The NRA is why we don't have smart guns

Sunday , November 12, 2017 - 7:00 AM2 comments

To his credit, President Bill Clinton negotiated an agreement with the gunmaker Smith & Wesson. S&W would develop a “smart gun” (one that would read the owner’s fingerprint on the trigger and could only be fired for him). This would help prevent firearms from falling into the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

The NRA was incensed, denouncing the company as “the first gunmaker to run up the white flag of surrender.” They released the CEO’s phone number and urged their supporters to inundate him with complaints. So many death threats followed — “I’m a dead-on shot,” one caller told him — that another executive began wearing a bulletproof vest.

When the NRA then initiated a boycott of S&W, it prompted a sales drop-off so severe that two factories temporarily shut down and the company’s stock plunged 95 percent in 10 months. 

S&W then worked to repair its relationship with the NRA and to avoid another ill-fated attempt at compromise. “It almost took down the company,” says current CEO James Debney. “We won’t make that mistake again.”

That, my fellow Americans, is the mentality that we’re up against.

M.J. Ogden

North Ogden

Sign up for e-mail news updates.