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Consequences of a sellout
By: Geoff Metcalf
Monday, April 3, 2000

Much has been written (but not enough) about the recent capitulation/complicity of Smith & Wesson regarding the Clinton administration's blackmail efforts. The heavy-handed coercion of the U.S. government is enough to gag a maggot. George Washington hit the nail on the head when he said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Smith & Wesson did not have to comply with the contemptible coercion of the Clintonistas, and there is not a dark enough, hot enough place in hell for them to abandon all hope. Other gun manufacturers, faced with the same extortion demands from the hubris-plagued administration did not comply. Browning, Glock and Taurus have refused to ignore their fiduciary responsibilities and have refused government bribes.

Government control of private-sector industry used to be called fascism. Today it is called the Clinton administration.

Smith & Wesson not only demonstrated less testosterone than a neutered flea, they have lied, obfuscated and delayed with an aplomb consistent with the very administration with which they have now climbed into bed. Hey, "Lay down with mangy dogs ... you will get fleas."

A quote in a recent Wall Street Journal article of March 21, 2000, attributed to Robert G. Morrison, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc., erroneously indicates Taurus will add restrictions to its sales of firearms at the consumer level. That is not only wrong ... it is way wrong.

I recently spoke with Morrison regarding the position of his company to recent government bribery attempts. That full interview will soon be seen in the Sunday WorldNetDaily Q&A. Meanwhile, I encourage you to visit TaurusUSA.com.

Morrison agreed to speak with me on condition we not bash his competitor with initials matching "Slimy Whuss." I was encouraged, impressed, and proud of the character articulated by the Taurus exec. Critics can say, "Sure, he has a vested interest; he wants to move product," but I believe THIS fight is much more than mere competitive positioning. S&W and the Clinton administration are the duplicitous coconspirators in this drama, S&W has been dishonest, self-serving and down right sleazy. Bill's boyz have been arrogant, bullying, and petulant. Taurus, Browning, Colt, American Derringer and others have demonstrated strength of convictions and a willingness to fight for what is right.

Part of the government/Smith & Wesson deal included language, which would require the gun manufacturer to develop a certain "internal locking mechanism" in all their guns "within two years." Guess what? Taurus (a competitor) had previously offered their already available patented safety device to S&W on two occasions. They still have not heard back from anyone before, during, or now, after the government "deal."

From the Taurus Web page: "Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc. ... Renews its offer to immediately share a patented gun safety device for use now by Smith & Wesson on its firearms, rather than the two year delay to install internal locking mechanisms that Smith & Wesson promises in its agreement with federal, state and local governmental entities. ... The patented Taurus Security System(TM) engages with the turn of a special key to render the firearm inoperative, and is entirely contained within the firearm, with no parts to misplace."

Taurus has already been incorporating these integral locks since 1997. It was designed and implemented specifically "to help prevent unauthorized use by children." And they did that without orders from government and this provision that S&W has two years to develop has been offered to them again and again.

"Smith & Wesson was first offered the system in a letter sent to the Massachusetts gun maker one year ago, in March 1999," said Carlos Murgel, president and CEO of Taurus.

The conduct of Smith and Wesson has not been just cowardly -- it has been reprehensible and contemptible. I own a Smith & Wesson product. It is a Model 629 Deluxe 44-magnum with the long barrel. It is a powerful and very accurate weapon. I bought it for pig hunting.

I recently announced on my radio talk show that as an act of frustration and protest I intend to destroy the big revolver. My producer asked me not to and offered to accept it as a gift to relieve me of having to look at it. A listener wrote, "Don't destroy your S&W revolver! It's not to blame! Just as guns are not responsible for the crimes that may be committed by persons that own them, they are also not responsible for the stupid acts of those that manufacture them. However, I'm certainly not going to purchase any new S&W products (I have three S&W pistols that I purchased new, so I've contributed to their profits in years past -- but no more)."

Of course he is right. The revolver is not responsible for the misdeeds of the manufacturer. It is an inanimate object and a mere tool. However, the tool has multiple uses. It can be used to punch holes in paper. It can be used to hunt. It can be used for home protection. And it makes a great paperweight. However it can also be used to demonstrate consumer outrage at the manufacturer. Since the revolver is my property, I get to decide how to use it.

I have consistently punched tight shot groups in paper with my hand cannon. I have hunted with it and killed game. Its mere appearance in my hand sent an unwelcome late-night caller running, and it is a terrific paperweight. However, I am going to destroy it. I'll report the final details to you in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, S&W, the Clinton administration and any other would-be coconspirators must be made to realize there are consequences to their actions. S&W allegedly rolled over to government threats in order to secure market share. However, government sales are not yet 100 percent of the gun sales market. I have heard from dozens of firearm dealers who tell me they are discontinuing sales of Smith & Wesson. Hundreds of private consumers have told me they will never again purchase any S&W product.

In damning S&W and their fascist masters I also want to applaud those brave, principled, and courageous manufacturers like Browning, Glock, and Taurus and remind them of Benjamin Franklin's words, "If we don't hang together, we shall all certainly hang separately. ..."

Reprinted with Permission of Geoff Metcalf



Mr. Metcalf is Chairman and Co-Founder of the Veto The Governor initiative to get The Right to Keep and Bear Arms amended into the California Constitution.  

Hire Geoff Metcalf to speak at your organization, event, or group. For further information click here.

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
[The American Colonies were] all democratic governments, where the power is in the hands of the people and where there is not the least difficulty or jealousy about putting arms into the hands of every man in the country. [European countries should not] be ignorant of the strength and the force of such a form of government and how strenuously and almost wonderfully people living under one have sometimes exerted themselves in defence of their rights and liberties and how fatally it has ended with many a man and many a state who have entered into quarrels, wars and contests with them. George Mason, "Remarks on Annual Elections for the Fairfax Independent Company" in The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792, ed Robert A. Rutland (Chapel Hill, 1970).

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