Focus Point - A Gun to Their HeadCommentary by Pete du Pont
March 28, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. The Clinton administration may be crowing about its settlement with Smith and Wesson, but there's nothing to be proud of.
The deal forcing Smith and Wesson to add safety locks to handguns is simple extortion. The feds implied, "do what we say, and we'll call off the dogs," the dogs being lawsuits from 3,200 public housing authorities taking their orders from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Clinton administration couldn't win with legislation, so it decided blackmail would do -- blackmail based on the bogus charges that Smith and Wesson and other gun manufacturers sold a defective product, which is nonsense. It was a product used criminally through no fault of the manufacturer.
As for safety locks, do you think criminals will use guns that have them? Of course not, but you'll be stuck with them. And unfortunately, people don't make plans in advance to use their guns in a split second decision to save their lives. How many people do you think this deal will endanger?
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, real campaign reform.