At the time I was a sometime-guest-blogger at a somewhat larger and more popular gun blogger website, so instead of posting it on my own blog I posted it there. I thought it was a sufficiently important occasion that it deserved the much wider distribution.
To my surprise, the owner of the blog wrote me to explain that it wasn't really possible to post THAT article there. The owner had ties to the firearms industry, and was concerned that it would lead to frayed relationships. I replied that I understood, and suggested he had three options:
- Let it run and see what happens
- edit and republish it in an acceptable form
- delete it, and I would publish it on my own blog.
"No problemo...I just need to go through it and de-libel it. Ironically, every word you say is true..."
So I left it up to him. To my not-very-great surprise (it was a rather long post), the article disappeared from that blog, so I re-published on my own blog as:
Cogito Ergo Geek: Black Beauty Is Dead
There it sat for six months, having received very little attention at the time.
This week I read the rumor that Colt had been bought by Taurus. As of this writing, I haven't made any effort to track it down ... even the March 30, 2007 edition of The Shooting Wire (which I consider an Industry Authority) failed to comment. So if you're looking here for difinitive confirmation or refutation of the rumor, I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you. Because the news hit the blogosphere late on Friday, even the NSSF website has no news yet, nor does the NRA website (although they have a March 31, 2007 editorial about Animal Rights by Wayne LaPierre). There's not even any information avaialble from the Colt Manufacturing Company, LLL website, and I suspect that this is the division (not the entire company) which would have been sold.
So the story is, as yet, only an Internet rummor.
On the blog where I first read about the rumor, I left a short comment with a tinyurl link to my original article.
Someone on the AR15 forum picked that up, and posted the link (you can see the AR15 discussion in either of its manifestations, either here or the satellite version here.)
In the 24 hours, I have received over 1000 links to that article from readers of that forum.
(Welcome, AR15 Forum Members!)
The comments on that forum are, perhaps, representative of the reaction of most firearms owners to the rumor. There's incredulosity that an intrinsically American firarms manufacturing company can be best represented by a foreign owner ... as if that was a new situation.
Other than that, nobody seems to question the idea. You can hear the faint sound of "D'oh!" in the wind, implying that it's not surprising that the company is in trouble, it has been offered for sale, and that no American company is willing to buy Colt for the price offered.
Most of us, I think, have many more questions and observations than answers about the sale of Colt (or at least its civilian division).
Why is it for sale? Why can't a company which is arguably the premiere firarms manufacture in the United States make a profit on the sale of civilian firearms?
Is it because the increasing pressure on the firearms industry from gun-grabbers of all stripes (including our congressional representatives) has resulted in the 'demonization' of firearms?
Is it because the failure to introduce our children to hunting, competition and other free-time enjoyment of firearms usage has resulted in a much lowered market for firearms in this generation?
One thing I think we'll all agree on, when we think about it.
We've all seen the trend toward conglomerization of industry in this country. One company will buy another company and form a conglomerate, or larger corporate entity. This continues as corporate buy-outs swallow up the smaller companies, even eating the companies which focus on 'niche' markets.
But this has not happened in the firearms industry. Nobody wants to buy the problems that increasing governmental regulations, civil suits and criminal legislation, and bad Public Relations brings with the acquisition of a firearms manufacturing company.
This may be a symptom of a basic sickness in the American culture.
There is no such thing as a 'healthy' firearms industry today. The general opinion seems to be that the only reason for having a gun is to kill people. With the growth of the egregious PETA, it is no unacceptable to kill animals for meat or for sport.
As a Liberal Legislature and a Liberal Judicial system lead us closer and closer to the Socialist "European Model", the United Nations gains power in their drive toward Globalism ... a recent aspect of which is the attempt to enforce non-American values on individual liberties on all the citizens of the world. This is especially evidenced in the attempted infringement on civilian ownership of firearms.
Yet we sit quietly, expecting that these attacks on our civil rights will somehow fade away because they are obviously such an abomination that they can't possibly prevail in an American Free Society.
Your elected representatives are happy to pay lip service to the 2nd Amendment, but they're just biding their time until you relax your vigilance. Then they take another bite ... or only a nibble ... out of your constitution. They don't even have to write a constitutional amendment. All they have to do is re-interpret it, and to attack the market economy that supports the people who make the firearms, and the ammunition, and the rest of the support industry.
They don't worry about someone buying Colt and continuing an American enterprise.
Hell, they can't even give it away.