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Nebraska Politics Published

An Empire of Misery, Headquartered in Grand Island

The National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors includes one Nebraskan, Steve Hornady of Grand Island. Hornady owns Hornady Manufacturing, which manufactures ammunition. The company is financially very successful, so they enjoy awards and recognition in the state and national business community. Such recognition aggrandizes and normalizes them, and does not critically examine where this wealth comes from or what its consequences are. They have been named Ammunition Manufacturer of the Year seven years in a row by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers. The University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Nebraska Business Development Center featured them as a “success story” after the University’s Nebraska Business Development Center provided them with a range of government-subsidized business consultation services to help them grow their ammunition business. The company has given back to the community with donations to charity shoots and the American Red Cross, the UNO feature explains. Steve Hornady has a rescued shelter dog, another explains in a humanizing PR piece.

 

Steve Hornady of Hornady Manufacturing, center, receives the 2014 Manufacturer of the Year Award from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

But what does it mean to have a resoundingly successful ammunition business? Let’s start with some sales Hornady is perfectly open about. The company supplies a range of products to America’s militarized police, including handgun and rifle ammunition. However, in 2015, the company also fought an attempt by ATF to regulate armor-piercing bullets for AR-15s, invoking Obama’s supposed gun control agenda as they rallied their customers to oppose the regulation. So they sell ammunition to police, sell ammunition to civilians designed to kill police, and sell more ammunition to police, who need to protect themselves from those armed civilians.

Hornady also sells a “Dangerous Game Series” of ammunition “tailored to meet the needs of the serious safari hunter.” The advertisement featured on the company’s web site includes footage of Hornady-equipped western tourists in Africa slaughtering a hippopotamus, a cheetah, and several elephants. The company features testimonials of Americans boasting how they used Hornady bullets to kill animals in Africa. One, written by “Chuck,” touts the power of Hornady ammunition by describing how he blew such a powerful hole through an elephant’s head that it also destroyed a tree branch behind the elephant. [Graphic images follow–scroll down to skip.]

From a Hornady advertisement.

 

“Chuck” describes how he killed an elephant with Hornady bullets.
Western tourists shoot an elephant in the head with Hornady bullets, according to their advertisement.
American hunters pose with the lion they hunted with Hornady ammuniton.

 

A few years ago, Hornady began selling glowing green “Zombie Max” hollow-point bullets marketed as the ammunition needed to stave off a Zombie Apocalypse. Packaged in a gimmicky box, the ammunition is very real. Hornady describes it this way:

“Each round is loaded with a special, neon green, polymer-tipped Z-Max bullet that delivers devastating expansion and was specifically designed for zombie elimination. You never know when the impending zombie apocalypse will begin, so make sure you’re prepared with extra magazines and bugout bags stuffed full of this effective zombie specific ammunition.”

The company included a disclaimer on the product, one that was ignored by at least one AR-15 owner, who claimed to see a zombie on his street and walked through his neighborhood firing the Zombie bullets into a neighbor’s window.

Which brings us to the uses of Hornady ammunition that the company does *not* advertise.

The United States has no system for recording and tracking ammunition used in crimes. Any detail we might know about which crimes involved which ammunition is a matter of whether an official happened to mention it to the press and the press happened to report on it. So there is no telling how many people have been killed or maimed by Hornady’s ammunition, but a quick search of recent news stories indicates that this is not an unusual occurrence. Here are some of the stories:

Just last September in Texas, an aggrieved husband angry at his estranged wife went to a cookout and mowed down his wife and seven of her friends. Among the weapons and ammunition stockpiled by the gunman were Hornady products. Hornady Manufacturing profited from that sale.

In November, Oregon authorities found the remains of a woman who had been murdered five years earlier. Spent Hornady casings were found at the scene of her murder and matched the Hornady casings in the home of her Christmas tree business partner, who has now been indicted for her murder. Hornady Manufacturing profited from that sale.

