Thursday, March 04, 2021

Cartoon Villains

The New York Times has a piece up discussing a New Jersey lawsuit against Smith & Wesson.
"She places her gun in a red leather handbag and gets into her car. The gun, in her bag, sits in the front seat of the vehicle as she drives to work. She then brings the gun, still in the bag, to a meeting with colleagues at the office. She then takes the gun, in her bag, to lunch, where she sits at an outdoor cafe. After that, she goes to the gym — and the gun comes with her. Finally, she goes to a shooting range, where she takes the gun out and fires it at a target. “Nice pistol,” says the man next to her.

That’s the plot of a television commercial for Smith & Wesson.

However, almost everything in the ad would be illegal in at least 35 states if the woman did not have a concealed carry permit, which the ad ignores.
Funnily enough, I've never noticed a single Chevy commercial ever mentioning that it's illegal to operate their products in at least fifty states without a driver's license, yet I don't see the NYT clutching their pearls at General Motors' ad agency.

Anyhow, the point of the lawsuit isn't to win, it's to go on a hunt for something that, quite frankly, probably isn't there.
"Gun manufacturers have long been immune from liability for gun crimes and deaths because of federal laws that protect them. As a result, virtually no one has been able to mount a legal case that would allow for access to records from inside a gun manufacturer, be it internal emails, memos, notes or other material showing what gun industry executives say behind closed doors about the products they make.

But Phil Murphy, the Democratic governor of New Jersey — a longtime gun control advocate — decided to do something novel: In October, his attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, sent a subpoena to Smith & Wesson from the state’s division of consumer affairs as part of an investigation into advertising fraud, seeking a trove of internal documents.
I don't know what kind of Scooby Doo villain true confessions you think you're gonna find, there, Mr. Grewal, but having met a few firearms company executives over the years, I can tell you that they don't do a lot of mustache-twirling and evil cackling. I mean, you'd think if anyone would let their hair down and blurt out their Auric Goldfinger evil machinations, it'd be at an open bar mixer after a couple drinks, but thus far I have come up short on stunning revelations.

Still, though, I wouldn't want you rifling through my emails for stuff to cut-and-paste out of context, either. 

Would you want me rummaging through your stuff, Mr. Grewal? 

Hell, you probably have a book in your office right now that says "I...kill...puppies...tomorrow". Granted, it's the dictionary, but the words are in there, and in that order. Do you deny that? Have you pledged not to kill puppies anymore? Why not, Mr. Grewal?