6 Days Remaining

Wednesday 4th
posted by Morning Star in Features

We can always count on capitalism to take the best advantage of everything, even mass murders, writes JOHN WOJCIK

AS USUAL after a horrific mass shooting in the United States, shares of gun stocks rose yesterday after at least 59 people in Las Vegas joined the ever-growing list of casualties of mass shootings, this time the deadliest in US history.

The value of  Sturm, Ruger and Co stock, according to CNBC, briefly rose more than 4.5 per cent while American Outdoor Brands Corporation — formerly Smith & Wesson — rose more than 3 per cent.

Stephen Paddock, age 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire late on Sunday night from the 32nd floor of his hotel room into a crowd at a concert on the Las Vegas strip, killing 59 and injuring 527 at the time of writing.

Police report that Paddock is dead. According to the US television network NBC and other news outlets, he was not a “terrorist.” Apparently what constitutes terrorism these days is, at best, unclear.

He had no “connection,” the television news networks say, to any known terrorist groups.

However, thus far the networks have not explored what connections he had that he used to purchase his weapons.

They likely come from US corporations doing a brisk business on Monday after Paddock made such effective use of their products.

The business news channel CNBC said the value of the gun stocks apparently went up because Wall Street traders bet on a pickup in arms sales ahead of potentially tighter regulations as a result of this shooting.

They may also be betting, CNBC said, that sales will increase as people fearing for their safety will run out and buy more guns.

Whatever the reason though, the gun companies are happy now that they can enjoy another spike in their sales.

After the Orlando and San Bernardino shootings, “you saw a two- to three-month surge in firearms sales,” Rommel Dionisio, managing director at Aegis Capital, told CNBC.

The two Isis-linked attacks “certainly triggered something in the US consciousness about personal safety.”

Sunday’s attack has not been linked to Isis at all but the gun companies have no problem, apparently, with enjoying the increased sales anyway.

Gun stocks clearly go up in value after any mass shooting. There’s nothing like putting profits before human lives to make a certain buck.

Leave it to the gun companies. Leave it to capitalism. We can always count on them to take best advantage of any given situation.

The two gun stocks have fallen sharply since US President Donald Trump’s election win last November.

Gun sales had climbed ahead of the election on expectations a Democratic win would increase restrictions on purchases. After Trump’s win, sales of the weapons dropped and so did the stocks.

The stocks surged in mid-September after Reuters reported, citing senior US officials, that the Trump administration is working to make it easier for US gun makers to sell small arms to foreigners.

As of Friday’s close, American Outdoor Brands was down nearly 28 per cent for the year. Sturm Ruger shares were nearly 2 percent lower for the year.

This article originally appeared on