This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 26, 2022:
Mark Smith, the CEO of Smith & Wesson, the 170-year-old iconic firearms manufacturer, finally had enough. After being bullied, harassed, and excoriated by the anti-gun Democrat-laden House Committee on Oversight and Reform over his unwillingness to be subjected to the committee’s intended effort to sully the gun maker’s reputation, his company published a letter in response.
Smith did not hold back:
A number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media have recently sought to disparage Smith & Wesson.
Some have had the audacity to suggest that after they have vilified, undermined and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, overseen the decay of our country’s mental health infrastructure, and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers are somehow responsible for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies.
But they are the ones to blame for the surge in violence and lawlessness, and they seek to avoid any responsibility for the crisis of violence they have created by attempting to shift the blame to Smith & Wesson, other firearm manufacturers and law-abiding gun owners.
It is no surprise that the cities suffering most from violent crime are the very same cities that have promoted irresponsible, soft-on-crime policies that often treat criminals as victims and victims as criminals.
Many of these same cities also maintain the strictest gun laws in the nation. But rather than confront the failure of their policies, certain politicians have sought more laws restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously continuing to undermine our institutions of law and order.
And to suppress the truth, some now seek to prohibit firearm manufacturers and supporters of the Second Amendment from advertising products in a manner designed to remind law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutional right to bear arms in defense of themselves and their families.
A firearm, adds, Smith, never committed a crime:
To be clear, a Smith & Wesson firearm has never broken into a home, a Smith & Wesson firearm has never assaulted a woman out for a late-night run in the city, a Smith & Wesson firearm has never carjacked an unsuspecting driver stopped at a traffic light.
Without saying as much, it’s clear he isn’t going to appear before the committee to be attacked, intimidated, and sullied. On that heavily weighted Democrat committee are such notorious anti-gunners as Carolyn Maloney, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush.
That committee successfully attacked the CEOs of two other gun makers who agreed to submit to its harassment. Smith originally agreed to join them, but when it was clear that their motives were strictly political, he told them he wouldn’t “be available” to be subjected to their inquisition.
In response, Maloney, who for the moment (she just lost her primary) chairs the committee, notified Smith that her committee has issued a subpoena to obtain various documents that the committee would use to build a case for more infringements on rightful gun owners.
In her committee’s initial demand for his attendance, she made clear exactly how the inquisition would operate:
As the chief executive officer of a major firearms manufacturer that sells millions of assault weapons, your testimony is crucial to understand why your company continues to sell and market these weapons to civilians, what steps your company plans to take to protect the public, and what additional reforms are needed to prevent further deaths from your products.
In other words, Maloney and her anti-gun majority had already declared Smith & Wesson guilty, and Smith would be given the privilege of attempting to defend himself and his company.
He saw the ruse, and politely bowed out.
The committee tried to reschedule, and again Smith refused.
Maloney ran out of patience, and on August 1 announced that her committee is issuing a subpoena:
I am writing to notify you that I have issued a subpoena to Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (“Smith & Wesson”) for documents related to your company’s manufacture and sale of AR-15- style firearms.
Your company collects hundreds of millions of dollars selling assault weapons that are used in mass shootings, including the horrific murder of seven Americans and the wounding of dozens more during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
This subpoena was necessitated by your unwillingness to voluntarily comply with the Committee’s investigation, including your refusal to testify about your company’s troubling business practices at the Committee’s July 27, 2022, hearing, and your refusal to voluntarily produce key information about your company’s sale of assault weapons to civilians.
Time is working against Maloney and her anti-gun committee, and both she and Smith know it. Come January she will no longer chair the committee or even be in the 118th Congress.
The momentum for the private ownership of firearms continues to build. On April 1, the National Rifle Association celebrated the 25th state — Georgia — to pass constitutional-carry laws. As the NRA noted:
The NRA paved the way for constitutional carry by first leading the charge for right-to-carry nearly 40 years ago.
Today, every state, and the District of Columbia, provides for the carrying of a firearm for self-defense outside the home in some form, and half the nation recognizes [that] the Second Amendment protects law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense as an inherent and inalienable right.
So, Smith ended his letter making clear that he would be happy to participate in future discussions with honest and honorable members of Congress seeking information, and not harassment and humiliation:
We will continue to work alongside law enforcement, community leaders and lawmakers who are genuinely interested in creating safe neighborhoods. We will engage those who genuinely seek productive discussions, not a means of scoring political points.
As for his company’s customers, Smith added:
We will continue informing law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutionally-protected right to defend themselves and their families. We will never back down in our defense of the 2nd Amendment.