5/23/12: Daily News Freaks Over Gunmaker Grants, Shoots Wide of Target

Categories: Activism, News, Politics
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Published on: May 23, 2012

Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. The New York Daily News is all aflutter over word that the fiscally challenged state of New York has given grants totaling about $6 million to Remington and Kimber. And their outrage seems to be based on the fact that both gunmakers are ardent opponents of Andy Cuomo’s ludicrous microstamping proposal (their distaste for the merchants of death goes without saying). The thinking, apparently, is that any company that opposes “meaningful gun control” should be ineligible to receive public funds. Just like the proverbial stopped clock, the News is right to be up in arms. But it’s for all the wrong reasons . . .

Both companies, as you’d expect, have indeed very publicly expressed their dislike for microstamping scheme. Remington went so far as to threaten to move if it becomes Empire State law. And while the proposal is no longer on the table, ideas like this can be harder to kill than Michael Myers. Just when you think they’re dead and buried they rise again, trying to shiv you when you least expect it.

Here’s author Kenneth Lovett’s lede:

Two gun-makers who have opposed a police-favored bill for bullet microstamping received more than $6 million in state economic development funds since 2009, the Daily News has learned.

Most of the grant money, $5.6 million, went to the Remington Arms Company, which threatened recently to leave New York if the state passes a microstamping measure.

The initiative, backed by Gov. Cuomo during his gubernatorial campaign, would require bullet casings to carry unique markings — something the law enforcement community believes would help detectives solve gun crimes.

Got that? The nerve of them. The cops want microstamping – it’s gotta be good! But Remmy and Kimber have one hand out accepting the cash while the other one flips the bird at the governor who only wants to save lives. Cue the usual suspects’ well-rehearsed outrage.

“Giving millions of dollars of taxpayer money to the gun industry in sweetheart deals while thousands of innocent New Yorkers die each year by guns cannot be justified,” said New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Jackie Hilly.

Naturally, the state bureaucrat who’s in charge of doling out the samolians justifies the payments because it’s for the children in the name of protecting jobs. If you believe the article, Remington brought 78 jobs to Ilion (and “preserved” another 892 existing positions) as a result of plants closed in Massachusetts and Connecticut after Freedom Group acquisitions. And Kimber used their $700,000 handout to add manufacturing capacity.

But here’s the real question – the one that apparently doesn’t occur to Lovett: in the middle of the biggest gun-boom in history, at a time when these companies are working like one-armed paper hangers to meet demand they used to only dream of, why the hell should the taxpayers of New York (ooh, don’t forget about $4 million in federal grants, too!) be subsidizing two highly profitable private companies? Isn’t that the scandal the News should be up in arms about?

Maybe – and this is a big maybe – an argument could be made for the handouts if these companies were in distress and the state was in danger of losing hundreds of good-paying manufacturing jobs. Even then, there are plenty of people who won’t buy a Government Motors car. How many gun buyers would belly up to the counter and plunk down their money for a Government Arms 1911? Would you?

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