Firearms owners are becoming an increasingly-important voting bloc in center-right politics, and it’s important to discuss and define what specific issues and laws are important to today’s gun owners in this upcoming election. Kevin Creighton from Ricochet.com lays out his opinion in this two-part editorial. This is part two. For part one click here.
Picking up where part one left off, here are four more issues that matter to American gun owners.
This is the pet issue for one of the currently unindicted Democratic candidates for President. She is pushing the idea that gun companies are somehow completely free from the product liability laws which cover improperly made or dangerous products, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Gun companies can be sued for guns that are dangerous or are poorly built, which is right in line with every other manufacturer in America. What the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act covers is frivolous, inane lawsuits against firearms companies which are designed to put them out of business because of the fact they are gun companies. A prime example of this was the nuisance lawsuit brought by the parents of one of the victims of the Aurora theater shooting against the online ammo retailer Lucky Gunner, because they sold the ammunition used in that horrific event (Disclaimer: I know the people at Lucky Gunner pretty well, and consider them to be terrific people). The suit was thrown out of court and the family was ordered to pay the court costs of Lucky Gunner because it was patently obvious that Lucky Gunner had no idea that the products they sold would be used in such a manner.
Not only would repealing the PLCAA give the green light to trial lawyers everywhere that the gun companies were ripe fruit ready for the picking, but it would be a return to the bad old days where gun companies compromised their integrity and paid the consequences with gun owners.
Gun Control as a Medical Issue
It’s an unfortunate fact that Americans have a propensity to kill each other with guns. It’s awful, and it’s something that no legal gun owner endorses in any way. Violence committed with firearms needs to end, of course, but the root cause of this violence is still under debate. The answer to this question, according to a number of Democrats, is to treat “gun violence” as just another epidemic and have the Center for Disease Control study it as if it were malaria or some other disease.
Bad idea. It was tried once before, with laughable results. Studying how guns were used in the free-fire zones of the inner city and then expecting the rest of the country to be full of the same kind of decision making is not medical science, it’s a political agenda covered with a thin veneer of doctorate degrees and then shoved onto the American people as “science.”
I will leave any comparisons to how this study was performed back in the ’90s and the current “science” of anthropogenic global warming to the reader, as it’s time to move on to another topic.
“Universal Background Checks”
Take a look at the photo that accompanies this article. Nothing could be more American, right? A father and a son, out in the greatness of the American wilderness, communing with nature, looking to participate in mankind’s second-oldest profession, finding wild game with which to feed their family.
Sounds good, right up to the point where Dad hands his son the gun and therefore becomes a felon, because he transferred possession of a gun to someone without a background check. While that sounds crazy, that’s one possible outcome in a world of “universal” background checks. These kind of laws aren’t about “closing the gun show loophole” and they’re not about stopping violent crime on our streets, they’re about making it harder to legally obtain firearms. There is no gun show loophole; crooks either steal their guns or have someone else lie in order to obtain them. “Universal background checks,” like every other gun law on the books, would only apply to law-abiding gun owners, not criminal gun owners.
“Common sense gun laws” should begin with common sense, not avoid it altogether.
Public Land Usage
Heavy and easily-molded, lead has been the preferred component of firearms ammunition ever since the days of the first handgonne. In California, though, the era of lead ammunition is coming to an end, due to some questionable research about contamination of the ecosystem. (Anyone else seeing a pattern here?) I’m not opposed to non-lead, “green” ammunition because a high concentration of lead (a poisonous metal) is not a good thing, and non-lead ammunition like the Army’s new M855A1 round and Ruger’s “ARX” pistol ammo look very promising. However, dollar for dollar, non-lead “green” ammunition tends to cost more than their leaded counterparts, adding yet another barrier to entry for shooters on a budget.
If there’s a bright side to a ban on lead ammunition, it’s that such actions have made hunters and other gun owners realize that preserving and expanding the right to keep and bear arms isn’t something that matters just to owners of “evil black rifles” and concealed-carry activists: In the mind of an anti-gun zealot, the only good gun is a gun in the hands of a police department or military that marches to their drum and no other.
Fear the politician who fears you owning a gun: If they’re not in favor of you protecting what matters most to you, they’re not in favor of you having any amount of power at all over your choices in life.