This afternoon I found an article on The Guardian’s site which surprised me, although nothing should surprise any of us when the topic is greed.
In case you know nothing about James Debney, CEO of American Outdoor Brands (formerly Smith & Wesson), you’ll find this article informative. There’s no Wikipedia page for this guy, so your other options may be limited. I didn’t find much when I used a search engine. Given the recent tragedies with assault rifles (and predictable responses from people who claim to speak for gun owners), it’s difficult to understand how Mr. Debney maintains a low public profile. We hear a lot about Wayne LaPierre, but not this guy.
Mr. Debney is identified in the Guardian article as “a British emigrant with a background in bin liners.” Now he runs the firearms company which manufactured the gun used in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
I can remember when a huge majority of police officers in the U.K. didn’t have to carry guns. The policy changed — although not radically — out of necessity. It was a sad turning point, but a necessary one if the police were going to continue to protect the public and themselves (My source is Wikipedia. If you find an error, please post in the comment section).
A profit-motivated connection to the gun industry is unconscionable. Some people are forced to buy or use guns, but actually profiting is less of a grey area.
The marketing of goods relies on consumers’ assumptions that our navels will fall out if we don’t own something in particular. Big Business has convinced many of us we need food that’s unhealthy, trendy clothing made in overseas sweatshops, furniture that will wear out within a few years, and countless other bullshit. Guns, too. If you’ve lived long enough, you might know someone who has hoarded all of it, too.
I imagine most of the appeal has something to do with safety, even when we’re not talking about weapons to defend us against criminals. On some level, fashionable shoes that can cause a woman to break her neck falling down stairs may have appeal related to safety — if a woman has a sense of safety when she feels attractive.
I shouldn’t vent any further. Here’s the Guardian article about James Debney, who may or may not ever think about the 1996 mass shooting at Dublane Primary School in Dublane, Scotland, which killed seventeen innocent people and injured fifteen. The children who were killed were five and six years old, and the adult, a teacher named Gwen Mayer, was forty-five (Again, my source is Wikipedia).
No one should feel distant enough from these tragedies to regard the mass marketing of firearms as a legitimate business.