Two dramatic jury decisions in less than two weeks have kept the pundits
busy. The biggest and least surprising was the jury of senators who voted
for the second time in this country’s history on the impeachment of a
The second decision was in the Hamilton vs. Accu-Tek case in New York.
Here a jury of ordinary citizens voted on whether firearms manufacturers were negligent in the distribution and sale of their firearms. In both cases
the question of the long-term ramifications of those decisions will be with us
for a long time.
In the case of Hamilton vs. Accu-Tek the question is one of precedence and
will be answered sooner. The case took four years and it is estimated that
the firearm manufacturers spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of
dollars. The industry was forced to defend against a conglomerate of seven
plaintiffs who had been harvested by anti-gun lawyers and Handgun Control,
Inc. The jury, which had been deadlocked for several days finally reached
a decision that makes as much sense as using a dart board to decide the
critical issues of negligence and liability. Several times during jury
deliberations it was reported that the jury was deadlocked and there was one juror who was very concerned about the setting a bad precedent. Well, I believe that those concerns were right on the mark.
Copying a page from the precedent setting tobacco lawsuits, the plaintiffs
shopped for a “friendly” judge. They found one in Judge Jack B. Weinstein.
Judge Weinstein decided that the case based on a “negligent marketing”
theory against the manufacturers of a legal product was a viable case and granted cert. During the six days of deliberation he sent the deadlocked jurors back to work at least three times and was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to make light of it, but you’re not being relieved at this point. Everyone has invested too much in this case for you to throw up your hands prematurely.”
But the Hamilton vs. Accu-Tek lawsuit can not be judged in a vacuum. The
litigation scheme of the gun prohibitionists is very, very simple. Let’s
throw as many different strategies against the firearms industry as possible and see which one is viable. The use the successful strategy to build and expand the legal and information base for all future plaintiffs. When 15 gun
wholesalers were dismissed from the New York suit, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs admitted that including the wholesalers was a method to get as much industry marketing information during the discovery process.
On Feb. 11, 1999 the first piece of the litigation strategy was placed
firmly in place. The goal of the trial lawyers who took on this case and
will take on others is to enhance their bottom line; but the goal of the gun
prohibitionists, the HCI-Clinton team, is to greatly reduce firearms’
ownership and availability in the United States.
Aside from litigation efforts which have been started in four cities: New
Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, and Bridgeport, as well as Miami-Dade County in
Florida, the other half of the HCI-Clinton team launched its attack on
Feb. 6, 1999 when President Clinton called for stringent measures concerning
private firearms transfers. As I predicted in my WorldNetDaily column, “Guns, Guns, Guns” President Clinton did introduce his latest gun control initiative. My only error was in the timing; I was a week too early.
Unbelievably Bill Clinton has fooled many gun owners into believing that
he too is a gun owner. He reminisces about firearms in Arkansas and he even tried to fool people into believing he is a hunter. However, Clinton’s only recorded hunting expedition is the one that he took to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1993 to hunt with Rep. John Dingell and former Rep. Bill
Brewster, both excellent hunters in their own right.
The true story of “sportsman” Bill is that two congressmen waited for
their hunting buddy from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for several hours past dawn. When he finally got there he was not too interested in braving the cold winter weather so he spent some time making sure he was warm before he ventured into the field. Of course, the Benelli shotgun and the hunting clothes were borrowed and I have it on good authority of someone who was present that those two dead ducks he was photographed carrying were really shot by a congressman after a few presidential misses.
Unfortunately that photograph, like all Clinton’s other PR efforts,
succeeded in giving the impression that Bill Clinton is a hunter and wouldn’t think of taking away hunters’ firearms. But that impression is dead wrong. His latest proposal is just one more step along the road to eliminating gun collectors and ensuring that every firearm transaction, even between family members, will be illegal unless the federal government allows it to go forward.
The HCI-Clinton team and their media allies try to say it’s only about
“gun shows,” but it’s really about curtailing all firearms’ transactions between
private citizens. The Clinton administration’s definition of a “gun show”
is where there are two or more persons and 50 or more firearms on display. I know many, many collectors who own many more than 50 firearms.
The president of the National Association of Arms Shows, Virgil Holden,
responded to the Clinton proposals by saying, “Federal law already requires
licensed dealers to conduct checks and prohibits private citizens from
transferring a firearm to a criminal. The problem is not transactions at
gun shows, but lack of prosecutions by the Clinton administration.”
Only five days after the jury verdict in New York City Chicago’s Mayor
Daly was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times as saying, “In our case, as in the
Brooklyn case, we will prove that the industry is intentionally serving a market of criminals who intend to use weapons for street violence.” Chicago’s suit, which is based on the same premise as Hamilton vs. Accu-Tek, seeks compensation from firearms’ manufacturers because Chicagoans with phony Illinois firearms ID cards have purchased guns in the suburbs, which have allegedly been used illegally. Mayor Daley has already decided that legal precedent has been set and is enthusiastically promoting the HCI-Clinton agenda in Illinois. The Board of Supervisors in Los Angeles also announced that as a result of the New York case they were studying the feasibility of a lawsuit.
It’s all a part of the HCI-Clinton plan — go after the supply of firearms
by reducing the number of manufacturers, distributors and dealers. As those
numbers dwindle so will the number of law-abiding firearms owners. This
past week’s decision in Hamilton vs. Accu-Tek certainly supports that agenda
leading to more and more judge … ments.