Monday, May 23, 2016


Mother Jones’ article, Fully Loaded, documents U.S. gun manufacturers use of money to buy politicians, military officers, and influence.

A prime example of buying influence is Springfield Armory. The magazine points to Dennis Reese, one of the two current owners of the company. Dennis and his brother Tom stopped a proposed Illinois ban on assault weapons by threatening to move the company’s factory out of the state and across the river to Iowa.

Their nefarious activity did not stop there. In 1989, Mother Jones reported that Dennis Reese admitted to authorities to offering bribes to U.S. Army Colonel Juan de la Cruz ($70,000 and a Rolex watch) in exchange for helping the company sell $1.7 million worth of arms to El Salvador.  Reese was allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for testifying against de la Cruz.

Springfield Armory has donated over $1 million to the National Rifle Association. In 2014, the company made over 576,000 guns for the U.S. market. It has, according to Mother Jones, an estimated $117 million global revenue.

Then there is Barrett Firearms. In 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called for a ban on the .50-caliber Barrett M82 and M107 sniper rifle. Christi then vetoed the bill four months later. Mother Jones reported the New Jersey governor excused his veto by saying the bill went further than he intended by prohibiting current owners from keeping the weapon.

In the middle of the debate over the bill Governor Christie’s campaign accepted $3,000 from a National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyist.

Ronnie Barrett, Barrett Firearms CEO, sits on the NRA’s board of directors.

The magazine cites the National Accountability Office as reporting, “The Barrett .50-caliber rifles have been used by drug cartels, militia groups, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and terrorist organizations.”

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Mother Jones’ article Fully Loaded includes some interesting statistics on gun sales in the U.S. Here are the gun sales for the top ten gun makers in 2014:

1.  Sturm Ruger                            1,640,000 guns
2.  Smith & Wesson             1,310,000 guns
3.  Remington Outdoor                   939,000 guns
4.  Glock                                         794,000 guns
5.  Sig Sauer                                   678,000 guns
6.  O.F. Mossberg & Sons      658,000 guns
7.  Savage                                       639,000 guns
8.  Springfield Armory                   576,000 guns
9.  Beretta                                       463,000 guns
10. Taurus International                 365,000 guns
                                                    8,062,000 guns

The top ten list of gun makers does not include other manufactures such as Keystone Sporting Arms, Barrett Firearms, Kahr Arms, Norinco,  and Hi-Point Firearms.

If we just look at the 8 million guns per year figure, it means it would take the top ten just four years to produce 32 millions guns and eight years to manufacture 64 millions guns—or one gun for every two American adults.

Is it any wonder that gun manufactures fight to prevent any regulation on access to guns? They want to expand profits; they want to keep sales up, making it easy for domestic abusers, felons, terrorists, and anyone who is a danger to himself/herself or others to get a gun.

Gun manufacturers appear willing to line their pockets and pursue extravagant life styles for themselves and others no matter what the cost in human lives—just keep making more guns and making more money.  (To be continued)

Thursday, May 19, 2016


The May/June issue of Mother Jones has an article by Josh Harkinson entitled Fully Loaded, which exposes the truth behind this country’s 10 biggest gun makers. I will be posting a series of blogs based on the article’s excellent research and analysis.

According to Harkinson, the ten companies he researched produce eight million firearms a year, accounting for two-thirds of the market. The men in charge “are all white, live lavish lifestyles, but the majority fly under the radar.” They all are members of The Golden Ring of Freedom, an exclusive National Rifle Association (NRA) club for people who donate $1 million to the NRA.

Many of these men who champion the virtues of the Constitution and the Second Amendment, have been the focus of criminal investigations and lawsuits for everything from arms trafficking and fraud, to armed robbery and racketeering.

For example, Mother Jones reported that Joseph James Minder, former chairman of Smith & Wesson, resigned in 2004 because he had committed eight holdups in Michigan. In 2010, the company’s Vice President of Sales was indicted for attempting to bribe an FBI agent, who was posing as an African emissary for a $15 million arms deal. (The magazine did not indicate whether he had been tried on the charge.)

Then in 2014, Smith & Wesson agreed to pay $2 million to settle a case in which the company was accused of bribing foreign officials in Pakistan and Indonesia.

There is also the gun manufacturers’ use of the “honey trap.”  Mother Jones turned to Paul Barrett’s book, Glock: The Rise of America’s Guns for evidence that Glock used sex to sell guns. Quoting Barrett, the magazine reported, “In the 1980s some of Glocks biggest law enforcement contacts were allegedly won with the help of … strippers near the company’s US headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia.” Barrett quoted a former police official, “For a lot of guys coming in from out of town, this was the best time they were going to have all year, or maybe their entire life … You go to Smyrna, get laid at the best strip club in town, drink champagne—you are not going to forget the experience when it comes time choose between Glock and Smith & Wesson.’”  (To be continued)

Friday, May 6, 2016


I will be interviewed on Monday, May 9th, at 0835 on the Neal Steele radio show--99.1 FM Gloucester, Va. Neal will be interviewing me about my new book, "The America We All Want." The book examines steps we can all take to help prevent gun violence. The book is scheduled to be published in mid-May.

About the Book

Mass slaughter on school grounds, in theaters, in churches, and in shopping malls may be the most serious and complex problem in this nation’s history. Solving the problem will take careful and deliberate thought, but thinking is hard work and there are no easy solutions. Those few who do propose ways to reduce the epidemic of gun violence are met with a fusillade of emotions on why their ideas won’t work.
Retired CIA analyst Dave Cariens gives the reader hands-on suggestions and strategies to curb gun violence. He presents evidence showing where practical application of these strategies has worked in communities all over the country.

Recognizing the stalemate in Washington, this is a guide to action at the local level.