Economist and gun scholar John R. Lott, Jr., used a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday to ask voters to imagine how American industry would look if we treated the Ford Motor Company the way Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden wants to treat Ruger, Daniel Defense, and Sig Sauer.
Lott lists numerous gun controls Biden wants to implement, then writes of his dismay:
First on Mr. Biden’s list, however, is a proposal to make gun manufacturers civilly liable for misuse of guns they sell. This means people could sue manufacturers and sellers whenever a crime, accident or suicide occurs with a gun. The straightforward result would be to put gun makers out of business.
He is referencing Biden’s desire to repeal or otherwise cripple the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which protects gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits in situations where the guns were legally made and legally sold.
Biden consistently called for getting rid of PLCAA while on the campaign trail during the Democrat primaries, going so far on February 24, 2020, as to say to gun makers, “I’m going to take you down.”
Lott wants American voters to consider what such a position would do the car industry if they were forced to face the frivolous suits a Biden victory would force gun makers to face.
The National Safety Council estimates that 39,404 Americans died and 4.5 million were injured from car accidents in 2018. Cars are also used frequently to commit crimes.
Note that cases of product malfunction are already covered; to run afoul of Mr. Biden’s proposed rule, product makers need not do anything wrong at all. Car accidents often occur when a driver isn’t paying attention or drives recklessly, perhaps under the influence. It would be ludicrous to make car makers pay lost wages, medical costs and pain and suffering because of a driver’s negligence.
He adds, “Guns aren’t so different. Less than 1% of guns are ever used in crimes, suicides or accidents, and when they are, it’s virtually always the result of the user’s actions. Many other products, such as motorcycles, have much higher probabilities of causing harm. The death rate per motorcycle is 0.05%; the date rate for guns is 0.008%. The latter includes murder, accidental deaths and suicides.”
But what if?
What if Ford, Chevrolet, and Tesla, were being threatened with the same treatment that a Biden administration portends for U.S. gun makers?
Lott suggests that suits against car makers would driver car prices up, pushing automobile ownership into a realm for the wealthy only. Lawsuits against gun makers would do the same thing. Thus he titled his op-ed, “Holding gun makers liable for gun crimes hurts the vulnerable.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange