- The Washington Times - Monday, September 3, 2001

The "gun made me do it" people in New York state and California have experienced a big setback. The top state courts said gun makers cannot be held liable for death and injuries because of their marketing practices. This is good news for the National Rifle Association and bad news for the dozens of lawsuits across the nation against gun manufacturers. The idea that a company can be sued because someone misused its product is absurd. Lawyers felt the gun makers' marketing ploys were the cause of many shooting deaths and injuries.
It's like blaming automobile companies, who tout their cars on racetracks all over the nation, for your speeding ticket. After all, the car can reach speeds of over 200 mph, and you were just a victim of a marketing ploy. I suppose if the lawyers could prove that the gun makers were responsible for all of the shootings that occur each night on TV, and that they do this with the intent of selling guns, they might have a case. But it's unlikely that will ever happen because jurors like television.
If marketing practices are what causes crime, shouldn't we be taking a look at some of those rap singers who advocate killing cops? The rap singer made me get the gun, and the gun made me shoot the cop with the steel-jacketed ammo advertised in the hunting magazine. This kind of thinking would result in enough lawsuits to tie up our courts for years, with lawyers salivating at the possibility of hitting a bonanza similar to the tobacco fiasco.
Once again we have a legal product under attack. Owning a gun is no different than owning an automobile or, for that matter, a knife. All three result in numerous deaths each year because they were used maliciously. Blaming the manufacturer for misuse of his product is business for lawyers and has nothing to do with right or wrong — and everything to do with a fee or a share of the loot if they win. At one time, there were more guns than lawyers in this country. Now look at the mess we are in.
There are so many laws concerning the purchase and use of guns, including background checks, that it is hard to understand why more are needed. Guns will always fall into the wrong hands, and criminals are not going to be governed by any of the gun laws. The gun laws have but one purpose: to discourage honest citizens from purchasing and owning firearms. No amount of laws will ever prevent someone intent on getting a gun from doing so. The idea that a trigger lock will prevent children from getting their hands on firearms is ridiculous. It is likely that parents will keep the gun in a drawer and the key to the lock nearby.
We depend on the government to defend us against criminals but at the same time leave us defenseless. It's even against the law to own pepper spray in many states. Occasionally, we read about a shopkeeper who guns down a thief in his store and is put through the mill for defending himself. Maybe our Founding Fathers had the thief in mind when they gave us the right to bear arms. However, there are other thieves out there trying to steal our right to bear arms.


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