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from Breakingviews:

Fading reform hopes take gun shares with them

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Fading reform hopes should take the shares of gunmakers with them.

Such a turn of events would reverse an extraordinary run for the industry. The U.S. government collected $6 billion of excise taxes on gun and ammunition purchases in 2012, more than twice the typical amount in the years to 2007. This year is on pace to generate the biggest sum ever. The number of federal background checks, a good indicator of future gun purchases, also should easily exceed 20 million in 2013, a record.

Last year’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut created a broad perception that tighter gun laws were coming. The week following the tragedy spurred close to 1 million background checks. Other factors have been brewing for longer.

Smith & Wesson’s order backlog increased more than 10-fold in the six months following Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory. Doomsayers also worried the financial crisis had set the stage for a societal collapse, sending sales of “tactical weapons” like the AR-15 used at Sandy Hook up even more sharply.

from The Great Debate:

Time to block gun violence against women

If October is like every other month, 46 women in the United States will be murdered with a gun by an intimate partner.

Public attention was gripped by the most recent mass shooting, at the Navy Yard in Washington, but during Domestic Violence Awareness month, we need to focus on the fact that women face a heightened risk of gun violence.

from Full Focus:

Favelas in arms

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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Photographer Lunae Parracho traveled to Salvador, one of Brazil's main tourist destinations and a 2014 World Cup host city, that has suffered from an unprecedented wave of violence with an increase of over 250% in the murder rate, according to the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies (CEBELA).Lunae documented a police patrol through the slums and high-tec police training, made portraits of drug gang members posing with their weapons, covered the homicide squad and photographed victims of gun violence. Read Lunae's personal account here.

from Breakingviews:

Gunsmith finds cold shoulders on Wall Street

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

 

Financiers typically turn away fees as willingly as dogs give up steaks. But Wall Street banks are leery of financing bids for gun maker Freedom Group for fear of damaging their reputations. Making assault rifles, it turns out, has joined pornography on the list of activities with risks that money can’t hide.

from Photographers' Blog:

A day at the gun range

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Los Angeles, California

By Jill Kitchener

If a guy wanted to take me to a gun club for a date, I don’t know how I’d react. Growing up near Toronto, Canada, guns have never played a role in my life - most certainly not my dating life. Shooting guns as a recreational activity has never caught on in my social circle.

Yet I found myself at the Los Angeles Gun Club with photographer Lucy Nicholson while on vacation.

from Photographers' Blog:

My weekend at the Big Sandy Shoot

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Near Wikieup, northern Arizona

By Joshua Lott

Sandwiched between the black jack tables of Las Vegas and the knuckle balls of spring training baseball in the Phoenix metropolitan area, machine guns were fired day and night during the Big Sandy Shoot in the desert of northern Arizona near the town of Wikieup.

GALLERY: THE BIG SANDY SHOOT

The three day event attracted hundreds of spectators and shooters from around the country. Some traveled as far as Washington and Mississippi to fire their weapons along a mountain range set up with zombie targets, trash cans and buckets and barrels filled with aluminum oxide mixed with ammonium nitrate to create explosions upon impact.

from Jack Shafer:

Let’s not go crazy over publishing gun lists

Once they get started, gun debates take but a few minutes to mutate into rhetorical riots in which responsible gun owners accuse their critics of wanting to confiscate their guns and anti-gun activists damn all gun owners as accomplices to murder. The debate-to-riot progression was replayed once again following the Dec. 14 Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre, when into this volatile atmosphere stepped the nearby Gannett-owned Westchester Journal News, publishing a Dec. 23 story and a map detailing the names and home addresses of every pistol permit-holder in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties.

Undeterred by the fact that the handgun data was, by state law, a matter of the public record, aggrieved gun owners retaliated. A crowdsourced map of the home addresses of Journal News employees -- including their home and work phone numbers when found -- went up. The site also listed the names and addresses of the paper's local and national advertisers, suggesting Journal News readers write letters threatening to boycott their goods and services unless the Journal News took its map down. The New York State & Pistol Association urged a boycott of all Gannett enterprises, asserting that the map had "put in harm's way tens of thousands of lawful license holders."

from David Rohde:

A year when government failed us

Barack Obama said it himself in his first post-election press conference. Speaking at the White House on November 14, Obama said conversations with families, workers and small business owners along the campaign trail had left him convinced that average Americans deserved more from Washington.

“When you talk to these folks,” Obama said, “you say to yourself, ‘Man, they deserve a better government than they’ve been getting.’”

from Breakingviews:

Market signals turning point in U.S. gun debate

By Robert Cyran

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Private equity isn’t known for squeamishness – or for dumping promising investments. So it’s significant that Cerberus Capital Management is selling its stake in Freedom Group, the largest U.S. firearms maker, following the Newtown school atrocity last week. Gunmakers’ shares are plunging, too: big money is betting on tougher restrictions.

from Breakingviews:

Congress should push for mandatory gun insurance

By Robert Cyran and Reynolds Holding

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Congress should push for mandatory gun insurance. Firearm ownership is a U.S. constitutional right. But as last week’s massacre again demonstrated, it comes at a cost. Requiring liability coverage could be one way to keep the most dangerous weapons from unstable hands without infringing the law.

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