Florida: "Defense against guns:


January 4, 2003, 10:14 AM
Blah blah blahblah blah

Um, actually the gun control lobby is resorting to lawsuits to avoid the democratic process.


Defense against guns

Citizens are resorting to lawsuits against gun manufacturers since they can't count on thefederal government to protect them.

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 4, 2003

To kill his Lake Worth Middle School teacher, 13-year-old Nathaniel Brazill used a cheap, silver, short-barreled .25-caliber pistol commonly known as a Saturday night special. The gun is easily concealed, has no trigger lock, and aims so poorly that hunters and marksmen have no use for it. Eleven years after the manufacturer, Raven Arms Inc., went out of business, the gun is still listed by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as one of the nation's top weapons of street crime.

This was a gun built to kill people, which is why it is hard to condemn the teacher's widow for suing or a Palm Beach County jury for handing down a landmark $1.2-million verdict against the gun's distributor, Valor Corp. In a country that has made it easier to buy a gun than a prescription drug, these ordinary citizens saw no other option.

The Valor decision, and the increasing attempts to punish gun manufacturers in courtrooms, are made no more valid by their sense of desperation, though. Product liability lawsuits are intended to deal with companies that make defective products. Junk guns like the Raven .25 may be substandard, but the fact that they shoot bullets that kill people is clearly part of the functioning design.

The difficulty with gun lawsuits is that they are blunt instruments, much like the Saturday night special, that tend to strike indiscriminately. Their costs are often simply passed along to insurers or the next gun buyer, and their ability to promote gun safety depends entirely on an arbitrary selection of cases and a random collection of jury decisions. Not all the cases will focus solely on deterring gun manufacturers, either. Attorneys are now trying to get Valor Corp. on the hook for more than $1.2-million, asking that it also pay the award for Raven, which lost its business to a fire.

Gun lawsuits merely raise the question: Why is it that the United States does little to regulate companies that build weapons designed to kill people? The politics are maddening, and are defined primarily by the National Rifle Association.

Here are a few examples: Saturday night specials are perfectly legal. After a heated battle in 1994, Congress banned the manufacture of a limited number of new semi-automatic assault rifles -- a ban that expires in two years. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, the crime-fighter, decided in May to depart from six decades of government policy and court precedent and argue that the Second Amendment is intended to protect the individual right to own guns. Ashcroft also decided to destroy background checks made on people who purchase guns, records that can be a valuable tool in the war on terrorism. In the midst of sniper shootings in the Washington, D.C., area, the Bush administration was quick to distance itself from the use of "ballistic fingerprints," which have shown some promise in helping law enforcement track down murder suspects.

The politics are such that the perverse result of this verdict, and other pending lawsuits, is that the U.S. Congress is being prodded by the NRA to shield gun manufacturers from liability in such cases. According to the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, 232 House members and 48 senators already have agreed to support the bill. This obedient response to the NRA is precisely the reason gun manufacturers are being hauled into court in the first place. When the policies of the federal government cause people to fear for their lives, they will use every means of self-defense available to them. Lawsuits aren't the way to make society safe from guns, but Congress has long since abdicated its responsibility.

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January 4, 2003, 10:35 AM
and aims so poorly that hunters and marksmen have no use for it

Some day I hope that the grabbers explain to me why this is a bad quality for guns that criminals carry.

El Tejon
January 4, 2003, 11:10 AM
Maybe someone should point out to the writer the racist roots of "Saturday Night Special"?

I'm with Hk. If the BG has to have anything, I'd rather it be a Raven than a SIG or Glock.

January 4, 2003, 11:19 AM
No trigger lock!? No wonder the murder was successful :rolleyes:

January 4, 2003, 11:19 AM
Anyone remember the big media complaint about the .223 "assault rifle" used by the DC "sniper" ... that it was so devastatingly accurate.

So, they don't want to ban all guns - just inaccurate guns and accurate guns.

January 4, 2003, 11:26 AM
So, they don't want to ban all guns - just inaccurate guns and accurate guns.

Didn't flashbunny have a thing about that. I was going to post a link, but www.flashbunny.com sells lipstick so obviously that's the wrong link.

January 4, 2003, 01:41 PM
So I guess there was a Mapblast to the school and instuctions on who to take out in the box of this weapon instead of warranty paperwork when it was brought home....This is pure PUKE the gun manufacture shouldn't be held responsible for someones POOR Parenting job. Lookout Ford,Chevy,Dodge, etc.. the next time a drunk driver kills someone you may be held liable cause you had the nerve to build their vehicle......what a shame this country is turning into.

January 4, 2003, 02:07 PM

The .org is a killer! :D

4v50 Gary
January 4, 2003, 02:14 PM
Full of anti-gun rhetoric. "Blah blah blah blah blah" is a good summation of it. :)

January 4, 2003, 02:27 PM
But it was accurate enough to kill the teacher? Circular logic anyone?

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