Who’s Benefiting From San Bernardino and Paris Most? Weapon Makers

Though mass shootings in the United States have, sadly, become an everyday occurrence — in 2015 there have been more mass shootings than days so far (depending how casualties are tallied) — the attack in San Bernardino, Cali., managed to truly shock Americans. Coming on the heels of the shooting in Colorado Springs and the terror attacks in Paris, many Americans are understandably starting to share a sense of uncertainty and anxiety about their safety.

Nothing really made this as clear as President Obama delivery of a very rare address from the Oval Office on the San Bernardino massacre. In his speech, Obama explained that the perpetrators had performed an act of terror; the San Bernardino shooters were “radicalized,” under the influence of violent Islamic views.

With that argument, Obama explains that stricter gun control is needed to stop similar attacks; he also connects San Bernardino to the campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. And in making both of these points, Obama, perhaps unwittingly, made gun manufacturers and defense contracts both spontaneously leap into the air with joy.

Why? Following Obama’s call to bar the sell of guns to those on the terror no-fly list, gun manufacturers quickly saw their stocks spike. Smith & Wesson stocks rose 8 percent and Sturm Ruger & Co. stocks jumped 6 percent. Of course, the sell of these stocks are, in all truth, simply a coldly savvy business decision.

Even without President Obama’s address, gun sales have been soaring in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting. In fact, gun stores in the Bay Area and across the nation have reported doing unusually large amounts of business, with some places even seeing first-time owners waited for their gun in lines out the door. It’s no wonder gun maker stocks keep rising.

Small arms makers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. Defense contractors have also been busy hungrily licking their lips and rubbing their palms together. Those who make the jets, drones, cruise missiles and other high-tech death toys for the U.S. military were no doubt watching President Obama’s Oval Office address Sunday. And, with even less doubt, Obama’s choice to connect San Bernardino to the war against the Islamic State was exactly what they wanted to hear.

In the aftermath of the apparently Islamic State directed attacks in Paris, French President Hollande declared to the world that his nation would step up its military role in Syria against the Islamic State. Experts and stock analysts agreed that U.S. defense contractors like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin would see their stocks climb in the coming months as a result. That’s probably a smart call, as the United Kingdom has also recently decided to increase its military efforts in Syria.

The defense contractors have even been rather blase in their optimism about a widening conflict in the Middle East. In a recent investor conference, the heads of Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Oshkosh cited with glee the business opportunities being opened up by the Islamic State, with a “significant uptick” in demand for arms and mechanized equipment from Western and Middle Eastern powers alike.

As President Obama tried to illustrate in his Oval Office address on Sunday, there are wider implications to the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris — but perhaps not necessarily as he meant. Instead, it would seem terror and, more importantly, how we react to it feeds very conveniently into the agendas and profits of weapon manufacturers, whether they make small arms for Americans or munitions for AC-130 bombers.

Photo Credit: andrewsafonov / Thinkstock

73 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

Does anyone else notice that most of these mass shootings happen in "gun-free" zones? If even 1 person had had a gun at these sites many people could have been saved. People are realizing that cops can't be everywhere and it's our own responsibility to protect ourselves.

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey1 years ago

Guns do not prevent mass killings.

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Will Rogers
Will Rogers2 years ago

Graveyards, crematoriums and funeral homes.
You know what? America needs is more guns, lots more guns till everyone has at least two, and they should carry them everywhere, church, school (kids are citizens too) the workplace, to restaurants, sports events. You never know when someone is going to go crazy. But true American Patriots are right! Guns stop violence! How could I be so stupid to think otherwise? In fact everyone in the world should be armed, that would make it a much safer planet, 6 or 7 billion armed people. Everyone would respect each other or even fear each other! ...mutual respect would reign. And if any gubment man try to tek mah freedom I'd let him have it yessiree! Yeehaw, gonsarnit man! A gun is a magic tool that can solve most of the worlds problems, that's why there's a few billion US made guns in world circulation and everything's fine!

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

The military industrial complex benefits from the endless "war on terror". We need to put an end to all the USA wars that are destabilizing the world.

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Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y2 years ago

And don't forget the US Secretary of the Air Force, Debra James, recently said: "We're in the business of killing terrorists and business is good. We need to replenish our munitions stock. Weapons take years to produce from the day the contract is assigned until they roll off the production line."

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Barbara S.
Barbara S.2 years ago

We gave up our guns when all the gun cleaners and shops were moved as far as 60 miles away from where we live. We never had to use either of them, and the last thing we needed was a break-in with someone stealing them. I used to wish I had a concealed carry permit when I traveled a couple of times a year, driving across the S/W desert, but in L.A. I couldn't qualify for that. Now I can't travel, so it doesn't matter anymore. I can still go anywhere in L.A. I need to without feeling unsafe. I don't know why so many people need a gun to make them feel brave and able to defend themselves. I think the people who have to carry one to feel safe are cowards in their hearts. But that's just my opinion. Perhaps we had lots of families who never grew into emotional adulthood, and still have the mindsets of this being the wild, wild West. I don't understand them, and they think I'm a coward because I don't feel it necessary to carry one. I think they're wrong, and I think this country would be far better off without them. That's just MY freedom of speech, I guess, but no one ever wants to listen to common sense anymore.

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Margaret G.
Margaret G2 years ago

Anne M. did a good job of describing the firearms policy in Switzerland. Now I'm going to try to explain the situation in Honduras. My impression is that Honduras is a client state of the United States and the United Fruit Company, now called Dole. Poor Honduras has been kept powerless and poverty stricken because the United States wants to keep Honduras safe and profitable for Dole. Honduras was the staging area for the Ronald-Reagan-administration-backed Contras who fought and conquered Nicaragua's legitimately elected left wing government. Now Honduras has become chaotic, possibly like Somalia, and is full of murderous gangs. Hondurans are fleeing the violence as much as they can. Sadly the United States does not seem inclined to help them.

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Margaret G.
Margaret G2 years ago

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil merits more Green Stars than I can give for her excellent analysis!

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Kamia T.
Kamia T2 years ago

So long as the media trumpets this gore across every possible channel 24-7, people will be disposed to protect themselves any way they can. We need to quit essentially celebrating this madness.

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