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