Since today is National Gun Control Day, it's worth remembering that many of the same politicians who hate guns also love gun manufacturers, and not just in New York (where, as I mentioned in December, politicians such as Rep. Chuck Schumer [D-NY] have helped dole out $6 million in subsidies to the factory that produces the politically reviled Bushmaster rifle).
Taxpayers across the country are subsidizing the manufacturers of assault rifles used in multiple mass killings, including the massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown last month.
A Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting examination of tax records shows that five companies that make semiautomatic rifles have received more than $19 million in tax breaks, most within the past five years. [...]
The states providing the subsidies since 2003 are Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Oklahoma. [...]
One of the breaks that went to a Smith & Wesson factory in Maine was based on a program initiated by then-Gov. Angus King, now the state's U.S. senator-elect.
King, in an email, said, "Various tax-incentive programs have been enacted over the years in Maine and virtually every other state to encourage and support job creation, particularly in the manufacturing sector. No one suggested at the time these programs were created — or since, as far as I know — that the government should decide which particular businesses within broad categories would be more or less desirable."
When big-city mayors and some federal officials, notably Clinton-era housing secretary Andrew Cuomo, decided to sign up for a litigation crusade against the firearms industry, they floated two major themes. First, they said, gunmakers and dealers had improperly "flooded" the market with weapons, ignoring indications that some were likely to fall into the hands of bad guys. Second, they had refused to adopt various supposedly promising safety measures intended to reduce the rate of accidental or deliberate gun injury, including "smart gun" technologies, integral trigger locks, and child-proofing devices, among others.
By an amusing irony, the cities that filed suit [in 2007 against gun makers] also happened to serve as some of the nation's biggest suppliers of guns, especially of "personal protection" firearms-that is, the kind intended for use against people rather than critters. The resale of city-owned weaponry-police surplus, as well as guns seized from lawbreakers-is a prized cash cow for city administrations. New Orleans, for example, at the very moment of announcing its first-in-the-country suit against gunmakers, had just finished scoring one of the biggest gun-resale deals ever when it sold through a broker some 7,300 guns, including TEC-9s and various other semiautomatics whose importation and manufacture Congress had banned in 1994. Detroit unloaded a remarkable 13-plus tons of weaponry not long before filing its suit.
[angryman post that "Bush did it, too" in 3...2...1.]