Two mainstream media outlets have examined presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s claims about “gun violence” and found them wanting. As in untruthful. You know: lies. While the fisking of Ms. Clinton’s anti-firearms fusillade was quarantined from regular news coverage, the articles hold the former First Lady’s proverbial feet to the fire re: the truthfulness of her statements about guns, “common sense gun safety measures,” etc. OK, this is gonna be fun . . .
Probably one of the most egregious, wrong, pieces of legislation that ever passed the Congress when it comes to this issue is to protect gun sellers and gun makers from liability. They are the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability. They can sell a gun to someone they know they shouldn’t, and they won’t be sued. There will be no consequences.
TTAG’s Intelligentsia know that gun sellers are NOT protected from liability claims. If they’re caught knowingly sell a firearm to a prohibited person, all ATF hell will break loose. They’ll be fined and/or out of business. Anyway, politifact.com focuses on her claim that gunmakers are “wholly protected from any kind of liability.”
The law lists several situations that are not protected from liability. It does not protect gun dealers who transfer a gun knowing it would be used for criminal purposes, nor those who knowingly break state or federal law if the violation results in harm. Gun manufacturers can also be sued if the gun, when used properly, causes injury because the product is defective . . .
The act “is not the first federal law to grant a particular industry immunity from tort liability,” said Timothy Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University, who edited a book on gun industry litigation.
Possibly the most analogous rule — in that it protects a specific group of potential defendants from a specific liability theory — is one that offers some immunity to online service providers, said John Goldberg, a law professor at Harvard University and an expert in tort law, in an email to PolitiFact. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act blocks victims of online defamation from suing service providers (like Comcast) and content providers (like YouTube) for failing to monitor or remove defamatory posts uploaded by customers . . .
Most of the experts we surveyed also mentioned a vaccine manufacturer liability law passed in the 1980s. Under the law, victims of injuries that they say were caused by defective vaccines are not allowed to sue vaccine manufacturers. This differs from the gun legislation, however, because it established the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, through which alleged victims can make a claim and receive compensation . . .
There’s also some liability protection in the medical devices and airline industries, noted Walter Olson, senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute and expert in tort law. For example,the 1994 General Aviation Revitalization Act said small aircraft manufacturers cannot be sued for accidents involving aircraft more than 18 years old.
And so . . .
We rate Clinton’s claim False.
Next up: the anti-gun Washington Post’s post Clinton’s claim that 40 percent of guns are sold at gun shows and over the Internet. Citation!
It is derived from studies that were based on data collected from a survey in 1994, the same year that the Brady Act requirements for background checks came into effect. In fact, the questions concerned purchases dating as far back as 1991, and the Brady Act went into effect in early 1994 — meaning that some, if not many, of the guns were bought in a pre-Brady environment.
The survey sample was relatively small — just 251 people. (The survey was done by telephone, using a random-digit-dial method, with a response rate of 50 percent.) With this sample size, the 95 percent confidence interval will be plus or minus six percentage points.
The analysis concluded that 35.7 percent of respondents indicated they did not receive the gun from a licensed firearms dealer. Rounding up gets you to 40 percent, although the survey sample is so small it could also be rounded down to 30 percent.
Moreover, when gifts, inheritances and prizes are added in, then the number shrinks to 26.4 percent. (The survey showed that nearly 23.8 percent of the people surveyed obtained their gun either as a gift or inherited it, and about half of them believed a licensed firearms dealer was the source.)
The original report carefully uses terms such as “acquisitions” and “transactions,” which included trades, gifts and the like. This subtlety is lost on many politicians such as Clinton, who referred to “sales.”
The Fact Checker in 2013 asked one of the co-authors of the study, Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, to rerun the numbers, just looking at guns purchased in the secondary market. The result, depending on the definition, was 14 percent to 22 percent were purchased without a background check. That’s at least half the percentage cited by Clinton.
And so . . .
By any reasonable measure, Clinton’s claim that 40 percent of guns are sold at gun shows or over the Internet — and thus evade background checks through a loophole — does not stand up to scrutiny.
Only three Pinnochios? Huh. The candidate in question won’t abandon these faux gun control stats. Even so, it’s a cold day in Hell people. As a gun owner living in oven-like Texas, I’m enjoying the breeze!