. McClannan said:

    Someday the only weapon/gun manufacturers in the USA will be our socialist government; then the progressives, like the Chinese and Russian governments, and also the EU leadership, will decide what weapons are produced. The Progressives think they can take over the world and end violence between themselves. All they will do is starve the populations while the likes of the Clinton’s sip fine wine and guzzle vodka. Eventually, our progressive world leaders will have to put a stop the violence created by leadership who destroyed private sectors as their control never stopped, and they eventually killed off the excess populations as well. It is going to happen unless the tree of liberty is replenished with the requisite sacrifice.

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You are currently reading "Please, Please Buy This Gun Company", entry #19217 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published May 14th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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