Flipping the Script on Gun Manufacturer Lawsuits

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Even before I was particularly pro-gun, back when I was a kid, I thought the idea of suing a gun manufacturer for the actions of a third party was a particularly stupid thing to do. It's not their fault that a criminal used a particular firearm to hurt someone.

Yet that thinking--if we can truly call it that--has persisted. People want to blame manufacturers for any ill they think they can and they're creating new laws with which to attack them. It's still idiotic, particularly since now they're blaming the marketing, but there's no requirement to show the bad guy had even seen any of the marketing.

But what if we flipped that script?

My buddy Dan Wos floated an idea over at Ammoland that I find particularly amusing.

The idea of disarming lawful citizens as an attempt to stop violence is an absurdity, yet we continue to have conversations with those who perpetuate such nonsense. We have learned that gun free zones are of the deadliest places on earth, yet left-wing politicians, anti-gun groups and uninformed American citizens, continue to push for more of these killing zones.

Some conversations about holding anti-gun legislators and lobby groups, like Mom’s Demand Action, Everytown For Gun Safety, Gifford’s Group, and March For Our Lives, accountable for deaths due to self-defense restricting gun laws, are starting to occur. Do we think those who disarm American Citizens and block access to self-defense should be responsible for the deaths and damage they contribute to? Statistics show that most of the gun-related deaths occur in gun free zones. The reason is obvious. When good people are disarmed, bad guys are emboldened.

If someone cuts the brake lines on your car, should they be held accountable for any death or injury that occurs? That death or injury was a direct and intended result of their actions. Their actions caused you to be unable to stop your car. The same is true for gun control laws. The actions of the anti-gun activists and lobbyists are intended to keep you unarmed and result in you not being able to protect yourself in public. Anti-gun activists keep Americans unarmed, and criminals take advantage of the situation.

Now, let's think about this a bit.

If simply making a gun makes a company liable when that gun in misused, if their marketing it a particular way is somehow responsible for what someone who may never have seen that marketing material did, then how are gun control advocates not responsible for the ramifications of their actions?

Why do they get a pass when they push for certain restaurants to be gun-free zones and a shooting happens at one? Why do they get a pass when they call for making it harder to get a concealed carry permit and someone is gunned down because they couldn't lawfully carry?

Unlike with the firearm manufacturers, these are willful acts by anti-gun groups seeking specifically to disarm people in certain circumstances. They know what they're doing and they're doing it anyway. 

What's more, if parents can be convicted for failing to keep a gun out of their son's hand and a school administrator can face prosecution for failing to stop a shooting, why can't gun control groups be held accountable for facilitating injuries because good, decent people are disarmed?

Realistically, I don't think it'll work. We have little evidence that the courts would be open to such lawsuits, and by their nature, they'd have to be in jurisdictions where you're more likely to face an anti-gun judge anyway. After all, it would have to be filed in a place with lots of gun-free zones or gun control laws that could have helped facilitate such an incident. That means anti-gun judges, more likely than not.

But if they can find the right judge and the right set of circumstances, well, this might just work.

Just understand that it'll soon be flipped and groups like the NRA and GOA will face the same thing. Lawsuits are a two-way street and one should always consider what would happen if the other side decides to adopt the same tactic.