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dis-armalite

The simple truth is that unless you placed your order for one at least three months ago, and if not six months ago, you are not buying an AR-pattern rifle in the near future. The parts simply do not exist, the companies cannot produce parts fast enough to even keep up with their direct orders, and I can only imagine how long the total backorder list is.

However, if the time were to ever come where I could place an order for an AR-15 or similar rifle and expect for it to actually arrive before the entropic death of the universe, I will not be purchasing something Armalite makes, and when it comes to kitting out the bare receiver I still have in my safe, none of its parts will come from Armalite.

Why? Simple: Armalite seems to believe that police officers either are, or should be, a higher class of citizen, and they are rather rude in the expression of that belief.

What I do not understand is the cognitive dissonance of Armalite’s position, as expressed by Mark Westrom, the company’s President. On the one hand, they "will not sell to those states which deny it’s honorable citizens the right to own ArmaLite’s" (sic), but on the other hand, they "do not halt sales to individual officers even in problematic states".

Uhm, what?

Individual police officers and law enforcement officers are as much organs of "the state" as their employing police departments and sheriff’s offices, and as much representatives of "the state" as those representatives we elect and re-elect from time to time. Those police officers freely chose, and continue to freely choose, to work for "the state" as official, badged, sworn employees, and, as such, are very much a part of their respective states’ overall government bureaucracy. No, those police officers have no more say in the laws and regulations that are passed in their state than any other average citizen contained within the state’s boundaries, but the same can be said of their police departments, which makes the distinction one without any difference whatsoever.

If a state decides that its residents cannot be trusted with "assault weapons", then why should police officers be trusted with the same? They are residents of the state, so why should the same laws not apply to them as they apply to everyone else?

Why are some animals more equal than others?

And, more specifically, why is Armalite all too willing to perpetuate that inequality? Their motivations aside, it is certainly their right to engage in whatever business they so desire, just as it is my right to choose to abstain from engaging in any business with them whatsoever, until such time as they re-evaluate and change their position. Given that recreational shooters far outnumber police officers in this country, it should not be hard to financially enlighten them as to the mistake they have made.

Sean has already added Armalite to the "Naughty List" at his New York Boycott page, but the good news is that numerous companies, including Bullwater Enterprises, West Fork Armory, Smith Enterprise, Alex Arms, and Spike’s Tactical, have all decided that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I get the impression that this could be something of a positive feedback scenario – as more companies join that list, even more companies will be encouraged to do so.

One can only hope.

15 comments to dis-armalite

  • Volfram

    Having read both the offending E-mail and the statement from the ArmaLite president, it appears to me that the offending E-mail was sent by an employee whose patience had worn thin, and who has since been repremanded for his actions and has apologized.

    Now, with regards to ArmaLite’s policy, I can see what they’re going for, and Mr. Westrom makes some decent points. I think his problem is not hostility, but ignorance. In short, he is not claiming that police are “more equal animals,” but he is encouraging people who would like to acquire an AR-15 to do so somewhere they are legal.

    It appears to me his information is probably a bit out of date, and if someone were to POLITELY point out the manner in which laws are being used to oppress, and the manner in which police are being permitted to hold themselves to a lower standard than they expect ordinary citizens to be held to, that ArmaLite would likely join other distributors in refusing service to the officers enforcing these immoral laws.

  • My problem with the apology, such as it is, is that it was delivered by the employee to the Armalite president, rather than to the offended party. If the employee wanted to apologize, why not apologize directly to Chris, rather than going over the river and through the woods?

    Or, better yet, why not do both?

    Putting an intermediary in the loop makes one wonder if the apology was freely given, or… “expected”.

    Likewise, I have not seen any evidence presented that Chris – or anyone else who contacted Armalite – was, in any way, not polite. If you have any, I would be curious to see it.

    With regards to Mr. Westrom’s statements, we are getting decidedly different end results from his words. He makes it quite clear that he will abide by whatever state and local laws there are regarding the sale of his products… except when it comes to police officers buying those products from within those jurisdictions. That, alone, establishes two levels of “resident”/”citizen”, and he is helping perpetuate it.

