Home » conflict sin stocks » Here’s Why Boycotting Gun Manufacturers Won’t Work

Another school shooting. Another debate about gun control. More calls to make changes.

One side says to the arm the teachers, the other side says to ban guns out-right. While politics in general seems increasingly divisive in America, this issue is one of the biggest and loudest and most divisive.

It’s also one of the thorniest issues, even though each side of the debate sees their position as crystal clear.

At Sin Stocks Report, we hate the tragedies we see in the news and want nothing more than to see them stop. Yet, one of the responses (to boycott gun manufacturers) won’t work, nor will the related idea from the NY Times—for financial companies to simply limit the purchase.

Simply put, you can’t achieve your aim by boycotting conflict sin stocks like gun manufacturers.

First, there are already a lot of guns out there. Someone who wants a gun can get it. As summarized by Wikipedia (which collected data from other sources), there is approximately 1 gun per person in the US; approximately 300 million guns. Boycotting the manufacture of new guns won’t stop crazy people from getting those guns.

Second, crazy people don’t have to use guns to hurt people. 9/11 showed us that. Cars plowing into crowds showed us that. Suicide bombers showed us that. The Oklahoma Bombing (which was the first real “terrorist” attack that I remember as a teen) showed us that. We don’t boycott airplane manufacturers or car manufacturers or fertilizer manufacturers because their items are used to kill people. Boycotting attempts to send a message to gun makers but not to the people who use guns for the wrong reasons.

Third, when shootings take place, there are spikes in gun purchases (and therefore in gun manufacturing stock prices), which is a combination of fear of bans (as this reporter suggested) but also just out-right fear and the need to feel protected. Boycotting gun manufacturers only creates further purchasing spikes by those who want to own guns and will buy them in spite of a boycott.

Fourth, and this one is perhaps the most complex of them all, guns are part of the American identity. The United States and its national (and international) identity was forged by people who had a gun in their hand—driving out the British, building the West, ending slavery, stopping Hitler… and so on. The right to bear arms is amended to the nationally-defining document. Boycotting gun manufacturers has the appearance of being anti-American. … and limiting a purchase by a financial company (as proposed by this NY Times reporter) treads a very dangerous line for financial companies to potentially prevent people from fulfilling their national right.

Fifth, which is related to the point above, the people who are boycotting gun manufacturers probably weren’t going to buy guns anyway. The people who would buy guns are likely not going to see boycotting as an effective solution to the problem. Boycotting gun manufacturers sends a message but from the wrong people.

In our opinion at Sin Stocks Report, boycotting gun manufacturers won’t work. Find another solution.


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