I’m constantly amazed at how anti-gun zealots perpetually treat gun owners like the bad guys in various legislatures. They want to punish gun companies for the misuse of their lawfully produced and sold products, which doesn’t happen in other industries. They want to punish stores for selling products in compliance with the law, something that doesn’t happen in other industries.
Now, they want to punish people who lawfully purchased those guns because of what other people might do with them afterward.
Gun control is expected to be a major flashpoint in the upcoming session of the Virginia General Assembly, and lawmakers are preparing a long list of potential new laws.
What kind of liability should gun owners have if their firearms are used to commit a crime? Senator Dave Marsden, a Democrat from Fairfax County, says gun owners need to be held responsible.
“All guns start out legal, and then 60% of the guns that end up being used in crimes or in suicides are in the hands of people who don’t own them or didn’t originally own them. We’re careless with our guns.”
A legal expert was quoted as saying he didn’t think such a law would survive legal challenges, and he’s probably right, but like that matters to people like Marsden.
Marsden wants to punish gun owners and calls us “careless.”
Let me ask him this. If someone breaks into my home, finds my car keys on the table and takes them, then uses my car to run over seven people, should I be liable?
That’s good. There’s no reason I should. I had my keys inside my home. That’s not particularly careless of me, now is it? Someone broke into my house and took them. I’m the victim here. Why should I be blamed for what he does with something he stole from me?
But on that same token, why in the hell does anyone think I should be punished because someone does the same thing, but they take my gun instead of my car? I’m still the blasted victim here, right?
Instead, Marsden simply wants to make it as unpalatable to be a gun owner as possible. He wants to place at least some of the responsibility for that criminal misuse of stolen property on the victim because he wants to factor that into the thinking of potential gun owners. He is trying to add more stigmatization to gun owners.
Anti-gunners usually understand that people who don’t own guns are less likely to get worked up over the Second Amendment being infringed upon. They may not like it. They may vote against it, even, but they’re not nearly as fierce in the matter as a gun owner.
So, if they make it socially and politically uncool to own a gun, they reduce their opposition to new gun laws.
With Marsden’s proposal, he’s trying to claim we’re “careless” with our guns and wants to create punishment for that “carelessness.”
If he were talking about people who sold guns to people they knew were trouble, then maybe he’d have a point. Maybe. The problem is that he’s not. He’s talking about blanket liability on every gun owner in his state. He wants to punish the purchaser, the lawful owner, for what someone else does with that firearm.
Damn right it won’t survive a challenge. The problem is, we live in a world where someone thinks this is a good idea.