Friday, January 3, 2014

Good riddance Magpul: thanks for caring more about ideology than people

'IMG_9557.jpg' photo (c) 2011, Joe Cereghino - license:
In case you missed the news, Magpul Industries, a leading firearms accessories maker, is moving its operations out of the state of Colorado, making good on a promise (threat) posed soon after the enactment of gun control legislation by a democratically controlled state legislature this past winter. According to the Washington Post, the move will cost the state $85 Billion in economic activity and around 400 jobs. 

Magpul was among many gun manufacturers and gun groups upset after the Colorado state legislature passed four controversial gun laws. The four bills mandated universal background checks, limited magazine capacity to 15 rounds, required gun buyers to pay for their background checks, and banned concealed-carry permit holders from bringing guns into buildings on public college campuses.  While pro-gun control groups praised the passing of these bills, pro-gun groups have fought back, ousting two democratic state senators via recall votes and essentially forcing another to resign.

It was the Aurora Theater shooting, in July of 2012 that reignited the gun-control debate in Colorado, another mass shooting in Colorado some 13 years after Columbine.  A shooter entered a crowded movie theater and killed 12 people while injuring another 70.  Despite the tragedy, Governor Hickenlooper did not feel the time was right to begin a conversation on gun laws in the state. It was the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary later that year which pushed Hickenlooper to action, kick-starting a legislative effort within Colorado.

To say that democratic efforts to enact gun legislation were “radical” and “unpopular” would be irresponsible and untrue.  Polls of all kinds show overwhelming support for universal background checks, with the numbers usually around 90% in support.  A POLITICO poll of veterans also showed 61% were in favor of limiting magazine capacity.  And in the world of “out of control” government spending and “personal responsibility,” is it really so horrible that we ask gun owners to pay for their own background checks? In case you’re wondering, Colorado also appropriated more than $20 million for mental health hotlines and local crisis centers.

So in reality, the gun control enacted by the Colorado legislature was hardly “radical” and instead shaped by tragedy and suffering—not gun hating liberals. But, in all honesty, I could really care less about the gun control aspect of this story. This is all about Magpul trying to hold a state and its legislature hostage. It’s about big business trying to run the government (which already happens—this time a government actually stood up for itself).  Magpul is nothing more than an immature bully who wants to shove people around yet can’t stand getting pushed back.

Think about this, MagPul cares more about its ideology than the 400 people who will likely lose their job, their  families, and their  communities. Magpul cares only about itself. This is the way of big business in this country, willing to do whatever to make money and increase shareholder profit, at the expense of employee, community, or consumer. Sure, Magpul will create some jobs in Wyoming—that is until Magpul finds greener pastures to feed its money hungry shareholders. This is the truth in big business. They only care about the money.

'New York - 'GREED STREET or Wall Street...U decide?' Colorful tags below' photo (c) 2008, David Ohmer - license:
The Mecca of the Religion of Greed
In America, cities and states are competing with each other to be more “attractive” and “business friendly,” in other words, they are lowering taxes and removing regulations, creating a “race to the bottom” where whichever metropolis will charge them the least taxes wins.  And guess who gets stuck footing the bill for the entire infrastructure needed to allow that business to exist? Yep, us, the tax payer! Businesses are essentially pawning off the costs of running their business onto their own employees, all so rich, greedy corporate pigs can make more money! Oh, and if that doesn’t upset you enough, our democratically elected officials are tripping over themselves to make this sort of thing easier for businesses.

Big business is completely screwing the American people! We’re paying for their roads, their protection, and their infrastructure via our tax dollars. Their promises of jobs are shallow in comparison to the financial, environment, and social tolls they put on our communities.   It’s time we hold business accountable to act in a responsible manner to their employees and communities—rather than simply choosing what is best for their CEO’s and shareholders. And better yet, it’s time we hold our elected officials accountable to serve us the people rather than being pawns of big business.
So, to Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado State legislature, thanks for not caving in to the demands of Magpul—they are the ones choosing to do what is best for themselves, choosing to serve an ideology rather than their people. And to Magpul, good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

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