US investment giant BlackRock Inc. pressures gun firms

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by Slartibartfast, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. BBC News Link (Inserting URL leads to a blank media glitch.)

    The world's biggest investment management firm is stepping up pressure on companies that make and sell guns after the Florida school shooting.

    BlackRock Inc is considering offering investors the chance not to invest in gun firms, and is asking those firms how they monitor safe use of weapons.

    The US corporation said the Florida shooting on 14 February, in which 17 people died, required a response.

    It is the largest shareholder in two of the biggest US gun manufacturers.

    "As it has for many people, the recent tragedy in Florida has driven home for BlackRock the terrible toll from gun violence in America," the corporation said on its website.

    "We believe that this event requires response and action from a wide range of entities across both the public and private sectors."

    What is BlackRock Inc?
    It is the world's largest fund manager.

    BlackRock manages more than £4 trillion ($5 trillion) worth of investments and pension funds worldwide and is often consulted by governments.

    The company is the largest shareholder in leading gun makers Sturm, Ruger & Co and American Outdoor Brands (formerly Smith & Wesson).

    BlackRock is also a large shareholder in firms such as Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods which sell guns.

    But these shares represent a tiny fraction of its total assets.
    dealmaker likes this.
  2. SteveM


    Virtue signaling from the same Wall Street banks that nearly bankrupted the global economy 10 years ago due to their rampant dishonesty/criminality.
  3. Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
    d08 likes this.
  4. d08


    I believe the Norwegian sovereign fund can't invest in defense companies which also includes gun manufacturers. There are probably quite many others. It makes sense for Blackrock to follow that logic to attract a wider audience.
    Slartibartfast likes this.
  5. I feel your pain!!
  6. ET180


    No kidding. If they really cared about reducing suffering, how about offering investors the chance not to invest in companies that distribute pornography (Dish, T, CMCSA), slaughter houses (TSN, HRL), tobacco companies (PM, MO), and alcoholic beverage companies (BUD, TAP, ABEV)? How many people does tobacco and alcohol (drunk-driving-related accidents) kill every year in the US compared to gun violence? Then there's unhealthy food that promotes obesity / diabetes (MCD, JACK, SBUX, KO, PEP). Do we include processed surgery foods (K, GIS)? Then there's global warming so throw in the entire oil and gas sector (XLE, XOP). How about companies that manufacture vehicles that burn fossil fuels (F, GM, BA). What about companies that manufacture parts for fossil fuel burning vehicles (JCI, ETN, CMI). What about stores that sell guns or gun accessories (WMT, EBAY, AMZN)? These are just tickers that I know off the top of my head. That's gotta be at least 1/4 of the entire S&P 500. Also, will they avoid products that have exposure to the S&P / total stock index?

    The problem with virtue signaling is that by focusing on gun manufacturers and not any of those other areas above, they send the message that all that other bad stuff is fine by them. They are essentially saying companies that manufacture tobacco are not as evil as companies that manufacture guns. So they'll never be able to make everyone happy. Second, these forms of boycotts don't work. Because the market is large enough and there are enough investors who care more about profit than politics that the gun companies will get funding. If anything, the talk about banning guns will only drive gun sales as it did under Obama.
  7. d08


    Comparing porn to mass murder. Are you from Florida by any chance?
    Sig likes this.
  8. The gun control is bigger than anything you can imagine! You see; the bloodsuckers and the international merchants have no loyalty to any country or constitution! They are worried; because they know that eventually, the common people will wake up and see through their web of lies and deceit.
    If you do not get it then you need to hit the history books!:sneaky:
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
    Van_der_Voort_4 likes this.
  9. ET180


    I don't see what's funny about mass murder, but sorry to criticize your use of free time.

    You're right though that there are differences. No gun manufacturer sells their products with the intention of having them used in school shootings. Just as no vehicle manufacturer intends their vehicles to be used as weapons in mass killings. Or no beverage manufacturer intends their product to cause a fatal accident.

    Both guns and cars have legitimate uses (self defense and transportation). However, how would one make porn without exploiting people? It's nothing more than filmed prostitution. Is it as bad as mass murder? Certainly not, but if it's bad, then following the gun control logic, why not make it harder if not impossible to obtain? A lot more people have died in automobile accidents involving drunk driving than mass murder involving guns. If we made alcoholic beverages illegal (and gave a very harsh penalty for violation), surely that would reduce the number of drunk driving accidents. So why don't we? Because there are enough people who enjoy drinking and the cost of drunk driving is not high enough to warrant a society we're willing to pay the price.

    The main issue in the gun control debate that never gets brought up is that this stuff didn't happen nearly as often if at all 50 years ago, but guns were a lot more easier to access. Culture has degraded and there's less respect for life. That's the cause of mass shootings. Ban the guns, but you won't be able to get rid of them. It's already possible to print guns using 3D printing and the technology is likely to advance a lot further in the next 10 - 20 years. And also it's possible to kill a lot more people using a vehicle, bomb made out of supplies from hardware store, IED, or drone than a gun given the right situation and preparation.
  10. d08


    Guns have only one purpose though, to injure or kill whether a human or an animal. No other thing you mentioned is single purpose like that.
    Plenty of countries survive without guns so you can either argue that Americans are extremely violent or the police is completely incompetent. Yes, 3D printing is a way around it but if the penalties are extreme, people will think twice about it. The alternative of "let's just arm everyone just in case" is a terrible idea.
    #10     Mar 4, 2018
    murray t turtle and schweiz like this.