Focus Point - Rational Gun Policy

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I have bad news for the trial lawyers and Clinton administration officials are pursuing constitutionally and legally dubious lawsuits against gun manufacturers. They're trying to recover public costs of what they call criminal and negligent gun misuse. The bad news? The public isn't with them.

A Tarrance group poll found that while 84 percent of Americans feel that people who use firearms illegally should be held responsible, only 5 percent feel that manufacturers or retailers should be held responsible for firearm misuse.

For that matter, even after last year's tragic school shootings, the proportion of people who said they would not consider gun control a major issue when voting, increased from 19 percent to 21 percent.

How to explain Americans' reactions? Maybe they're among the hundreds of thousands who've used guns to protect themselves. Or they know the true victims of these lawsuits will be the public. Or maybe they just know a cheap grab for cash when they see one.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Clinton's Kyoto Problems.