Guns 'n' Lawyers

July 31, 2005

If your answer is yes (and mine is), then YOUR government is not representing you. That's right, our "representatives" just passed a bill Friday to relieve gun manufacturers of liability in shooting death lawsuits. Yes, it's a response to recent legal victories, especially one that extracted $5 mill each from a number of gun manufacturers when it was found that none of them could trace the gun that killed the victim.

Wanna sound off, even if you know it'll be in vain? Let Dubya know what you think before he signs the bill into law.

And if you want to do something positive for a shooting victim, think about making a donation to Kevin Jung's family. Jung, a Korean American immigration lawyer who is himself an immigrant, is recovering slowly at a nursing home in the Seattle area after being shot last November, allegedly by an opposing lawyer. He was and is his wife and two sons' only means of support.




I can't say as I agree with you on the liability issue. Now, I am very strongly anti-gun. I can't see any reason why a private citizen needs to own a gun. Not one. But...I don't see it as the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure their product is used safely. Would you sue General Motors because a negligent driver caused you injury? Would you sue Louisville Slugger because someone smashed your car with a baseball bat in a fit of road rage? Would you sue Charmin because your house got TPed on halloween night?
paul,this is exactly the argument used by gun manufacturers and the politicians in their pockets in lawsuits. the problem is, as greg palast explained in the article i linked to above (see the "response to recent legal victories" link), that the gun manufacturers DELIBERATELY oversaturate easy-access markets, knowing that the excess guns sent to those markets will end up -- illegally -- in the hands of criminals in more restrictive markets. here's a quote from palast's article:"Gun companies dumped several million weapons into outlets in states with few curbs on purchases, super-saturating the legal market so that excess would flow up the "Iron Pipeline" to meet black market demand in New York and other big cities.Like the company that sells cigarette rolling papers in quantities far outstripping sales of legal tobacco, gun manufacturers have a nod-and-wink understanding of where their products end up. Their market models cannot account for half the gun sales in loose-law states such as Georgia.Nor can industry executives fail to have noticed the 800,000 requests to them from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency to trace guns recovered from crime scenes. "the point is, paul, that they are marketing and distributing their weapons in the manner that makes it easiest for the guns to reach the widest consumer base. this is a $6 billion/year industry, which would lose a shitload of sales if they had to take responsibility for where their products end up. but they DO make sure -- as sure as they can without technically breaking the law -- that anyone who wants a gun will get one.
claire, nice rebuttal. we might also add that the significant difference between cars, baseball bats, toilet paper and guns is that guns, unlike the others, have very few 'alternate' uses or an 'original intended use' that does not make them a potential threat. this is magnified in the case of cheap, relatively small caliber handguns which are unusable for hunting, target shooting or any other 'sporting' or competitive activity. IF GM made a car with a hardened front end and extra heavy bump bars and spikes designed to be 'suitable for ramming' another vehicle without damage to the GM vehicle, if there was an outbreak of 'car rammings', you can bet GM would be sued for putting a fundamentally 'unsafe product' on the road without 'control'. the 'rolling papers' analogy is right on point.