Will Smith & Wesson Buckle To This Pressure?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 1 month ago


In the early 1880s, legend has it that Daniel B. Wesson, a co-founder of Smith & Wesson, the gun manufacturer, heard about a child who injured himself by cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger of one of his firm’s revolvers. Wesson, known as D. B., was so distraught about the accident that he and his son, Joseph, developed a more child-safe revolver that they called the .38 Safety Hammerless.

Wesson was also my great-great-great-grandfather. Though it has been half a century since my family was involved with Smith & Wesson, I feel a twinge of responsibility every time a mass shooting occurs. I realize this is not entirely rational: I play no part in making or selling firearms and have never lost anyone close to me from gun violence. But it still haunts me.

[ … ]

It is only fair for me, for all of us, to demand that our gun manufacturers become leaders in this national discussion around gun violence. They create products designed to kill human beings. The responsibility that must accompany the creation of weapons like an AR-15 is too large to be brushed aside by shouting about freedom and an amendment to our Constitution ratified in 1791.

Yes, the company and other gun makers have taken some steps in calling for better enforcement of the national background check system and sponsoring firearm safety programs. But they can do so much more.

I would start by asking the parent company of Smith & Wesson, American Outdoor Brands Corporation, to push for gun-violence research. Since 1996 the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been severely restricted in researching gun violence. If gun manufacturers are truly responsible organizations, they should wholeheartedly want to back this research as a public health concern. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the C.D.C. from 2009 to 2017, asked Congress repeatedly to fund research in gun-violence prevention but never succeeded.

In response to recent questions from BlackRock, an investment firm that owns the largest share of American Outdoor Brands, the gun maker’s president, James Debney, and chairman, Barry M. Monheit, said, “We must collectively have the courage to ensure any actions are guided by data, by facts and by what will actually make us safer.” Sounds like Mr. Debney, Mr. Monheit and Dr. Frieden are on the same page, so let’s see Smith & Wesson lead the charge in renewing gun-violence research by the C.D.C.

I would also ask that the company publicly endorse the Brady Campaign’s Gun Dealer Code of Conduct. It should support requiring universal background checks and a national registry for tracking its products, and indeed all firearms.

To the author, Eliza Sydnor Romm, I would say that it’s not that it doesn’t sound entirely rational to feel responsibility for the criminal behavior of others, I’d say that it’s so irrational it makes you seem like an imbecile and a dolt.  It would be no different than feeling responsibility for hit and run accidents perpetrated by drivers of Ford trucks, and then trying to tell Ford how to design and build trucks because of that.  If that sounds stupid, it’s because it is.

As for Smith & Wesson, I don’t know much about the parent company of American Outdoor Brands, but I have heard fairly bad things about Black Rock.

BlackRock announced new products for clients looking to avoid investing in companies that make or sell firearms for civilian use, a significant step for the world’s largest asset manager as Wall Street comes under pressure to take a stance in America’s gun debate.

“As it has for many people, the recent tragedy in Florida has driven home for BlackRock the terrible toll from gun violence in America,” it said in a statement in March. “It has put a spotlight on the role of companies that manufacture and distribute civilian firearms. Some of the largest manufacturers and retailers are held in the portfolios of millions of individual and institutional investors around the world.”

On Thursday, BlackRock said it had created new exchange-traded funds and products for pensions and retirement plans that screen for companies that make or sell firearms. BlackRock is also shifting the indexes of existing exchange-traded funds focused on socially responsible investments to avoid gunmakers and sellers.

Back to Smith & Wesson, such moves as the author describes would mean certain, sure and almost immediate death in the market place as gun buyers turned their backs on the company and their workers fled for greener pastures with Ruger or other companies.  Perhaps the Performance Shop at Smith & Wesson could relocate South like so many other gun makers and start up shop in a friendlier climate.

And perhaps busting up one of the leading manufacturers of firearms is the purpose of pressure like this.  What will Smith & Wesson do with an owner who doesn’t like their products?

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  1. On April 9, 2018 at 2:36 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    The deep state is evidently at war with itself. Why? Many of the foremost investors of the ruling class, not knowing the meaning of the word “hypocrite,” are heavily-invested in some of the top firearms and ammunition companies in America. The reason being that these firms are consistent performers in good economic times and bad, albeit with some variance depending on who occupies the White House and who controls Congress. If you own stock in any of the top-of-the-line FA or ammo manufacturers, you’re going to make some money – and just about the only thing the powers-that-be like more than raw power – is making money. Curiouser and curiouser, to paraphrase Louis Carroll….

