More hysteria from the Gun Guys

This Gun Guys article is several months old, but it’s amusing enough to bring back for a look now. It’s in response to this article in Slate Magazine about Smith & Wesson’s resurgence, due in no small part to their introduction of the mighty .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum, and the massive revolvers chambered for it. That article starts with some statistics, including the fact that in 2004, S&W produced 235,516 handguns, and Sturm, Ruger produced 189,312. That’s when the Gun Guys could no longer restrain themselves, and had to interject their own rather…interesting views:

Stop right there, guys. Those numbers are insane. That’s half a million handguns made per year by just those two companies and rising. If each of those handguns kills just one American, that’s 500,000 dead thanks to Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger.

First, it’s not 500,000–it’s fewer than 425,000 (apparently the Gun Guys didn’t learn much more about math than they did about history and government), but that is far from the silliest part of that little diatribe. Saying that “if each one of those handguns kills just one American…” is akin to speculating about every car built in America that year being involved in just one fatal accident–an obviously utterly ridiculous exaggeration.

The Slate article then goes onto explain that the huge cartridge was originally intended for handgun hunting of large, dangerous game, but, to the surprise and delight of the S&W honchos, the revolvers have sold in numbers far beyond what could be attributed to the rather small number of people who actually participate in such hunts. Rather, it has become popular with folks who like to make an impression with the biggest, baddest piece of hardware around–in much the same way that Humvees are highly sought after by people who have no intention of covering ground any more rugged than poorly maintained city streets.

The Gun Guys, predictably, see it differently. They in fact chastise Slate:

Shame on Slate– there’s not a word in this article that tells why people really want bigger guns– so they can kill more efficiently.

Keep in mind that these things are massive, weighing (depending on barrel length) 4 1/2 lbs or more. Only slightly more concealable than suzaphones, they’ll likewise most likely be only slightly more often used for violence.

Amusingly enough, if S&W had instead come out with a tiny handgun, chambered (for example) in .17 HMR, the Gun Guys would doubtless be screaming about S&W’s sick purveyance of ultra-concealable handguns. The only gun industry decision they would applaud would be an industry wide suicide.

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