Way back in Y2K the city of New York pressed a lawsuit against gun manufacturers for crimes committed using their products. It was bogus lawsuits like this that led to the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, a component of which specifically directed any pending lawsuits of this nature to be dropped. Faced with that explicit language, Brooklyn federal district Judge Weinstein ruled that the Act did not require the dismissal of the suit and allowed the suit to continue. The manufacturers appealed the ruling to the Second Circuit. That appeal has been ruled upon and, once again, Judge Weinstein is overturned:
The crux of the suit, which dates back to 2000: The city of New York sued the gun industry — including Beretta, Browning, Colt, Glock Inc. and a bunch of others — for facilitating “the movement of legally distributed handguns into illegal markets” by, among other things, facilitating “straw purchases” in which those qualified to purchase guns from the manufacturer, such as retailers, make purchases on behalf of those who aren’t qualified.
Back in 2005, Weinstein denied the manufacturers’ 12(b)(6) motion, holding that the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, did not require dismissal of the city’s case, which was brought under a New York criminal nuisance statute. In a 2-1 decision, a Second Circuit panel reversed, finding that the claim restrictions of the PLCAA did apply and barred the suit.
I’m glad to see there are more logical (and literate, apparently) judges in the Second Circuit although one wonders about the 1 panel member who voted against overturning the decision. The ruling, if you’d like to see it, is here. Hopefully, this will serve as precedent to remove any other such suits in progress and keep any other judges more interested in enacting their social policy than in application of the duly-enacted law from making the mistake Weinstein did.
(Hat tip: Instapundit.)
The latest round of ads from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are causing quite the stir among people paying attention. Drawing the most ire is an ad that blatantly misrepresents McCain’s position on the Iraq campaign and makes use of footage of a couple of US soldiers coming under an IED attack. You can see this ad and another I’m going to get to in a moment at FactCheck.org. (Hat tip to Ed Morrissey of Hot Air.)
First, it’s appalling that a group so adamant against showing any footage of the 9/11 attacks as being “gratuitous” and “irrelevant” would then make use of footage of attacks against our soldiers and marines. If it’s just fine to show our military coming under attack then it’s equally fine to show images to remind people why we’re there in the first place. That the footage they ran leaves the viewer unsure if he’s just watched 2 of our fellow Americans die only makes it worse.
The lie comes when the DNC decides to take comments out of context – in the true sense of that word, as opposed to the completely in-context comments of Obama’s lead spiritual advisor – and paint John McCain as perfectly happy to see active warfare continue for another hundred years. The complete comment from McCain makes it clear that he was talking about a peaceful troop presence, much as we have in Germany today. He explicitly said in the comment being cherry-picked for this ad that he was “fine with” such a presence “as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” That’s a long way from being OK with our military getting shot at for the next century. The DNC knows full well that they’re taking a few words in a comment and distorting McCain’s message 180°. As FactCheck.org says:
Anyone who didn’t already know the fuller version of McCain’s answer could easily be fooled into thinking that McCain would be perfectly happy to see the war continue. McCain has said quite clearly that he considers Democratic proposals for a quick withdrawal from Iraq to be “surrender,” and so deadly fighting could well continue longer under a President McCain than under either a President Hillary Clinton or a President Obama. But what the DNC ad conveys is the opposite of what McCain said.
So why lie? They clearly think Americans are too dumb to notice. What’s also clear is that they’re desperate about their chances, the drumbeat of their media allies notwithstanding.
The second ad shown there regards McCain’s position on the economy. In that ad, McCain is quoted as saying that “a lot of jobs have been created,” a claim the ad scoffs at while showing signs of gas prices and graphics of foreclosures. Again from FactCheck:
While McCain says “a lot of jobs have been created,” the ad shows a graphic that states, “1.8 million jobs lost.” McCain is correct and the ad is wrong. Total nonfarm employment was nearly 5.4 million higher last month than it was when President Bush took office in January 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the standard measure of jobs, and it means 5.4 million have been created.
The DNC defends its claim of “jobs lost” by pointing to the total number of persons who were without jobs in March. That figure is 1.8 million higher than it was when Bush was sworn in. But it doesn’t mean that many jobs were lost, it means that the job gain didn’t keep pace with the number of persons who are seeking work. The ad would have been correct to say that there are “1.8 million more unemployed.” That stark statistic doesn’t contradict McCain’s statement that lots of jobs were created, however. It means not enough were created to satisfy the need.
Precisely true. The fact of the matter is that the US population has grown in the last 7 years. The population has aged, meaning that people too young to work jobs in 2001 are well into the workforce now. Again, it’s a sleight-of-hand the DNC is hoping you don’t notice. Oh, but there’s more. From the Hot Air post by Ed Morrissey:
The ads contain even more deception, although milder. It claims that gas prices have gone up 200% since Bush took office. That would only be true if Bush took office in December 2001, when gas prices dropped to $1.11 per gallon. The price in January 2001 was $1.47 per gallon, which makes the increase 139%. And one has to ask why the price went up. The war certainly had something to do with it, but most of that increase came years after the invasion of Iraq. Congress has blocked new drilling and has not expedited the building of new refineries in the US, which Bush has advocated during his entire presidency — so whose fault are higher gas prices?
They also complain that unemployment is “up”. Unemployment has risen to 5.1%, but that hardly qualifies as high. It beats the average American unemployment since 1948, which is 5.6%. Coincidentally, that was the same unemployment level in the US in 1996, when Democrats described it as “low” during Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign.
The President is powerful, yes, but he can’t pass legislation to enact policies and enable business. That’s Congress’ job. They’re the ones with the ability to actually do something to alleviate the supply squeeze that’s driving the prices. They aren’t. As Morrissey asks: whose fault is that?
This tendency by the DNC to remove context and outright lie about the position of the GOP’s candidates is only going to get worse. In a society such as ours, it is imperative that our citizens have as much of the actual facts as possible. My fellow Republicans and other people interested in making decisions based on real information need to remain vigilant in this regard, stay educated on the real positions of the candidates, and be ready to challenge distortions and lies when they come up. Do yourselves a favor and read those posts I’ve linked.