I am so "this" close to considering a move - out of this country!
For years the U.S. Government has, through severe budgets, been slowly eliminating creativity from the U.S. school systems. One by one schools have been forced to cut back or remove the arts programs from their curriculum and music, being one of the most expensive programs to run has been hit the hardest. Though to the credit of school music director’s everywhere and the general public, many have fought for the funding or held fundraisers to save their programs. In light of this more and more music students have turned to private lessons. Now thanks to the apparent opinion that the U.S. Government needs no excuse to just walk in and do a search and seizure on anyone they please, that option has also been threatened, by the manufacturer’s ability to produce quality instruments for students to learn on, should they choose to play guitar, banjo or mandolin.
For yet a second time the federal agents have , without provocation or sustainable reason, virtually attacked one of the world’s most prominant producers of fretted instruments, Gibson Guitar. On Monday August 24, 2011 armed U.S. Marshals entered both the Nashville and Memphis, Tenn. facilities evacuating all buildings, closing down production, sending all employees home. They then proceed to confiscate rosewood and ebony that had been legally imported from India. The total seizure was valued at more than a million dollars.
There was no rhyme or reason to this act and when Gibson officials asked for an explanation the Agents flat out refused to give one. This act not only tarnishes Gibson’s high level reputation but makes it almost impossible, due to price increases that will result from this, ( as other less reputable companies with no doubt use this to their advantage), for the public to afford instruments but in addition, the Lacey Law of 2008 which has been used in the past to warrant raids on Gibson also sets up every individual owner of a Gibson instrument as a potential target. Anyone who owns, sells or resells a Gibson guitar could be deemed in violation of that law.
Gibson, in my opinion makes the finest guitars in the world and though I do not own one at this time I have in the past and will again in the future. Sure there are other manufacturers and some as good as Gibson but it's the name and the tradition that draws and keeps loyal customers. It’s the principle of the thing!!! This is supposed to be America people! Innocent until proven guilty, the right to due process and a fair trial? Am I going to be busted tomorrow for selling my Gibson to a kid thirty years ago or worse for buying the wrong brand of mac-n-cheese on the way home today? COME ON !
To learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/033454_Gibson_Guitar_armed_raid.html#ixzz1WT02IxXy
Learn more about the lacey act: http://www.eia-global.org/lacey/P6.EIA.LaceyReport.pdf
"This has been an official vent by an irrate amature musican" better now. =)
And Gibson you will always have my undying respect, thank you.