What’s interesting beyond the fact that Sanders doesn’t buy into the empty gun control narrative, writ large anyway……is that Slate uses this article to rail against a 2005 piece of legislation that they would not support were it directed against any other lawful industry. That legislation is the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)”. This bill protects firearm manufacturers against lawsuits and punitive damages stemming from the criminal use of its products.
The PLCAA was the No. 1 legislative priority of the National Rifle Association for years, because it shields gun makers and dealers from most liability when their firearms are used criminally. It is one of the most noxious pieces of pro-gun legislation ever passed. And Bernie Sanders voted for it.This, apparently, is a bad thing. The author attempts to bolster his disdain for this protection by citing invented examples of other industries that he sees as analogous.
But the act’s primary purpose is as simple as it is cold-blooded. Every state imposes liability on manufacturers who are negligent in their production and sale of products. If I crash my Prius because its accelerator malfunctions, I can sue Toyota for negligently manufacturing a faulty pedal. If my child dismembers himself with a blender at Sears, I can sue Sears for negligently leaving that blender within a child’s reach.The glaring hole in his assertion however, is that he cites negligent faults in the product themselves, or negligence on the part of the intermediary, the retailer. He thinks you, the reader, are too stupid to see the difference. Firearms manufactures are protected….as are other industries…..from tort liability in cases where a person takes a lawful, and lawfully procured item…and uses it in a criminal act. If the author were correct, or had journalistic integrity, he would assert that because Sears left a blender within reach of a child…one could sue the manufacturer of the blender. But since cannot, he concoct a fantasy where he would have you believe that the firearm industry has been granted special protections, because…….eeevill NRA.
To recap, gun control supporters such as this author, would advocate for punitive liability judgements against the manufacturer of a non-defective lawful item, lawfully distributed to a lawful retailer, [presumably] lawfully sold to an appropriate consumer........but only if the item is a firearm. A legal product. Wow.
That idiocy aside…..I might actually watch a debate between Sanders and Clinton, if gun control is on the agenda. No, Sanders is not a champion for individual liberty, writ large….he’s a collectivist….but he’s an interesting cat.