Controversy has broken out in California after the state’s teacher pension fund realized that its private equity fund, Cerberus, owns a series of gun manufacturers organized under the umbrella Freedom Group. One of the manufacturers is Bushmaster, the maker of the rifle used by Sandy Hook massacre perpetrator Adam Lanza in the killings.
California Treasurer Bill Lockyer said today that state pension funds should stop investing in companies that produce guns that can’t be sold in the state legally. He has asked his staff to review all state investments.
California law prevents all sorts of things from being sold in-state. No doubt many of the companies that California funds invest in produce such products. But California is singling out gun manufacturers to make a political point, not to actually do anything about gun violence. Despite its heavy gun restrictions, California ranks fourth in the nation in gun homicide rate, and leads the nation by a wide margin in terms of absolute number of homicides.