I’m all for people investing in what they think would best serve their financial futures. However, when you back anti-gun gun legislation, smear the NRA, and then invest in some of the largest gun manufacturers in the country – then we have a problem. It seems that some Democrats, who are open – or ambiguous – on Obama’s gun control measures, also have investments in the gun industry. I don’t blame them. It’s a $32 billion dollar enterprise.
Betsy Woodruff wrote a piece in National Review on January 21 showing that “a number of Washingtonians” are connected to the financial firm TIAA-CREF:
which provides retirement services for the public and nonprofit sectors and manages the accounts of a number of leading Democrats. According to disclosure forms published by the Center for Responsive Politics, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has money in a TIAA-CREF fund that invests in both gun companies. TIAA-CREF has come under fire (word choice, I know) for investing in both Smith and Wesson and Sturm, Ruger.”
Rahm Emanuel also appears to have profited from the gun industry. According to his latest available disclosure forms, for calendar year 2009, when he was White House chief of staff, he had up to $15,000 in the JP Morgan Market Expansion Index Fund. That fund is currently a major shareholder in Sturm, Ruger.
Senator Chris Coons (D., Del.), awarded an F by the NRA, has more than $30,000 in the Oppenheimer Main Street Small- and Mid-Cap Fund. That fund is a major shareholder in Smith and Wesson.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) also supports reinstatement of the assault-weapons ban. Klobuchar’s connection to the gun industry is through her husband, John Bessler, who has up to $50,000 in a Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index fund, which holds 1.15 percent of Sturm, Ruger’s total shares, making it the fund with the eighth-largest share in the company, according to Morningstar.com. Vanguard Group is a major investor in the American gun industry; it’s Smith and Wesson’s top shareholder, controlling 6.39 percent of its shares, and it’s also the third-largest holder of Sturm, Ruger, with 7.03 percent of shares.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) has up to $100,000 in the iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index, the 14th-largest shareholder of Sturm, Ruger.
Senator Tom Harkin (D., Iowa), who also gets an F from the NRA, has up to $100,000 in the iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Growth Index, the 16th-largest shareholder of Sturm, Ruger.
Nevertheless, while I’m happy to see some liberals make profitable financial decisions, unlike Obama, please leave your holier-than-thou attitudes at the door of the Senate floor.