Skip to comments.Gun bill only sold out lawyers
Posted on 08/01/2005 7:44:15 AM PDT by 2nd amendment mama
I'm not a member of the National Rifle Association. It's never furnished me with a dime, and I don't expect any campaign contributions anytime soon.
That should make me unique because, to hear media accounts, I must be the only person in America who isn't on the NRA payroll yet agrees with the bill the Senate passed Friday banning frivolous liability lawsuits against gun companies.
There are several reasons those lawsuits irritate me. The first developed about 10 years ago in Nevada when a burglar broke into our house one night when I was at work, and my wife was home with our 2-year-old daughter. Fortunately, the burglar left when he encountered a flimsy interior house door, closed by a lock easily opened with an ordinary credit card.
A few days later we purchased what could only be described as cheap handguns: a .38-caliber revolver and a smaller .25-caliber pistol. Neither are considered ideal for home defense, but my wife felt comfortable with them and the cost to purchase or practice with them didn't break our small budget.
The guns we bought are exactly what the anti-gun lobbies have tried for years to ban. Their attempts, though, are at odds with the fact most Americans don't want government in their gun cabinets anymore than they want government in their bedrooms. According to a Harris poll last year, support for more gun control has dwindled from 76 percent of Americans in 1998 to only 57 percent in 2004.
Democrats discovered that the hard way in 2000 when Al Gore ran for president on a gun-control platform yet, even in pro-union states, lost critical votes over the issue. John Kerry wised up by masquerading as a goose hunter in Ohio during the 2004 campaign. However, given his voting record, few believed him.
The same has been true of most other elected officials who have tried to pass laws that, in effect, would have made the guns my family purchased unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
Enter the lawyers. Using costly "junk lawsuits," anti-gun groups have turned to the courts to try driving gun companies out of business with shakedown lawsuits.
Is that fair? Consider the logic. Your husband is run down by a drunk driver so you file a lawsuit against ... Toyota? Your son is attacked by someone using a baseball bat so you sue ... Louisville Slugger? Your daughter is propositioned on the Internet so you hire a lawyer to take down ... Dell?
As much as I'd like to see Britney Spears sued for influencing teen fashion, it won't happen. Yet if a criminal shoots someone, or a gun dealer makes an illegal sale, the typical response has been to sue the manufacturer instead of the dealer or the criminal.
It should be noted that all U.S. gun makers combined would not qualify as a Fortune 500 company, yet it's cost them an estimated $200 million to fight these cases. Furthermore, gun companies will remain liable for defective product lawsuits and other legal action.
The Senate even managed to work together. It passed the bill 65-31, with 14 Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid voting "Yes." Final action in the House is expected when Congress reconvenes in September, and the bill will certainly be signed into law by President Bush.
The Senate also showed good sense by approving an amendment requiring child safety locks be sold with all handguns.
Some are spinning Friday's vote as inappropriate because the Senate took up the issue instead of voting on a defense authorization bill. However, Bush already indicated he would not sign any defense bill to which Congress insisted on attaching restrictions on how U.S. troops interrogate prisoners - something Congress seems likely to want.
Instead, the Senate struck a blow for sanity and in the process made another move toward limiting our lawsuit-crazed culture. This is one of the truly big issues facing the nation (medical malpractice insurance is a leading issue affecting our health care system).
Friday's vote was just one step toward tort reform but it showed the Senate is capable of limiting wildly-fired lawsuits and replacing them with legislation - such as child-locks - which hit the target.
Mark Lenz, editor of The Daily Telegram, can be contacted at 265-5111, ext. 230, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Mr. Mojo...could you ping the bang list? Thanks
Three cheers for this guy -- maybe his "disease" will spread to others in the MSM! Real logic and sanity -- wow, a shock!!
Im sure theres a judge on bench right now contemplating how this laws an unconstitutional infringement on the right to keep and bare arms.
The only problem I have with this is that it wasn' t extended to all industries. As someone who has a small business on the side that makes some car accessories and who has been sued when someone purposely misused the product, I would welcome the protection from stupid lawsuits like that.
My case eventually got tossed out of court, but I still had to spend quite a bit of money and suspend manufacture for a while.
" A gun hangs in Billy Bob Thornton's doorway. Attached is the sign, "We don't dial 911."
Does this mean we have to start liking this otherwise big jerk a little?
Kind of falls into the catagory of "Liberal until being mugged".
How is this good sense? I don't want a child safety lock and I don't want to pay the increased cost for something I don't want and won't use. Why should the federal government force me to?
Politicians are control freaks who aren't satisfied unless they're meddling in people's personal business.
Just like the author screwed up an otherwise good commentary, the idiots in Washington screwed up an otherwise (on the surface) good bill.
"The Senate also showed good sense by approving an amendment requiring child safety locks be sold with all handguns."
Does this still constitute "gun-control?"
I have a bad feeling about "requiring" gun dealers to sell anything with the gun they just sold. In our community, the NRA just handed out 10,000 trigger locks to anyone who wanted them. Requiring the gun dealer to do anything associated with the selling of a firearm is still "gun-control."
What is next? A law that requires every gun owner to have a gun lock on their guns or face a fine and jail time? I don't know, but it seems to me that the seatbelt laws started this way, first the car manufactors were "required" to have them in the car, and then, laws were passed to "require" everyone to wear a seatbelt!
Just a thought.
That's why I like loser pays legislation. In general, I think people should be allowed to file lawsuits over greivances (and I've been sued frivilously three times). But if you're going to do it, you should have to compensate the person you sued for frivilous litigation.