In Minnesota, an ex-boyfriend under a protective order lay in wait outside a bar until his ex-girlfriend exited. He killed her with a Hornady bullet. Hornady Manufacturing profited from that sale.

In Madison, Wisconsin, in September, a group of people lured a 24-year-old woman outside, then murdered her with Hornady ammunition. Hornady Manufacturing profited from that sale.

A 17-year-old sprayed Hornady bullets at an outdoor gathering in Davenport, Iowa, killing a 15-year-old girl. The teenage gunman’s “browsing history on his cellphone showed searches for Hornady bullets.” Hornady Manufacturing profited from that sale.

In Wisconsin, a woman was found slouched in an outdoor chair, dead by gunshot. Authorities have not solved her murder. According to the forensics report, “The most likely ammunition used is Frontier 380Auto cartridges manufactured by Hornady.” If so, Hornady Manufacturing profited from that sale.

In Louisiana, a man shot at another man and killed two 19-year-old college students who were in the area. Hornady bullets were recovered from their bodies, and those bullets profited Steve Hornady of Hornady Manufacturing.

Annette January and Lashuntae Benton, both 19-year-old college students at Southern University, were killed by Hornady bullets when two men engaged in a gun fight near them. A box of Hornady bullets runs about $20 and directly profits Steve Hornady of Hornady Manufacturing in Grand Island, Nebraska, touted as a “success story” by the Nebraska Business Development Center.

In Missouri, two teenagers shot at a 23-year-old woman, critically injuring her. One teenager used a .45 and one used a .380 loaded with Hornady bullets. Bullets from both guns were found lodged in the woman’s house. Authorities are not sure whether it’s a bullet from the .45 or a Hornady .380 that remains lodged in the young woman’s brain, wiping out her childhood memories and sister’s name. Hornady Manufacturing profited from those bullets.

In Lewisville, Texas, authorities found the murdered body of a 19-year-old young man in his car. He had been shot at close range by his cousin, and a Hornady bullet was recovered from his neck. Hornady Manufacturing profited from that bullet.

In Temple, Texas, a 17-year-old shot a Hornady bullet into the leg of a man who he said owed him money. The average hospitalization for a gun injury costs $95,887. But Hornady Manufacturing profited from that bullet.

In New Hampshire, the FBI found a box of Hornady bullets among the stockpile of guns and ammunition in the home of a child abuser. Hornady Manufacturing profited from that sale.

Colorado Prisons Chief Tom Clements was assassinated with Hornady bullets, the sale of which enriched Steve Hornady of Grand Island, Nebraska.

Colorado Prisons Chief Tom Clements was assassinated on his doorstep with Hornady bullets. Officials believe his murder was ordered by a white supremacist gang. Steve Hornady of Hornady Manufacturing profited from the bullets that killed Clements.

The reach of Hornady is long: in Ontario, Canada, a 13-year old accessed a firearm loaded with a mixture of Hornady and Winchester ammunition and unintentionally killed a 14-year-old girl. Hornady Manufacturing profited from the sale of that ammunition, regardless of how it ended up across the border.

Closer to home, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, another teenager got hold of a gun loaded with Hornady ammunition and used it to kill a 13-year-old boy. Hornady Manufacturing profited from that bullet.

A photo of a Hornady shell casing is displayed in a Michigan courtroom. That shell casing put money in the bank account of Steve Hornady of Hornady Manufacturing in Grand Island, Nebraska.

In Saginaw, Michigan, Hornady shell casings were found at two different shootings eight days apart. The Hornady bullets at one of those shootings killed a man who had been misidentified by the shooter. Hornady Manufacturing profited from those bullets.

Every one of these bullets profited Hornady Manufacturing. Hornady Manufacturing militarizes civilians and the police, and promotes and profits from the slaughter of endangered animals on African tourist hunts. They make untold money from the intimidation, assault, murder, and suicide of Americans. But hey, that Steve Hornady has a rescue dog and runs charity shooting events. What a Nebraska “success story.”