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Tort Reform at Gunpoint
PMSNBC ^ | 5/03 | Quindlen

Posted on 05/05/2003 9:49:46 AM PDT by pabianice

Ought the gun industry, of all businesses, be the only one to be exempted from exercising reasonable care to prevent injury to others?

Under cover of darkness—or a relent-less media focus on the Iraqi war, which amounted to the same thing—the House of Representatives recently passed a bill that made a single industry largely immune from lawsuits.

THAT INDUSTRY IS the one that makes and sells guns.

If a hospital leaves a sponge in your midsection, you can sue. If a car dealer sells you a clunker it hadn’t properly inspected, you can sue. Of course, it may be that your suit will get nowhere. Witness the jurist who threw out the action by parents who argued that fast food made their kids fat, and who did it faster than you can say, “Do you want fries with that?”

But judges and juries and responsible litigants will be out of the loop and out of luck if what the National Rifle Association likes to call the “Reckless Lawsuit Pre-emption Legislation” passes the Senate. The people whose loved ones were allegedly shot by the D.C. snipers can forget about holding responsible the gun shop that was the chief enabler. Even though both the sniper suspects were legally banned from buying guns. Even though they had a Bushmaster rifle that came from a store in Tacoma, Wash. Even though federal agents couldn’t find required sales records for the rifle. Even though the store is run in such a haphazard fashion that an audit can’t account for more than 200 guns that were supposed to be on the premises.

“Frivolous lawsuits” is one reason Sen. Max Baucus of Montana gave for his support of what I like to call the Cover Your Butt or They’ll Target It in the Next Election legislation. Is that really how easily senators can dismiss the widow of the bus driver shot in the back during the sniper spree, who was flabbergasted to discover that the gun industry may get special protections that no other business enjoys?

Like most Americans, that poor woman had no idea whom she was really dealing with. Not only does the NRA make things difficult for any elected official who doesn’t go along with it; it does the same for gun manufacturers who don’t toe the line. Take the case of Smith & Wesson, which made a deal with the government to adopt safety measures in exchange for an end to some lawsuits. Those measures were scarcely radical: hidden serial numbers, a trigger lock and a plan for better smart-gun technology, which allows a weapon to be fired only by authorized users. These are precisely the sort of efforts that might have led to fewer lawsuits down the road.

That’s not how the all-or-nothing leadership of the NRA saw this treasonous display of compromise. In the aftermath of the agreement, Smith & Wesson lost an estimated 40 percent of its business. Dealers refused to stock its guns. The National Shooting Sports Foundation attacked the company as “foreign-owned.” Under new ownership this year, Smith & Wesson prostrated itself at the feet of the real chief executive of the industry; its new chairman’s first action was to glad-hand at the NRA convention.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: banglist
This woman's seething hatred of guns and gun owners poisons everything she writes.

Feedback to this vicious hate-monger at letters@MSNBC.com

1 posted on 05/05/2003 9:49:46 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: pabianice; *bang_list
The people whose loved ones were allegedly shot by the D.C. snipers can forget about holding responsible the gun shop that was the chief enabler

A much better case can be made against chief Moose. And just how is Bushmaster Inc. supposed to know that the Feerally liscesned and inspected distributor it sells to sells to another Federally liscensed and inspected gun shop which has sloppy accounting and paperwork procedures or was the subject of numerous thefts? The bias of this piece is clearly evident from just this one sentence.

2 posted on 05/05/2003 9:58:07 AM PDT by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: pabianice
And if she tried to use a power sander to wipe her butt, I bet that DeWalt would be found not accountable... Maybe she would give it a go if we convinced her she need to prove that other industries aren't to blame if the product is not defective and someone decides to use it for something stupid. Perhaps she thinks car manufacturers are in danger of being sued, and losing, if someone intentionally (or accidentally) runs someone over - last I heard, that gal who went around the circle and ran her errant hubby over three times didn't start any suits against the auto manufacturer.
3 posted on 05/05/2003 9:59:49 AM PDT by trebb
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To: pabianice
"When legislation is proposed to help the firearms industry it's like my husband is being killed all over again"
4 posted on 05/05/2003 10:00:57 AM PDT by johnb838 (Understand the root causes of American Anger)
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To: pabianice
If a car dealer sells you a clunker it hadn’t properly inspected, you can sue.

Hey, Anna, baby. They're not suing because the product DOESN'T WORK. They're suing because it DOES WORK.

Nice apples to apples comparison there, too. Hate much?

