In a sequence that has become as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise, another mass shooting (“'I'm going to die': Confusion turned to panic in Las Vegas shooting,” Oct. 2) was followed by talk of more gun control, followed by the NRA's insistence that "now is not the time" to discuss it, followed by ... wait ...what? A report that gun industry stocks rose in value on Monday?
The elephant has been in the room for years: gun industry money. Surely, this is a difficult issue to lawfully unmask, but it's easy enough to understand. With nearly enough guns in private hands to arm every man, woman and child in this country, the firearms industry serves a glutted market. After a deadly incident like Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, private citizens cry out for tighter controls. Then the NRA's "don't discuss" line serves as a veiled warning to legislators that if they enact "anti-gun" laws, their re-election donations will dry up. The issue quickly fizzles before anything changes. Meanwhile, gun enthusiasts are warned that "Uncle Sam is going to take your guns away; better stock up on more weapons!" the customers hit the stores, and profits rise. Any questions about why firearms stocks just rose?
Most industries, facing a glutted market for non-perishable items, consider broadening their product lines to include things that people are more likely to need. Perhaps it's easier to gin up fear-fueled buying than to retool the factories, but at the price of so many (customers') lives?
Thaddeus Paulhamus, Baltimore
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