My countersuit for damages is proceeding.
The problem with loser-pays in a case like mine is that if the plaintiff doesn't have any significant assets that can be seized and sold, it's a one-sided street. I can't collect what's not there, and people don't have to post a bond to be able to sue.
Hm, maybe having to post a bond might not be such a bad idea.
A loser pay law would go very far in doing away with nearly all frivolous laawsuits. But it makes too much sense, so I don't expect to see one anytime soon.
So becasue of that, like Spktyr, I would like to see similar protections extended to other industries.
I agree - I don't use gun locks....I have no small children living in my house so I don't need them. However, this was a good bill (on the surface) and if that's the only thing that got "added in" I can live with it so that the industry doesn't get sued out of existence.
And I don't agree with the author about that part of the bill being okay but I posted the article because it's nice to see a pro-gun editorial for a change.
I know an attorney who countersued someone who was suing him frivilously (over and over harassment). He received a small judgment ($3000 or thereabouts). The person had not much in the way of assets, but had a van that was worth about $800. So the attorney saw the guy parked at an office and called the sheriff's office. The guy had to empty the van there on the street as the attorney took possession. In the end, the guy declared bankruptcy within a couple of days and the attorney had to give the van back, but the lawsuits stopped and he told me there was immense satisfaction in standing by and watching the guy clean out the van.
I've been saying this for years.
I have to agree. I fully expected to see many more damaging amendments attached to this bill. I can live with the 'gun lock with every sale' mandate, as long as I can throw the damned thing away as soon as I get it.
I was at a Bush fundraising speech during the campaign. He was on a roll and the crowd was appreciative of comments on the WOT, Social Security reform etc. But when he said tort reform, my goodness, I thought they would feel the ground shake for miles around as the people clapped and cheered and shouted and stomped their feet. Far and away, tort reform to end abusive and frivilous lawsuits got the most applause.
I'll be happier when I see the law that requires a construction of an artificial reef with Tort Lawyers.
I like Thornton, he's pretty cool! Plus he dated Angelina Jolie...
This shakedown is nothing new. In the 1970s, IBM was sued because someone commited fraud with an IBM computer.
"I like Thornton, he's pretty cool! Plus he dated Angelina Jolie"
I think he was married to her.
That will NEVER happen on its own - the MSM are to intent on their mission of created a placated, dumbed down populace. The only time they will address this issue is when it occures to Hillary she will need some gun votes, then Katies, matt and the rest of the blow-dried air heads will stop talking about gun bans, and will start chattering non-stop about "responsible gun ownership", which will only include a hunting shotgun and a .22 target rifle.
Be Ever Vigilant ~ Bump!
Hey! I know that! 3-7-77 is on the MHP shoulder patch and refers to the Vigilantes of Virginia City and Bannock, iirc.
I am not surprised to hear that. Trial lawyers and the Rats they support are the only ones fearful of reasonable tort reform. Tort reform will not stop lawsuits, just put the breaks on the abusive ones.
In Massachusetts, whenever we buy a gun from a gun-store, it is required to be accompanied by an approved lock. Note - you aren't charged for this lock explicitly, although I'm certain the price is hidden somewhere in the cost of the gun. There is no requirement about what must be done with this lock. I keep most of my guns in my safe, and have a nice collection of trigger and cable locks in a drawer nearby. Other people I know use them in place of a safe.
I sent Mr. Lenz a thank-you note. His voice should be encouraged.
Want to feel good...watch "Runaway Jury" and then laugh you ass off at the hilarious ending, knowing that the Left has been stripped of a huge bogeyman. John Grisham is such a commie dog. Haha, you putz, you don't have Smith and Wesson to kick around anymore.
"The Senate also showed good sense by approving an amendment requiring child safety locks be sold with all handguns."
In 2000, 80 children (age 0-14) lost their lives in accidental shootings. That same year, 800 lost their lives to drowning.
That firearm fatality figure has been declining steadily over the years as education programs such as the NRA's Eddie Eagle reach more and more school children.
Mandating the purchase of a $10-$20 lock with each new handgun purchase, amounting to $18-$36 million in additional expense to handgun buyers every year, comes out to $225,000 to $450,000 per child fatality. Per "life saved," the cost undobtedly goes into the millions.
This is the kind of math that apparently eludes Senators Kohl, Feinstein, and Schumer.
Once Judge Roberts gets in there, things will start looking better.
hehe Oorah, give the man a Gold Star!!
You got it :)
Don't throw it away. Those things are great for throwing at stray cats.
Fishing weights, too. The cable locks are good for gates.
Agree.....a real keeper !
One minor problem: Requiring the sale of trigger locks is a regressive tax. You are adding to the price of a handgun purchase. The poorer one is, the bigger the bite from the cost of the mandated lock. (Trigger locks are also dangerous, but that's another matter.)
Grishom's book was about tobacco lawsuits, the screenwriters made it a gun control screed.
Just as bad
If you'll note - I did say that I didn't agree with that part of the bill.
I agree and look at all the so called Republicans and conservatives who signed on. Santorum voted with Kennedy and Clinton and Schumer AGAIN. It's no longer a surprise when he votes for garbage like this.
probably, I couldn't finish the book, too tedious.
I know of one case where the gun manufacturer was held liable for manufacturing a defective product. it was an excellent decision, too.
And that's the only way they should be sued! Not for the criminal use of a legal product.
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