Gun Owners Wrongly Accused of "Greed"
by Ari Armstrong, March 2, 2000
Stan Broyles of Idaho Springs made an outrageous claim today in The Rocky Mountain News: civil gun rights advocates don't really care about rights, only money. He wrote:
[S]o-called gun rights groups try to scare law-abiding gun owners with false propaganda about confiscation of weapons and erosions of constitutional rights. Don't be fooled. The real motive behind the barrage of lobbying on this issue isn't the right to keep and bear arms. It's money. Obviously, some gun dealers and manufacturers believe that any law that might hinder the flow of their products will hurt their bottom line -- and they don't care who buys what for whom or from whom as long as they make a buck. So spare us the rhetoric about gun rights and call it what it is: unadulterated greed.
This letter is so flagrantly biased, so obviously false, that I can hardly believe the News printed it. Would the News print a racist tirade against blacks? Hardly, yet Broyles' letter is of the same spirit.
Civil gun rights advocates -- members of Gun Owners of America, the National Rifle Association, scores of other groups, and unaffiliated activists -- don't make any money off of firearms. People who make money from the firearms industry number far less than 1% of all civil gun rights advocates. That fact alone shows Broyles' comments to be nothing more than ignorant bigotry against gun owners.
Sure, firearms manufacturers want to make money at their trade -- that's why they're in business. Just like auto manufacturers want to make money, and so on down the line for every industry. So Broyles doesn't make any useful point in stating firearms manufacturers want to make money. But for him to claim that firearms manufacturers "don't care" about what happens with their products is slanderous. That doesn't mean firearms manufacturers do or should assume guilt for the criminal mis-use of their products, just as car makers don't share any guilt when a drunk driver kills an innocent person.
Would Broyles care to extend his allegation against those who wrote the Constitution? Did they advocate "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" simply to "make a buck?" Did they draft the First Amendment just so that the media could make money? Of course not. The Bill of Rights -- in its entirety -- is the cornerstone of our free republic.
Broyles says it's just "false propaganda" when gun owners raise concerns about the confiscation of weapons and the erosions of constitutional rights. However, not only have many anti-gun lobby leaders called for the confiscation of at least certain types of guns, and not only have some guns actually been confiscated in New York and California, but other nations have confiscated guns, including England and Australia. So there's nothing "false" about these potential dangers. As for the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, as described by both the U.S. and the Colorado Constitutions, it's abundantly obvious that this right has already been eroded.
Broyles claims that the motives of civil gun activists are impure. Not only is this allegation false -- such activists are sincere in their defense of freedom -- but Broyles demonstrates with his bald-faced lies and bigoted statements that the perverse motives lie solely with him.