JPFO Alerts


Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959

Common Sense


Commentary by Richard W. Stevens, Esq.
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

Read this sentence twice: Your rights are meaningless if you can't affordto exercise them.

The current wave of lawsuits against gun makers and sellers might well killthe Second Amendment. If the lawsuits succeed, most Americans will not be ableto afford to keep and bear arms. Their Constitutional right will be dead.

Using civil lawsuits, the anti-firearms lobby might well prevent average,non-violent, law-abiding Americans from obtaining firearms and ammunition.Lawsuits pending in New Orleans, Chicago, and other cities seek to hold gunmanufacturers and sellers liable for the criminal or negligent misuse offirearms by others.

It's real simple. Person A unlawfully shoots Person B. Person B goes tothe hospital. The City pays the bill, because Person B is poor. The Citygroups all of the cases like this together and sues the manufacturers anddistributors of the firearms to get the money for the hospital bills. Multiplythe lawsuits by the number of cities who use this tactic.

To defend these suits, according to a Washington Post report, the firearmsindustry might hire the same law firms and lawyers who represented the tobaccocompanies. Several states had sued the tobacco companies for the costs ofcaring for low-income smokers. The tobacco companies lost.

President Clinton has just announced he would order the Justice Departmentto sue the tobacco companies again. The multi-hundred billion dollarsettlement of the state lawsuits did not protect the tobacco companies froma future federal lawsuit.

If they use the same tobacco company defense lawyers and the same oldstrategies, then the firearms industry can expect to lose. Defense lawyers, asa breed, usually focus on the plaintiff's legal allegations and try to defeatthem. That short-term approach lets the plaintiff define the terms of thelawsuit. Unless the defense lawyers win these cases decisively and early(by rarely-successful motions to dismiss), the litigation must continue allthe way to settlement or trial. Then comes the flood of lawsuits. Win orlose, the costs of defending the suits mount. Jury verdicts and lawsuit coststax the industry and drive insurance premiums sky high. Guns and ammunitionwill become either much more expensive or unavailable.

Huge corporations, like Dow Corning, have folded in recent years becauseof litigation. Firearms companies are next.

The firearms industry needs to take control of these lawsuits by takingcontrol of the whole "gun control" debate. They need to mount a publicrelations campaign that reaches average Americans. The campaign must causepeople to view these lawsuits as crazy and dangerously un-American -- andit must destroy the credibility of gun prohibitionists.

Here's step one of the plan. Run advertising that makes these simplegut-level points:

Firearms protect many times more lives than are lost to criminal violence.(Dramatize the statistics from Professors Kleck and Lott, and use actualfirst-person stories.)

"Gun control" is a racist policy. (Use the actual stories and laws describedin JPFO's "Gun Control" Is Racist booklet:

It is silly to sue the maker of a product for injuries caused bycriminals and others who deliberately or carelessly misuse it.

(Remember when the burglar sued the homeowner for injuries?)

Every American must receive these messages. Daily. On the radio, in themagazines and newspapers, in direct mail flyers, on the backs of coupons, onbillboards, on television. The firearms industry and lovers of liberty mustunite, and they must permanently plant these messages into the mainstream ofAmerican understanding. Most Americans are uncomfortable with dangerously sillyand/or racist ideas. Because of this, all Americans, and most especiallyjuries, should instinctively distrust these lawsuits.

JPFO has the information and materials available to launch thecampaign right now. The firearms industry can win -- but only if they changethe terms of the debate.

Contact JPFO right away. Call (800) 869-1884, or click on today!


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