Firearms: an investment?

Letter to the editor 2/28/13 edition

February 27, 2013 

Dear Editor,

In response to an opinion previously published in this newspaper by Alan Cheah, I would like to point out that gun companies and the NRA are not the only ones making a profit on firearms. Unions and investors are also making a profit by buying stock in firearm companies.

Investing in firearm companies was talked about after the Colorado shooting by CALPERS, who owned stock in Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger. Following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, CALPERS decided to divest itself of all firearm company stock holdings that manufacture weapons banned in California and invest in other stocks. The California Teacher's Union voted last month to sell their gun manufacturing and ammunition company stocks they have. Whether this is a smart economic move or a disastrous one does not really matter to them because their profit is a 7.5% margin on stocks and if they don't make that margin, the State of California (i.e., the taxpayers) makes up the difference.

Governor Brown says we will have a balanced budget this year but we still owe billions from kicking the can down the road in previous years. The State of California still owes pensions $4.5 million dollars in back pay. If CALPERS loses even more money by selling firearms stocks and investing in other stocks, then we will be the ones picking up the tab.

Gary L. Murphy, Oakhurst

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