Sunday, May 11, 2003

There is a lot of noise about Congress giving immunity to gun makers from lawsuits. This law is a long time in coming.

When a gun kills someone, it is only doing what it is designed to do. Why should someone be sued because their product works properly? The founders who protected guns under the second amendment were under no illusion that guns kill and neither are gun manufacturers. In fact, if guns didn’t kill, we’d have no reason to buy them.

The Congressional protection of gun manufacturers is consistent with the second amendment right to own a gun. By allowing people to sue gun makers, you allow lawyers to put them out of business which is operationally the same as making them illegal. Gun locks may work for some people, but their presence or absence should be up to the gun owner, not some legislature somewhere.

If you ever actually need your gun for protection, you may not have the time to go through every step some lawmaker designed before the bad guy is killing you.

Lawyers have benefited from too many jurors whose personal philosophy contains very little personal liability. It is one thing if a product is made poorly and causes damage, but it is quite another if the user doesn’t know what he is doing.

If your cooking stove has an electrical malfunction and burns down your house, you should have grounds to sue for faulty construction. But if you burn your hand making eggs, then it’s only your own fault. This is the differential that jurors aren’t always making.

The lady who burned herself on McDonald’s coffee should have considered the idea that coffee is hot. The person who died of smoking should have considered that smoking has been labeled dangerous since the 1960s.

Every time a lawsuit is won because of some fool’s poor choices, the rest of us pay in higher product costs and higher insurance. And if we blame gun manufacturers because their products work, then only criminals will be able to afford them. That will leave average citizens in even more peril.

UPDATE: The Dems won't have it.

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