Conservative political commentator Lauren Wright found herself in the hot seat Wednesday morning during a discussion about the families of Sandy Hook victims reaching a $73 million settlement with gun manufacturer Remington. While Wright, a political science lecturer at Princeton, insisted that she supports "commonsense gun reforms," she said that the settlement could lead to a slippery slope of individuals filing lawsuits against companies — an argument that the rest of the panel quickly dismissed. "You can leave it to people to do the right thing, but one of the reasons we have so many kinds of laws is 'cause people don't!" said Whoopi Goldberg. "We now have to babysit people and say, 'You've gotta do the right thing.'"
After all four co-hosts praised the Sandy Hook families for holding Remington accountable for its role in the 2012 shooting, Wright initially seemed to agree. "It's a horrific tragedy, and every single person at this table has had an emotional reaction to this today, and that's appropriate," she said. "I get very upset when I think about it, too. I'm actually for commonsense gun reforms, especially when it comes to military-style weapons."
"I would have to mention," Wright continued, changing tack. "We can all think of so many examples where we would not want a company to be sued if somebody uses their product for an illegal purpose. Think about a really accurate GPS tracking device that could be used to stalk someone. Or this Apple pin — even a harsh household product that could be used to poison someone ... We would have no companies left, if that was the case."
Sunny Hostin was the first to dismiss Wright's argument. "The intended use of a gun is to shoot it, right?" she said. "So, I think your argument — a lot of people make that argument, but the guns worked in exactly the way they were supposed to."
When Wright said that "the solution to that is changing the laws, it's not suing people," Whoopi tagged in to help out Hostin. "What happens when the lawmakers sit and obstruct those laws from shifting?" she said, to which Wright responded that she should be "including Democrats" in that statement.
REMINGTON PAYS $73M TO SANDY HOOK FAMILIES: Marking the first time a gun manufacturer has been held liable for a mass shooting in America, Remington settled liability claims from Sandy Hook families — #TheView discusses the settlement's impact. https://t.co/y6X1Ib2fmD pic.twitter.com/0pAf2Re3wl— The View (@TheView) February 16, 2022
"I'm not pointing the finger at anybody. If you've been in the way of us making better law for people," said Whoopi. "It's probably with the tag that you were talking about. If four people get stalked and you say, 'Listen, this is a problem,' and they don't change it, then you should say, 'Listen, take it off the market!'"
"If we just think about the Texas abortion law, for instance. That also puts the onus on private individuals to institute laws to, you know, to be carrying out justice," said Wright. "And in this case, it would be victims. It would be victims, and the onus would be on them. I'm just asking us to think of some other situations."
Whoopi was respectful as she shut down Wright's argument, one final time. "If we monitor what's going on, we have a better chance — as I said, like with the tag. If you see it, and it's doing stuff, and no one stops it — no one says, 'Hey, we've got to do something,'" she said. "This is on us as individual human beings saying, 'Listen, this isn't working for everybody. People are getting chased down the street or getting followed into their homes. We all have to collectively do something.' So, we're going to keep an eye on this because we'll see how it begins to work."
Will Wright be able to make her mark on Thursday, her second and final day as guest co-host, or will she once again fade into the background?
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.