    He is right, that it is up to the local and state governments to change their idiotic laws, but he is wrong about private companies’ potential roles in the process.

  • Thanks for the link.

    I’m with you. He’s pretending that there is a difference between selling directly to the police and selling to an individual police officer. A rifle is either a “Weapon of War that has no place on our streets,” in which case no one should own them, or it’s a useful tool for lawful defense of self and others, in which case everyone should be able to own them.

    Anti-gunners need to pick one or the other.

  • MAJMike

    Glad I assembled my last evil black rifle about a year ago.

  • I think this may well get marked up after all is said and done as a major marketing FAIL. If they essentially say, in the end, that they plan on selling to government enforcers even if the plebes in the state can’t buy them, as word spreads it’ll cost them a lot more than it’ll make them. We might wind up with a few semi-official “arsenal” companies that sell relatively small numbers of arms at high prices to government agencies (with negligible private sales), and a lot of “free man” companies selling in higher volumes and lower margins to non-government people. Be interesting to watch it all shake out.

  • Phssthpok

    What we need is a meta-boycott. Give Aramalite the Zumbo treatment.

    Get Armalite’s parts suppliers to boycott sending them anything with which to complete their products. It’s not like the suppliers would have any problems whatsoever in finding alternate customers…ones that do not worship the state.

  • @ Sean D Sorrentino: Yup, he wanted to have his cake and eat it too. Sad thing is, private sales are his cake. Police sales are just the sprinkles.

    @ MAJMike: Sadly, I still have a stripped receiver in my safe, with no parts at all for it. Stupid me.

    @ Rolf: I am sincerely hoping this nice little movement snowballs as it appears to be doing… eventually, enough smaller companies will sign on that a bigger company will do it, and once that happens, it is all over but the whining.

    I hope.

    @ Phssthpok: Hm, go straight to the foundries? I think they might be an even harder sell on the idea than the manufacturers…

  • Ted N

    Haven’t authenticated it yet, but according to Facebook, Barrett has extended his California Treatment to New York. I like this snowball.

  • @ Ted N:
    It’s authentic. it’s up on Ronnie Barrett’s website.

    That dude is a 2nd Amendment ANIMAL!!! He’s awesome. I am proud to see so many of my American, gun culture countrymen standing up on their hind legs and fighting back.

    may this idea grow and may we always be free.

  • Phssthpok

    Not the foundries (where foundry = transforming raw ore into alloyed metals), more like the manufacturers who make all those little internal pieces that make up a trigger group. Those stamped and bent seers, the little wound springs, and even the tiny cotter-pin looking thing in the BCG (Firing pin retaining pin). All those little fiddly-bits needed to make the danged things actually WORK.

    Kinda hard to build a car when you can’t source any bolts!

  • @ Ted N: TowerClimber beat me to it, and Sean has already added them to the list :).

    @ towerclimber37: I am really hoping critical mass will be achieved soon, but so far no one “big” has signed on yet. Guess we will see…

    @ Phssthpok: Forges! I swear I meant forges! Stupid alphabetical brain…

    Anywise, the real trick is figuring out where those companies are. For instance, I have absolutely no idea who makes that firing pin cotter pin, or even how to find out.

  • Ted N

    “I have absolutely no idea who makes that firing pin cotter pin, or even how to find out.”

    Possible route, if you’ve got time to spare, pull up the M16/M4 TM, find the part and Cage Code for it, and reference the Cage Code for the actual company name. If you’re really bored.

    Sure hope we’ve got more than one company making each rifle part though. Sure hope you’re not bored enough to actually dig through all those manuals. :D

  • Good call – I guess that is what I get for going Navy, rather than being a ground-pounder. That thought never occurred to me ;).

    But, no, I am definitely not that bored, because, honestly, while it could be a good idea, I doubt widget manufacturers care enough to get involved.

    The same company that makes that cotter pin probably also makes paperclips, and the whole firearm thing is just another market for them to sell widgets to. I doubt they are are as engaged in the whole “rights” thing as the companies actually assembling the things that go boom.

  • Ted N

    :D I’ve got way too much time digging through aircraft TMs.

  • Ahh, I always left that entertainment to my Chief :).



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