Ruger descending towards bankruptcy. Remington filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Colt drifting slowly out of 2016 bankruptcy. Smith & Wesson descending towards bankruptcy. All of these were hoping greatly for some President to say something negative about guns to spur more personal arsenal stocking.

But, lo and behold they got a Trump instead and their fortunes have been flailing. For the want of a comma or not there would be no more of a gun industry in the U.S. than there is in Europe. But, with the advocacy of fear, we keep it afloat for a few more years. Some argue that gun ownership is the most important Constitutional Right of citizens. I beg to differ — the right to vote is far more important. Gun rights are important only to those who cannot get their point across in a civilized manner. They, who must rule through the muzzle of a gun. One need only look at Africa, Middle East, South America to see what happens when guns rule and votes are scared away.

At this time, the AR-15 style assault weapon is the only niche gun market still making a growing industry profit; hence the hard NRA marketing push to keep people buying these new guns. Otherwise, the frequent gun shows and sales by private owners are pretty much wiping out the small arms industry in the USA. Why buy at full price when one can buy used at reduced prices? Alas, the constant pandering to the gun industry’s NRA marketing arm will all be for not in the next 10 to 20 years.

Why, you ask? Lasers.

Just like computers, the race to build faster, better, cheaper lasers is now upon the defense industry. Lasers on U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Air Force aircraft, on U.S. Army tanks and other support vehicles. The logistics of a laser are so much better, on paper, than any old antique artillery rounds or bullets. One large box with a powerful generator and battery will soon be able to out fire, out distance, blow out anything we could throw at them today. One good laser becomes a small device of mass destruction, capable of destroying a whole town/city in minutes, if not seconds. I trust no one will be crazy or evil enough to allow military grade lasers to be distributed like guns.

Lasers will make guns as useful as a tomahawk, a bow and arrow, a lance, a knife. Combine a laser with LIDAR, radar, low level x-rays, various sensing devices and one will be able to stop an assassin at zero feet to 10 miles, maybe more if plugged into military satellites. A house full of antiques won’t protect one from a laser fired from 10 miles away, slicing and dicing one’s home or fortress into rubble in seconds.

So, if you want to continue to defend the rights of antique dealers, feel free. I won’t be investing in gun industry stock for my retirement. I will be investing in an ever-smarter citizenry with all guaranteed the basic right to vote.

John Holland,