Blood Money



There should be a special place in Hell for the vultures who feast on the corpses of gun violence victims.

I am talking specifically about the creatures who grow obscenely wealthy from the epidemic of mass shootings in America. The arms merchants.

Theirs are the hidden hands manipulating the NRA, the diabolical power controlling Republicans in Congress, preventing them from adopting even the most moderate kind of gun control legislation.

They are among America’s wealthiest and most powerful tycoons. Theirs is a hugely profitable industry. Weapons of war are top American exports.

Yet their greed is not satisfied; they lust for the revenue from those blood baths that have become so familiar to a grieving nation.

That is the real reason common sense gun control is so hard to legislate.

Republican politicians are at the beck and call of the arms merchants. And not only at the federal level. A recent article in the New York Times disclosed that after each mass shooting, Republican dominated state legislatures pass laws that make weapons easier to buy – not harder.

And after each atrocity gun sales soar as a frightened populace seeks to defend itself.

Consider this revelation from Mother Jones magazine:

As the debate over gun laws has grown louder, sales have soared. In the year following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the three largest gunmakers—Sturm Ruger, Remington Outdoor, and Smith & Wesson—netted more than $390 million in profits on record sales. Shares in publicly traded Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson jumped more than 70 percent that year, benefiting institutional investors such as Vanguard, Blackrock, and Fidelity. The hedge fund that owns Remington Outdoor—maker of the assault rifle used in Newtown—saw the annual return on its investment grow tenfold.

Who are these merchants of death?

They are sometimes hard to spot. They can have an innocuous name like Armalite, the company that developed the AR-15. But some boldly advertise their deadly mission with names like Cobra Firearms.

Many of these manufacturers have gone public over the years, seeking investment dollars from unsuspecting citizens who could very well become victims of a gun toting lunatic themselves.

Pension funds and mutual funds also buy their shares, unwittingly contributing to the epidemic of gun violence sweeping America.

Surely, it’s time to stop supporting these fiends. Investors should make sure they don’t buy shares in these companies, and they should pressure their pension and mutual funds to shun these blood soaked stocks, too.

Merchants of death

Inside their dark world

More on boycotting arms company shares