• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 9 comments on BU Opts against Forswearing Investments in Gun Manufacturers

  1. I hope BU will continue this reasoned approach of considering the facts and not base decisions on the hurt feelings “related to various social justice causes”

  2. What moral, ethical, and logical contortions the board must have gone through to reach this decision. I am floored, outraged, and ashamed by their decision.

  3. “the wisdom of the decision will fail to withstand the test of time”: grim irony, the understatement of this phrase when applied to the Trustees’ own cynical decision. For the second time, they have publicly affirmed the industries demonstrably complicit with gun violence.

    Education, anyone?

  4. “The committee cited its belief that gunmakers’ social harm doesn’t rise to the divestment standard of the board.”

    Considering the number of schoolchildren and adults killed by guns manufactured by gunmakers, and the amount of social anxiety public massacres have created in this country, I wonder what the board considers the bar for “social harm.” Very troubling to me as an alum and an employee of this institution.

  5. Roughly 100k overdose deaths [1] in the US annually (>2x that of firearm deaths[2]). Some 43k people die in the US annually from motor vehicle traffic crashes[3] (roughly equal to firearm deaths).

    Should BU divest from pharmaceutical and auto manufacturers too?

    [1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2021/20211117.htm
    [2] https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/firearms/fastfact.html
    [3] https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/early-estimate-2021-traffic-fatalities

    1. AT, I think that’s an apples and oranges comparison. Cars serve purposes other than causing accidents, namely transportation. Similarly, pharmaceuticals serve significantly more purposes than causing overdoses. Guns, on the other hand, have an express purpose of launching projectiles at massive speed, and are commonly used to inflict death. It isn’t a byproduct of their existence like automobiles and pharmaceuticals, it is their express purpose to do so. Requesting the university commit to not subsidizing the firearm industry isn’t unreasonable. If cars were sold for racing (to make a fair comparison as I acknowledge guns can be used for sport) but we’re commonly used to massacre people, particularly school aged youths, I’d expect the same reaction.

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