Dennis Reese, Springfield’s CEO and owner has just released a powerful four-minute piece of propaganda titled: “Springfield Armory Supports the Second Amendment.”
Make no mistake, using images that are dripping with patriotic and religious symbolism, this video has strong ju-ju.
It opens with an aerial shot of a cross on top of a church steeple. There’s an American flag incorporated into a Springfield Armory logo and an overhead of a typical small-town street scene — God, country, family.
A melodic, almost hypnotic, piano plays throughout the piece.
Reese opens by mentioning Illinois’ gun dealer licensing bill, which he vows to fight “to the very end.”
The bill, SB-1657, was just voted out of committee and now heads to the Illinois House floor.
Reese never once mentions that his firm and Rock River Arms were carved out of the horrible legislation, or that his paid lobbyist funneled tens of thousands of dollars to anti-gun politicians.
Instead, the CEO talks history — how his parents had to mortgage the family farm in 1974 in order to purchase the Springfield Armory name — a mortgage, I’m sure, that has long since been paid in full.
Next comes Rob Leatham, who’s identified in the video as a “Champion pro shooter.”
Leatham is wearing a grey polo with no markings or logos. The fact he’s sponsored by Springfield Armory or that he’s been captain of the Springfield Armory shooting team is never mentioned.
“The Reese family has always been involved in the battle for Second Amendment rights,” Leatham said of his boss.
I feel sorry for Robbie.
Next to make a cameo is Geneseo, Illinois Mayor Kathy Carroll-Duda, who evokes the specter of economic harm to the community that a downturn in gun sales could bring.
Carroll-Duda says she’s “fighting to keep jobs in Illinois right now.”
Reese next explains that he was unaware of the carve-out controversy.
It was all his lobbyist’s fault.
“I had to force myself to delegate over the years, to allow the business to grow,” adding that he delegated responsibility to his lobbyist, who served as executive director of the Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Association, a now-defunct four-member lobbying group Reese controlled along with the owner of Rock River Arms.
“He, unfortunately, didn’t understand the graveness of what this bill was. We had to terminate his employment and disband the organization,” Reese explained. “We’re doing our best to prove to the folks that don’t believe us that we are taking this very seriously.”
Appearing as though he was near tears and about to cry, Reese talked about the “great pride” he has in being a member of the community.
It made me wonder how many times they had to shoot this scene, and whether Reese can cry on demand.
“I would never want to let them down,” he said. “I hope they will understand that this was completely unintentional. I own up to it, it’ll never happen again. I am asking for their forgiveness and their trust.”
Never in my life have I seen anything like this video.
After watching it several times I began to wonder: How stupid do the folks at Springfield Armory think we are?
It seems like they’re not content to merely try to control the message. Now, they want to rewrite the narrative and repackage it themselves.
Leni Riefenstahl could not have done any better.
If Reese now wants to come clean and heal his self-inflicted wound, I’d strongly recommend simply picking up the phone and answering some questions — and I have a lot of questions — about who did what, when and why.
Total transparency and complete honesty are the only way out of the hole that he keeps digging deeper every single day.
Using an over-produced infomercial that’s chock-full of misdirection and Jedi mind tricks only makes Springfield Armory look guilty, and it shows they’re still unwilling to let the facts speak for themselves.
What could they still be trying to hide, and where are the droids I’m looking for?