The advancement of tyranny

By Charles Bloomer
web posted December 13, 1999

The White House has announced plans to join the suit against gun manufacturers brought by local governments. The suit will be brought by public housing authorities. White House domestic policy advisor Bruce Reed stated, "Every year the residents of public housing see 10,000 gun crimes and the taxpayers shell out a billion dollars in security costs. That's wrong. We think the gun industry has a responsibility to change the way it does business."

Liberals figured out long ago that an aggressive, in-your-face campaign to push their socialist agenda would not work. They have worked relentlessly to infiltrate influential media, academic, and government positions with an aim to change the basic assumptions of our society. At the same time, they have searched for ways to circumvent the democratic process that our country was built on. This effort has brought us liberal judges at all levels that have no compunction about legislating from the bench, and an abuse of the civil courts to remedy the failure to achieve the liberal, socialist agenda by other means.

What does the White House hope to achieve through this lawsuit? Will suing gun makers eliminate or reduce the "10,000 gun crimes" that the residents of public housing see every year? No. Will this suit reduce security costs in public housing? No.

Emboldened by the success of the suit against the tobacco industry, government at all levels thinks it has found its next deep-pocketed victim. The agencies bringing the suit know full well that suing gun manufacturers will have no impact on crime. This is a politically motivated attack that is an abuse of government power being used to destroy a legitimate business. As former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said earlier this year "the era of big government may be over, but the era of regulation through litigation is in."

The current administration has all but given up on getting Congress to pass stricter gun control laws. It sees this civil suit as the alternative method to calm the emotional hysteria it has managed to generate. In a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, R. Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce points out that the reasons for this type of lawsuit are the "potential for massive damage and settlement awards" and "the ability to obtain policy objectives that may otherwise be impossible to achieve." Simply put, this is about money and power.

Beating up on gun makers -- who are a legal business making a legal product -- is nothing short of tyranny. The federal government can now bring its vast, nearly unlimited resources to bear in its effort to intimidate and bully gun manufacturers, and to strip them of their fundamental rights. Gun makers, like the tobacco industry, cannot hope to compete with the firepower the government can muster.

The tyranny lies in the method and the motivation of the government. The White House is not interested in justice, security, safety, or legality. The administration knows that to try to ban guns through the normal legislative process leads to a collision with the Constitution and the second amendment. By going to a civil suit, that collision and the constitutional question are avoided. Bringing a civil suit and steamrolling the opposition until it settles out of court also avoids any appeal. The government confiscates the property of the gun makers free and clear. The giveaway here is the implied threat by Mr. Reed. "The administration intends to work aggressively to … reach a settlement with the industry. If settlement is not possible, then the public housing authorities are prepared to go forward with their suit." In other words, if you don't agree to be smashed voluntarily, we will crush you.

The real tyranny lies in the motivation. In true liberal fashion, the White House will do anything in its attempt to disarm the law-abiding public. This power grab is another attack on the foundational freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. Since direct confiscation of guns would be too confrontational, the administration finds a backdoor alternative that will chip away at the right to keep and bear arms. This underhanded, incremental approach to the destruction of American citizens' rights has worked successfully before -- public prayer, church-state separation, civil asset forfeiture, environmental laws and regulations, etc., etc. The government will now try to infringe on our constitutional rights by intimidating the gun manufacturers and trying to hammer them into submission. Some gun makers may go out of business. Some may move their operations overseas. The administration doesn't care as long as it can claim some sort of victory over the "right wing gun nuts" and the "extremists" at the NRA.

The real outcomes of this action will be that guns will become more expensive, leaving them beyond the financial reach of those who are most vulnerable, and a loss of jobs of the taxpaying American workers who work in the gun factories. The government will have a new pot of money, the shootings in public housing will continue, criminals will still have guns, and the liberals will continue to rail on about "gun violence."

Only a tyrannical government turns against its law-abiding citizens and legitimate industries. The tyranny has started -- first against the tobacco industry, now against the gun makers.

Remember, it's about money and power. Who's next?

© 1999 by Charles Bloomer. Charles Bloomer can be reached at

Current Issue

Archive Main | 1999

E-mail ESR



1996-2020, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.