5 posted on 05/05/2003 10:04:08 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: pabianice
If a hospital leaves a sponge in your midsection, you can sue. If a car dealer sells you a clunker it hadn’t properly inspected, you can sue

So? If a gun manufacturer produces a faulty product that injures someone due to its faulty construction, one can also (and justifiably) sue. Why should one be able to sue fireams manufactures for a product that works as intended? This woman's argument is stupid beyond belief.

6 posted on 05/05/2003 10:06:48 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: pabianice
The people whose loved ones were allegedly shot by the D.C. snipers can forget about holding responsible the gun shop that was the chief enabler.

This statement details the whole lie upon which gun-grabbing, anti-second ammendment pond scum base their pathetic, whining, gun-control mantra.

No, Quindlen, the "enabler" is the person who used something (in this case, a gun) improperly! Oh, is this too obvious for your cancerous liberal mind?

Of course, the last driver who accellerated his car into a crowd and killed/injured several was held responsible, with NOBODY trying to blame the car. Doesn't make sense in the context of the standard gun-grabber rhetoric, does it? Clearly it was the car, the car dealer who sold it, the company that manufactured the car, et.al., who were to blame.......

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Thanks for posting this excellent example of gun control idiocy - illustrates their abject stupidity SO well!! Stay vigilent, stay armed, and never trust a muslim or a liberal, both being terrorists, differing only in weaponry and technique.

7 posted on 05/05/2003 10:20:22 AM PDT by mil-vet
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To: pabianice
"If a hospital leaves a sponge in your midsection, you can sue..."

"...If a car dealer sells you a clunker it hadn’t properly inspected, you can sue."

And? And? If a gun manufacturer...does WHAT...can I sue?

I was waiting for her to admit what actions these businesses are accused of (that the legislation would relieve them of liability for), and she never completed the pattern.

She would have had to admit that gun manufacturers simply want protection for selling quality products that perform as warranted, while obeying all strict regulations, selling only through legal channels, only to federally licensed dealers whose background has been checked by the feds (and whose compliance with all laws is ongoingly verified).
8 posted on 05/05/2003 10:43:01 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (NEO-COMmunistS should be identified as such.)
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To: pabianice
"The people whose loved ones were allegedly shot by the D.C. snipers can forget about holding responsible the gun shop that was the chief enabler."

But the gun shop would not be protected by the proposed legislation!

And if the gun shop violated the law in selling to the snipers (not that this has been established), then they are ALREADY liable, both criminally and civilly, and would remain so if this legislation is passed.
9 posted on 05/05/2003 10:45:27 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (NEO-COMmunistS should be identified as such.)
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To: pabianice
you could alway sue a gunmaker if the product was defective in an unwarned or forseen way. These are the first suits for suing a product for doing what is supposed to do. Throw a small lump of metal realy fast, everything else is politics.
10 posted on 05/05/2003 10:53:19 AM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: johnb838
the person who pulled the trigger did the killing. There has to be a cloure issue here. Fighting the industry is a way of keeping the loved one alive by keeping the moment of death ongoing. let go please...
11 posted on 05/05/2003 11:01:17 AM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: pabianice
IMG: Anna Quindlen

Hi, my name is Anna, and I propose that every car manufacturer be held accountable for misuse of their automobiles. If someone drives a Chevrolet drunk, sue Chevrolet. If someone drives a Chrysler and had a fit of road rage, sue Chrysler. If someone drives a Ford and runs into a crowd of people while applying their makeup, sue Ford. Sue Mercedes too, because Lizzy Grubman cannot be held accountable for driving her car into that 'white thrash' outside the nightclub.

This all makes perfect sense to me.

12 posted on 05/05/2003 11:18:50 AM PDT by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: pabianice
Sorry Ms. Quindlen, I can't seem to hear you over that screaching whine.
13 posted on 05/05/2003 11:59:37 AM PDT by RogueIsland
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To: pabianice
"If a hospital leaves a sponge in your midsection, you can sue. If a car dealer sells you a clunker it hadn’t properly inspected, you can sue."

Neither hospitals nor auto dealers are protected by an Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

--Boris

14 posted on 05/05/2003 12:05:53 PM PDT by boris (Education is always painful; pain is always educational)
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To: pabianice
If a hospital leaves a sponge in your midsection, you can sue.

Yeah, you'd sue the hospital. You wouldn't sue the manufacterer of the sponge, I hope.

15 posted on 05/05/2003 12:45:47 PM PDT by RogueIsland
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To: RogueIsland
Sorry Ms. Quindlen, I can't seem to hear you over that screaching whine.

Quindlen, Quisling. How CAN one tell them apart?


16 posted on 05/05/2003 1:42:59 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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