This past week the management of Smith & Wesson announced that the  company would be moving its operations out of Springfield, MA to a new location in Tennessee. The move was in response to what the company believes will be the eventual passage of a state law that would prohibit the manufacture of assault-style rifles, which happens to be a major source of income for the gun maker which has been operating in Springfield since 1852.

              I bought my first S&W gun in 1956 when I was 12 years old.  It was a K-frame, .38-special revolver with a 6-inch barrel, the gun that most cops in the United States were carrying as their duty weapon. S&W took the police market away from Colt’s Firearms after World War II, but the company’s military and police dominance would be short-lived. By the mid-70’s, the hi-capacity European pistols made by Beretta, Sig and Glock, particularly Glock, were taking over the tax-exempt market, and S&W fell into a slow but steady decline which lasted until the company revived its product line, in particular by pushing its assault-rifle lineup, or what was called the ‘modern sporting gun.’

              Over the years, this ‘sporting’ gun was used to kill and injure more than 80 theater-goers at the movie theater in Aurora, CO, it was also used to kill and injure 34 students at the high school in Parkland, FL, and was the weapon of choice at I don’t know how many other gun rampages over the years.

              Every time one of these ‘sporting’ slaughters occurs, S&W issues some stupid statement about how their products were manufactured and sold according to law, a statement which neatly parallels the ‘hopes and prayers’ that pro-gun politicians always pronounce to cover their asses after the same events.

              The company’s management is moving the assembly of these ‘sporting’ guns to a factory in Tennessee but will continue to operate its forge and some other manufacturing activities at the old Springfield site. That being the case, the gun bill that would prohibit assembling an assault rifle in Massachusetts just has to be amended to prohibit manufacturing of any component of the assault rifle, and S&W’s attempt to find a safe harbor for its line of ‘modern sporting guns’ would be as good as dead.

              Want to know what would really end gun violence in the United States? It’s very simple. Pass a federal gun law prohibiting the manufacture and sale of ‘modern sporting guns’ not just in Massachusetts, but anywhere in the United States. The law would need to define ‘modern sporting guns’ not just to cover assault rifles, but to include any semi-automatic, bottom-loading gun of any kind.

              For the life of me, I don’t understand why my friends in Gun-control Nation continue to avoid discussing the most obvious and effective way to end gun violence, which is to get rid of the guns whose use creates the violence. Yea, yea, yea – I know all about the 2nd Amendment ‘right’ to own a gun. But the 2nd Amendment doesn’t say one, goddamn word about the type of gun.

              Incidentally, laws which prohibit the sale and ownership of bottom-loading, semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and pistols exist in every other country which allows residents to own what are really ‘sporting’ guns. Which is why there are plenty of guns floating around countries like Italy, France, Spain, Germany, etc., but rarely does anyone get killed.

              On the other hand, the kid who slaughtered 26 adults and children at Sandy Hook needed less than 4 minutes to shoot off more than 90 rounds. He did it with a ‘sporting’ gun.

              Take a look at the gun pictured above. It’s a new product from Smith & Wesson called the M-12 shotgun, which is also a ‘sporting’ gun. The company claims that it’s the perfect weapon for home defense. Doesn’t this gun look a lot like the guns that are featured in those make-believe gun movies like John Wick?  That’s exactly the point.

              The MSRP on this ‘sporting’ gun is more than a thousand bucks. The gun happens to be a complete piece of cheap, polymer junk. It’s designed to accept all kinds of extra doo-dads, like a scope or a laser or some other accessory that will add another few hundred bucks to the price tag. No wonder in Smith & Wesson’s last financial statement, the company’s gross operating margin was over 40 percent!

              For all the blabber from Gun-nut Nation about how the Constitution protects our gun ‘rights’ and how we need to be armed to resist the ‘tyranny’ of the state, the truth is that the gun business in the United States is fast becoming nothing more than a supplier of look-alike adult toys featured on video and TV.

              The only problem is that these toys shoot real bullets which wind up in the heads, chests, arms, and legs of more than 125,000 men, women, and children every year.

              Is this such a tough one to figure out?