Senator Bernie Sanders is a self-avowed socialist, who isn't shy about telling how his agenda will control Americans, but the case can be made that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is an even more dangerous threat to both the American economy and liberty.
Clinton’s proposal to allow gun makers and sellers to be sued whenever one of their firearms is used to kill someone should be taken for what it is, an attempt to end all gun manufacturing and gun sales in the United States.
While freedom-loving Americans are right to be concerned about a Sanders presidency, is he really any further to the Left than Clinton?
In 2005, Congress enacted the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Its purpose was to shield gun sellers and gun makers from lawsuits when their products are used in criminal activity. The law was a reaction to multiple civil actions taking place against gun makers. Sanders voted for this protection, and has now come under attack by Clinton, charging that the gun industry is “the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability.”
Clinton’s claims have been challenged as false by Timothy Lytton, a law professor at Atlanta’s Georgia State University. Lytton, who was the editor of a book on gun industry litigation, explained that the law limiting gun liability “is not the first federal law to grant a particular industry immunity from tort liability.”
Indeed, the law specifically provides for many instances in which gun makers do have potential liability. If a gun dealer knows that a gun will be used for some criminal purpose, then they can certainly be held liable. Tort laws can also be used if someone is harmed due to some defect in the product.
Other industries that enjoy some liability protection include airplane makers. Small aircraft manufacturers cannot be sued in an accident involving a plane more than 18 years old.
Sanders explained to Clinton why her proposal was basically a proposal to kill the gun industry: “What they are saying is that if somebody who is crazy or a criminal or a horrible person goes around shooting people, the manufacturer of that gun should be held liable. If that is the case, your position is that there should not be any guns in America, period.”
If Clinton’s position was taken to its logical conclusion, if a person misused a legal product to murder someone, the manufacturer of that legal product should be held civilly liable, and forced to pay monetary damages. For example, if someone bought a hammer at Ace Hardware, and used it in a murder, the hammer maker would be liable, and so would Ace Hardware.
Recently, a young woman drove an automobile into a Homecoming parade crowd at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, killing or injuring dozens of innocent people. Under the reasoning of Clinton, the manufacturer of the car could be liable, as well as the local dealership that sold her the vehicle.
“I want people in this audience to think about what it must feel like to send off your first-grader, a little backpack maybe on his or her back, and then the next thing you hear is that somebody has come to that school using an automatic weapon, an AR-15, and murdered those children,” Clinton told the debate audience, defending a recent lawsuit filed against Remington by families of the Sandy Hook shootings. According to Clinton, plaintiffs suing Remington for the Sandy Hook massacre are just “trying to prevent that from happening to any other family.”
Clinton concluded her verbal assault upon the gun industry, excoriating the motives of the gun makers, which revealed her animosity toward not only the Second Amendment rights of all Americans, but her contempt for the free enterprise system as a whole. “We talk about corporate greed, the gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can.”
And Bernie Sanders is the socialist in the Democrat contest? While it is theoretically possible to locate businesses who are not in business to make as much money as they can, such remarks are a condemnation of every business owner in the country, large or small. And, it is a condemnation of the very essence of the free enterprise system — the making of a profit.
Such demagoguery is breath-taking from a woman who has been paid by Wall Street businesses over a half million dollars, per speech. Since her husband exited the White House in 2001, this couple has made over $150 million!
Sanders is certainly not harmless. But it should be made very clear that a President Hillary Clinton would do everything she could to destroy the gun industry in the United States, and the quarter of a million jobs it generates.
Steve Byas is a professor of history at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore. His book, History’s Greatest Libels, challenges lies told against such persons as Christopher Columbus, Clarence Thomas, and Joseph McCarthy.