Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cerberus and Guns: Follow Up


Cerberus and Guns: Follow Up

Today, Joe Nocera, columnist for the New York Times, wrote a great commentary on the role of private equity in the gun business (“Guns and Their Makers”, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/opinion/nocera-guns-and-their-makers.html?hp&_r=0).  It is sad, indeed, as Mr. Nocera points out, that Cerberus has built a business designed to profit on the mass proliferation of weapons.  In Mr. Nocera’s column he references this blog, and my analysis (Divesting Gun Ownership: Public Funds Deserves No Credit).

There’s no doubt in my mind that Cerberus will sell Freedom Group at healthy profit, and as Mr. Nocera points out, there’s already a potential buyer.  In fact, potential buyers will be excited by the new opportunity afforded by the NRA’s suggestion for dealing with the Newtown tragedy: putting armed guards into schools.  The NRA opens up a whole new set of business opportunities for Freedom Group.  There are approximately 90,000 public schools in the United States, so the deployment of armed guards along with their service revolvers and assault weapons should translate into at least half a million more guns, plus the requisite ammunition.   

The Consultant (1995)

The NRA’s recommendation needs to be carried forward to other vulnerable venues, because mass shootings take place at all sorts of other venues.  For example, based on the tragedy at Aurora, we ‘ll need armed personnel at movie theatres.  With about 40,000 screens in the US, movie theaters offer another nice market.  Perhaps we can train projectionists, ushers, and ticket takers to pack heat. 

Churches are an even bigger potential market.  There are some 300,000 churches in the US.  By the time we arm pastors, choir directors, and ushers we’re looking at the sale of another million guns.  And, of course, churches will want to deploy silencers, so as not to disturb services.  Freedom Group has a company to meet that need.  One of its company’s manufactures clothing for hunters.  I can envision a special set of vestments for concealing weapons and caching extra rounds of ammunition.

We need to stand up to this madness.

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