They're dropping like flies.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers, the country's largest pension fund with $254 billion, voted Tuesday to divest itself of the stocks of two manufacturers of guns and high-capacity ammunition clips that are currently banned in Califoria, Reuters reports.
The move follows the action taken by New York City's teachers' retirement fund just a couple of days ago, also largely symbolic. It affects roughly $5 million in investments in Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Sturm, Ruger & Co.
the vote by the fund's investment committee comes two months after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, in which 20 six- and seven-year-old children and six adults were gunned down in broad daylight with a high-capacity semi-automatic rifle. California State Treasurer Bill Lockyear said that divestment of the gun stocks by Calpers holds "special meaning" for the school's teachers and employees are belong to the pension fund.
The politically fraught issue of gun control will get a big push on Thursday when Vice President Joe Biden travels to Danbury, Connecticut, to promote the gun-restriction agenda pushed by the Obama administration ever since the Newtown shootings.
Ten miles from the site of the Newtown massacre, Biden will deliver remarks at an event on Thursday at Western Connecticut State University, the Washington Post is reporting. Last week, during a family vacation in Colorado, Biden called several Demographic members of the state House "to urge them to support a quartet of gun-control measures making their way through the chamber," the Post also reports.
Meanwhile, the junior senator from Texas, Republican Ted Cruz, is among those leading the fight to defend Second Amendment rights as gun control efforts intensify. On Tuesday he visited LaRue Tactical, a gun manufacturer near Austin, Texas. "Evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that when the rights of law-abiding citizens are left more vulnerable to violent criminals," said the senator during a press conference.
"The Supreme Court made absolutely clear that the Second Amendment is a constitutional right of every American and constitutional rights are designed to be protected not just when they're popular, but especially when passions are high among those seeking to restrict and limit those rights. While we should use every available means to deter and to punish mass murderers, the federal government should not be trying to ban gun ownership for law-abiding Americans."
Cruz also said that "there is widespread agreement that guns should not be in the hands of the mentally ill."