Searching For Judas: The Peril Of Being In The Gun Business Today

Paul Markel © 2013

Deal with the Devil
Searching For Judas: The Peril Of Being In The Gun Business Today
Student of the Gun
Student of the Gun

LUVERNE, AL –-( As we all should be aware of, the Information Super-Highway is most certainly a double-edged sword.

Valuable information that can be of benefit to all people is disseminated immediately.

Genuine news stories, no pap, are available to anyone with a mobile device. You don’t need to wait for a newspaper or magazine any longer. The biggest advantage the Internet provides to modern patriots is that it has broken the stranglehold that the old media had on what was or was not reported to the masses.

That’s the good news.

The other edge of the Internet sword is the speed and snowball effect of rumors, lies, and disinformation. And, like it or not, bad news and/or conspiracies fly faster from the keyboards of malcontents than any good or positive news ever will. People can’t seem to hit the “forward” or “post” button fast enough when they think they have a juicy piece of gossip or a conspiracy.

In the current climate, on one side of the argument you have a coalition attempting to force disarmament down the throats of the people. They are organized and have a definitive playbook from which they operate. In general, the patriots and those devoted to the founding principles of the nation recognized the other side. These same patriots are also extremely distrustful of any company or company representative who is perceived as being friendly or cooperative to the opposition.

Looking for Judas
American patriots; primarily taking the form of gun owners, shooters, constitutionalists, etc. are on the lookout for Judas. They are watching closely and looking for someone to betray them. These folks already understand the progressives and naked socialists want to rule and control them, what they are on guard for is the person or company who is supposed to be on their side cutting the “deal with the Devil”.

Gun people are looking for “price gougers” and others they perceive to be “taking advantage” of the current situation. But more than that, these folks are ever vigilant for the first company to compromise or cut a deal with the government that is trying to disarm them.

During the last month I’ve spoken to innumerable representatives of the firearms industry; marketing and PR reps, wholesalers, vice-presidents, small business owners, you name it. When one PR rep told me that his client (don’t ask and don’t guess) was taking steps to accept the “inevitable” bans to come I had to offer strong words of caution. The absolute worst public relations move possible for anyone in the firearms industry is to publicly capitulate or offer that they will “accept” whatever repressive and punitive regulations are shoved down their throats.

I reminded my good friend that the American gun owner, shooter, and patriot, has a LONG memory when it comes to a perceived betrayal. American shooters hold a grudge like nobody’s business. They are also some of the most loyal customers a brand could have. There are multiple generations of Remington owners in America, or Winchester, or Colt, or S&W, take your pick. Win an American patriot over and you’ll have him for a lifetime, piss him off and it will be decades before he forgives you.

Sign a deal with the Devil and you’ll never see him again and, out of spite, he’ll actively campaign against you.

Acceptance is Approval
The first truth that we must accept as a coalition of patriots is that compromising or simply accepting evermore restrictive regulations offers our de facto approval of them. If you accept the notion that some guns are good and some guns are bad then you are agreeing with the opposition that controlling guns, an inanimate object, will somehow control the behavior of the criminal or mentally deranged.

If you accept a compromise, you are admitting that the other side is correct and that you/we are in fact part of the problem and ergo accept responsibility. That we’ve come to a point in our nation’s history where the law-abiding are being blamed for the actions of the criminal is the height and definition of insanity. If we hold out any hope of winning this battle we cannot accept or even entertain the idea that the rights of a lawful citizen should be sacrificed for the unattainable and imagined gain of reduced criminality.

What should sicken every thinking American in this nation is the fact that the other side, the anti-gun crowd, never seems to concern themselves with the violent actions of the recidivist criminal. We are supposed to believe that an inanimate object has the mystical power to control the human host and absent that object the human in question would revert to a saintly status.

Proactive vs. Reactive
I’ve been in this game and paying close attention long enough to realize that the time for sitting on the sidelines is long over. Members of the shooting sports and firearms community who assume that they can stick their finger in the wind and wait to see from where the wind is blowing will be trampled and forgotten. Companies without any type of proactive strategy to reach out directly to their customer base are rolling the dice.

As the digital ink is drying on this electronic parchment rumors are flying around the interwebs about this company or that hoarding ammunition, cutting side deals with the government, or deliberately restricting sales in an effort to be politically correct.

Our non-friends at Dick’s Sporting Good solidified their moniker by pulling AR-15 type rifles off their shelves and cancelling customer orders for said guns. As a patriot, I would hope other patriots will do Dick’s the service of providing empty spaces in their parking lots and their aisles free of gun owners.

Ruger is to be commended for setting up the “Protect your Rights” section on their website and encouraging patriots to fight for their freedoms. S&W also should be acknowledged for publicly pulling out of the Eastern Sportsman Show after Reed Exhibitions banned all AR’s and “tactical accessories”.

Student of the Gun ~ Watch the Show
Student of the Gun ~ Watch the Show

The patriotic American gun owner is not just on the lookout for Judas; they are also searching and hoping for friends and allies in this fight. They need to be reassured that their favorite manufacturers and suppliers are not sitting by the sidelines waiting to see what happens. The patriot is looking for those who will publicly stand with them.

When all is said and the American patriot will remember both those who betrayed them and those who stood by them and they will hold that memory for a long time.

About the Author
Paul Markel has been a firearms industry writer for twenty years and is the author of the new book “Student of the Gun; A beginner once, a student for life.” Paul hosts and produces “Student of the Gun” a show dedicated to education, experience, and enjoyment of firearms. Episodes of SOTG can be viewed by simply going to and clicking the “play” icon.

Paul Markel c 2012

Follow Paul Markel at Student of the .

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Remington has taken their 30 pieces of silver and assumed the position of Judas. Retribution will be swift but lasting.


never forget, never forgive


Another case in point: for a moment, it was flying round the web that WalMart was getting out of the arms and ammo biz, and our family bought not another thing there until we saw for ourselves that WalMart was indeed continuing to receive, stock, and sell guns and ammo, including "modern sporting rifles". Per the Gipper,"Trust, but verify." Hopefully this same philosophy will be applied by patriots when they spend any money, decide where to school their children, (especially) which networks and channels to watch, etc. But then, had this been done all along, we would not be in… Read more »


I have actually gone to Dicks and reminded them of several high dollar items I had bought there and informed them I would NEVER patronize their store again .


I am one of 'Dick's' extremely dissatified former customers. After what they did against Troy, I will not ever purchase anything from again.

Bill Baker

Sign a deal with the Devil and you’ll never see him again and, out of spite, he’ll actively campaign against you. – Just ask Eastern Sports and Outdoor show management, or Dicks'. Dicks can dry up and die long before I will go there again ever, and I wasn't on their pre-order list. All they really did is prove their name.