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“Gun-Crazy Business Models”: Beretta USA Teaches Us How Not To Run Your Corporation

We often think of business leaders as hard-nosed pragmatists, guided by dollars and cents with little regard to emotion. But the truth is that corporate executives are human just like the rest of us. They can be as irrational as anyone, and frequently make business decisions on the basis of things like spite.

So it is that the gun maker Beretta USA has decided against expanding operations into West Virginia, despite heavy lobbying from state officials, becauseas the Charleston Gazette reports, “they say Sen. Joe Manchin’s push to expand background checks makes the state less stable for their business.” Perhaps the folks at Beretta don’t quite understand what a senator does, or how laws passed (or in this case, not passed) by Congress actually work. If Congress were to pass a background check bill for the country, it wouldn’t make the state of West Virginia any more or less “stable” for the gun business than any other state.

And after all, business is booming. It isn’t that more Americans are buying guns (gun ownership is on a steady long-term decline), but that those who do own guns are buying more and more of them. That’s why companies like Beretta have forged such a close alliance with the National Rifle Association. The NRA tells its constituents that the country is about to descend into a Mad Max-style apocalypse and that politicians will be confiscating their guns any day, so they rush out to buy more, and the gun manufacturers reap the profits.

A new background check law might help keep guns out of the hands of some people who shouldn’t have them, but it probably wouldn’t hurt Beretta’s bottom line one bit. They’re in a business that has gone nowhere but up. Nevertheless, like other gun advocates, they want to think of themselves as oppressed, kept down by mean politicians in their crusade for liberty. But wherever they decide to move those couple of hundred jobs, they’ll be just fine.

And by the way, in the six and a half months since the Sandy Hook massacre, roughly 5,600 Americans have been killed with guns.

 

By: Paul Waldman, Contributing Editor, The American Prospect, July 1, 2013

July 5, 2013 - Posted by | Background Checks, Gun Violence | , , , , , , ,

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