  2. On April 9, 2018 at 8:35 am, Fred said:

    Socially responsible doesn’t mean what Blackrock’s customers think it means. There are more than 100,000 defensive uses of firearms every year in America. Is it “socially responsible” to disarm young ladies living alone in the city? Also included are abortion mill companies and companies with products known to California to cause cancer and on and on. Socially Responsible are buzzwords to make ignorant masses think they’re doing good. Blackrock are the banksters.

    Blackrock is the worlds largest seller of ETFs and has long had “socially responsible” ETFs. Always look at the component companies within an ETF. And remember; “socially responsible” means and has meant killing all the South African whites or loading whole segments of societies onto rail cars or collectivizing farming or giving blacks syphilis or firebombing compounds in Texas or invading Iraq or giving people free food and money so they become docile or the war on drugs…

    There are ETFs of companies that sell stuff millennials like to buy and there are ETFs of the worlds largest defense firms. There are more indexes than companies with stock. There are ETFs for just about everything. Want to be a war profiteer? Anybody can do it with a few clicks of the mouse. After all, it’s for global security and what’s more socially responsible than government pointing guns at all 7 billion of us…for our own safety…or else. So buy Blackrock’s iShares ETF of defense companies. The ticker: ITA. You to can sleep well at night while Blackrock helps to drone families living in hovels, for their own good. Not only is this socially responsible but these companies are the worlds largest welfare recipients. (Elon Musk is jealous and means to fix this for his benefit)

    Feel the love.

  3. On April 9, 2018 at 9:32 am, Fred said:

    You know what? The more I think about this the more it pisses me off. I’m being moralized at by the people who securitized thin air and sold it to each other until the music stopped in ’08 and the economy crashed and the banks had to be bailed out by the very people, gun owners that are real hard working people with real jobs and real families, who the banksters are pissing all over AGAIN.

    So buy Blackrock’s IYF and IYH banks/financial ETFs because they are sooooo very socially responsible for crashing the economy.

    And IXC energy companies supposedly destroying the earth with carbon emissions. It’s so very socially responsible.

    And IGE exploiting America’s natural resources and ruining pristine wilderness for fun and profit. It’s so very socially responsible.

    And IYT transportation spewing noxious chemicals and carbon into the atmosphere. It’s so very socially responsible.

    And ITM chemicals because who can live without cancer? It’s so very socially responsible.

    And WOOD (cute ticker) cutting down the worlds forests and leaving poor little chipmunks and endangered owls homeless the world over. It’s so very socially responsible.

    And IEO for Oil and Gas exploitation. It’s so very socially responsible.

    And IAI where the masters of the universe decide the fate of millions with the push of a sell button. It’s so very socially responsible.

    And FILL (another cutesy) more gasoline and chemicals. It’s so very socially responsible.

    Already mentioned ITA above but hey, why not kill some women and babies? It’s so very socially responsible.

    And EZA South Africa where white genocide is taking place but none of that matters as long as the slave labor keeps the Rothschild’s diamond mines open. It’s so very socially responsible.

    And MCHI for China’s state owned enterprises of slave labor to make crap made from plastic that you simply must have for your child’s playroom. It’s so very socially responsible.

    There’s more, many more. I could go on and on. Fuck Blackrock and it’s fake moralizing at the people who bailed them, and their masters out. You want my guns you pencil neck pussy suit? Here I am.

  4. On April 9, 2018 at 10:57 am, Fred said:

    Hey, why not buy the water index of companies that make cashola every year selling something that government and business claim to own? Something that they sell you for billions in profits. Something that literally falls out of the sky.

    Why not own the agriculture ETFs of all the companies selling GMO poison while Blackrock and it’s bankster friends eat only organic?

    They’re so socially responsible.

  5. On April 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm, Bill Robbins said:

    I am glad that Herschel is giving BlackRock some much-deserved attention.

    I offer the following suggestions:

    1. Review your investment portfolios (online, monthly paper statements), and look for any holdings sold by BlackRock and tell him or her to SELL any BlackRock holdings. Tell them why you want to sell. Re-invest wisely in companies that match both your investment objectives and your worldview, but, remember, you need to generate capital gains and income.

