The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) has decided not to allow a recent series of shootings, particularly the one in Newtown, to hamper its public profile or its support of the use of guns among “reasonable citizens.” It announced one of its flagship television programs — “Guns and Gold” — will be renewed for a second season. A backlash against gun use has not budged it from its core principles, whether or not they are considered loathsome by some Americans.
The renewal of the TV show not only indicates the extent to which the NRA is willing to press its agenda. The action will help major gun companies, local retailers and gun dealers all alike.
The Sportsman Channel will run “Guns and Gold.” The channel commented on the relationship:
“Whenever we partner with the NRA — it is more than just a show. It’s a partnership that reflects our leadership and commitment to the American Sportsman, whose right to bear arms is vigilantly protected by the NRA.” said Graig Hale, VP of Business Development at Sportsman Channel.
The channel is available in 31 million houses, but that tells nothing about how many people actually watch its programs.
One of the other signs that the American gun culture has not been damaged much by recent mass shootings is the extent to which gun company stocks have recovered since the Newtown killings. Strum, Ruger & Co. (NYSE: RGR) shares dropped to just above $40, but the stock spiked to more than $47 quickly. Shares of Smith & Wesson Corp. (NASDAQ: SWHC) have moved higher by about the same percentage. Shareholders have taken heart from record gun registrations in December when they reached 2.8 million, according to the FBI.
Under the surface of the news about Newtown and other incidents is the health of the economics of gun manufacturing and marketing. Investors were ready to challenge the efficacy of the companies at the heart of sector just weeks ago. If their share prices are any indication, the gun economy has barely been hurt at all.
Douglas A. McIntyre