Alaska should recruit 'distressed gun manufacturers,' Dunleavy says

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy says he would try to make gun manufacturing a big part of Alaska’s future.

“You bring up an outfit like a Ruger, or a Springfield or Remington to the state of Alaska, you’ll have jobs for generations,” said Dunleavy, sounding like a candidate for governor of the Alaska gun club.

“We’re a gun-friendly state. We have the third busiest cargo airport out of Anchorage. We have a railroad coming from here to the Anchorage area. You could ship this stuff out,” he said.

He shared this fantasy with a gun-loving crowd in Fairbanks in mid-October, mentioning that he went to a gun show at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and “you get the picture” of what he was looking for.

Dunleavy didn’t identify how energy and health care costs could be slashed—which is typical of his approach to public policy—but he said if those things were a lot cheaper, the state could attract new industries to supplement resource development.

If we don’t get other industries, he said, “we’re going to ride this one horse called oil into the ground. And then once we don’t have other industries come up here, we’ll have nothing for our kids and grandkids.”

The only industry that popped into his mind? Guns.

This is politics, not economics.

Five years ago Dunleavy and every other legislator except Rep. Andy Josephson voted for a feel-good measure that claimed Alaska, with its excellent gun climate, is “an ideal place for firearm and accessories manufacturers to relocate their business to our state.”

But gun companies have not found Alaska to be an ideal relocation destination. That is not going to change, but Dunleavy wants to spend state money to recruit gun factories.

“There are distressed gun manufacturers, for example, on the East Coast. Some of them are looking for a new home. Under my administration we’ll send a team out to those industries and say, ‘What would it take for you to come to Alaska? Tell us what would it take.’”

“They might say, ‘You’ve got to lower your health care costs.’ Or ‘You’ve got to lower your energy costs.’ But at least we know and we can start changing the things we do to bring those jobs up here.”

Everyone knows that high energy costs and high health care costs are an obstacle to all new businesses. No need to send a state delegation to ask questions that are already answered.

I can think of a few other things the gun companies might ask for.

1. Give us a subsidy. 2. Give us tax credits. 3. Pay our employees to move to Alaska. 4. Cut transportation costs. 5. Make the winter shorter. 6. Make the summer longer.

The possibilities are endless.

Dermot Cole5 Comments