    2. Do not act against your own best interest. The goal is to hit the “enemy” in his or her pocket book without taking a “hit” to your own pocketbook. Social activist companies need to feel the consequences of their actions in economic terms, and through loss of goodwill. On the other hand, being an activist individual investor yourself does not mean you should throw your money around trying to make a point. That’s not smart investing. Selling anti-gun investments does not mean you should run out and buy gun stocks, although there are perfectly good reasons that doing so could make sense for some investors as part of an overall, diversified investment portfolio.

    3. Do not be diplomatic with your investment advisor. This is war of an economic sort. Your advisor needs to feel the heat, so that, ultimately, BlackRock feels the heat.

  6. On April 9, 2018 at 2:57 pm, moe mensale said:

    S&W, through the parent company American Outdoor Brands Corp., last month pretty much told BlackRock to go pound sand, very professionally and diplomatically, of course. Here’s the final paragraph from their letter:

    “The solution is not to take a politically motivated action that has an adverse impact on our company, our employees, our industry, our shareholders, the economies we support and, most importantly, the rights of the law abiding citizens that buy our products, but results in no increase in public safety. We must collectively have the courage to ensure any actions are guided by data, by facts, and by what will actually make us safer — not by what is easy, expedient, or reads well in a headline.”

    I don’t think there should be any concern on our part about AOBC and S&W in particular. Go read their entire response here:


  7. On April 9, 2018 at 3:02 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    I had seen that, but that’s kind of like me trying to tell my boss what to do.

  8. On April 9, 2018 at 6:21 pm, Henry said:

    Yes, I saw that opening excerpt about the Safety Hammerless when it first appeared. It was a lie (of omission) then, it’s still a lie now, and the outlet that originally printed it refused to honor commentary on it. Here’s the WHOLE story, from an earlier posting:

    “Hargarten tells of a simple child-proof safety measure designed by legendary gun-maker Daniel Wesson for his revolvers in the 1880s – a lever on the handle that had to be depressed at the same time the trigger was pulled. Unfortunately, other gun-makers subsequently chose to ignore that feature.”

    And there’s a good reason why — if you disclose more of the story than just the warm and fuzzy PC half:

    “During the 1880s, Daniel Baird Wesson, head of the Smith & Wesson gun company, ordered his engineers to produce a child-proof gun, after he read a newspaper account of a child killed in a gun accident. The new gun, with a safety lever in the grip, and a very hard trigger pull, was brought to market as the New Departure Model Safety Hammerless. It is said that one evening Mr. Wesson was entertaining guests in his mansion, and seeking to demonstrate his safety innovation, handed a boy a loaded Safety Hammerless and told him ‘Go ahead and pull the trigger.’ The boy did, and a bullet instantly tore through an expensive Persian carpet, lodging itself in the floor underneath Mr. Wesson’s feet.” (https://www.firearmsandliberty.com/children.guns.html)

    The hole is still there, if you care to visit the historic home.

    Meanwhile, I hope the writer is prepared to send flowers to the wakes of the arthritic/rheumatic seniors whose guns didn’t go bang when they desperately needed them to go bang.

  9. On April 10, 2018 at 3:55 pm, moe mensale said:


    I don’t really think S&W/AOBC wants to replay the 2000 fiasco again when they gave in to the Clinton Administration and nearly went under because of the consumer backlash.

  10. On April 13, 2018 at 8:35 am, Talktome said:

    The white left has made yet another public flagellation statement. They think their feels equate to some reasonable standard everyone else must mimic- ugh.

    Social responsibility sounds all warm and fuzzy coming from the corps and activists, right up until, like another commenter started, you realize their their definition differs from what normal people think it mean. Somehow being a victim is socially responsible, but being a sheepdog, or just refusing to allow ones self to be a victim isn’t worthy behavior. How stunted these humans of the left are. Their infantile demand that what they feel be respected and I fed into law disgusts me. Living in the Deep South, I just don’t encounter anyone who thinks like this. I wonder how many actually are this immature, or is this just another example of a minuscule minority getting outsize coverage because the media are a bunch of leftist whores?

    I suppose the final insult in all of this blather about wanting to understand gun violence (as if you can separate violence involving firearms from all other forms of violence) is that they patently refuse to actually look beyond separating the law abiding from their weapons. It’s all political posturing with the goal of government (leftist government) to have a monopoly on force. No thank you.

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You are currently reading "Will Smith & Wesson Buckle To This Pressure?", entry #18975 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns and was published April 8th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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