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Reason Magazine: Bob Barr & Jacob Sullum on S.397 & Conoco

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Justin, Aug 8, 2005.

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  1. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
  2. carebear

    carebear Member

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    If only all discussions on gun rights occured between reasoned people arguing positions based on the Constitution and practicality versus higher ideals.

    This kind of thing, agree or disagree, makes me happy.
     
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i'm inclined to agree with Sullum on the one point: the NRA is carving out an exemption just for gun mfgs.

    in reality, I would strongly prefer ALL manufacturers to be exempted from lawsuits where their products are used illegally.

    e.g.

    GM should not be sued when a speeding driver kills somebody, even though their commercials promote reckless driving.

    gnutella/napster/bittorrent and other groups should not be sued when people violate copyrights.
     
  4. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    I maintain that people have rights, corporations do not. Corporations are state-chartered entities that exist at the will of the state. This is why, when corporations get so big that they are monopolies and not beneficial to the welfare of the people, the state may break them up or otherwise revoke their charter. Bully for Teddy!

    Conoco does not have the right to prohibit Jews from working on it's property, nor does it have the right to prohibit any other rights in the Bill of Rights. If Conoco were a sole proprietorship, then the owner of the company can indeed exclude Jews, etc. But, as a sole proprieorship, the owner of Conoco would be personally liable for any lawsuits against Conoco. If Conoco went bankrupt, the stockholders could take the owners house.

    Corporations, like liberals, want it both ways. They want to be able to have the advantages without the disadvantages. Tough.
     
  5. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    Taliv, the reason that the law specifically exempts gun makers is due to the fact that the gun industry has been singled out by people who seek to advance a political agenda via the court system.
     
  6. ChandlerM

    ChandlerM Member

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    Yes, property rights is important but, I would submit that the right to live trumps property rights.

    The right of defending oneself from a vicious killer outweighs the right of a property owner to tell you that you cannot, 'eh?
     
  7. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i understand, Justin, but I'm saying the situtation isn't unique. The RIAA and MPAA are suing other ligitimate companies out of business in order to advance their political agenda, which involves extending copyright protection far beyond what was originally in the constitution.

    their logic is identical: "people are using your product/service to do illegal things. it's easier to sue you than to address root problems with all those people, so we're going to bankrupt you."

    granted, i don't expect the NRA to push for non-gun-related legislation, but Sullum has a valid point when he says this theory should apply to all businesses.
     
  8. longrifleman

    longrifleman Member

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    I agree. With this bill, the precedent in law as well as some case law will make it easier to get the frivilous lawsuits against other industries thrown out. Hopefull, the lawsuits won't even be filed in the first place.

    Another example of the Second Ammendment defending other rights (without a shot being fired). Too bad the anti's won't be smart enough to realise how valuable RKBA really is.
     
  9. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    Not when you're voluntarily on his property it doesn't...
     
  10. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    Taliv, that's a good point. I hadn't thought of it in terms of the RIAA lawsuits. And I agree that ideally such immunity should be extended to all companies.
     
  11. 3rdpig

    3rdpig Member

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    If our constitution were abided by, then the legislation protecting gun manufacturers would be totally unecessary. But that's not the case. Now what would be better would be a law that states that any litigation that's deemed "frivilous" by the presiding judge would require the person or group filing the lawsuit to pay one half the legal fees of the defendant, with the state or governemnt the court resides in paying the other half. This would do three things. First it would remove the real reason for bringing these suits in the first place, which isn't winning the suit, but bringing financail ruin on the gun manufacturers through legal fees. Second it would bring financial pressure on the people or groups filing these frivilous suits, eventually they'd either get tired of paying for the legal fees of the people they're trying to ruin, or run out of money. Thirdly it would bring pressure from the taxpayers when they start to see that they're tax dollars are going to pay legal fees for frivolous lawsuits. Any law like this should be supported not only by the NRA, but by labor unions and other manufactures, because if the left wing groups doing this ever succeed in destroying the gun industry, is there any doubt that they're next target would be companies that make cars, trucks, knives, power tools, or anything else they construe as dangerous?
     
  12. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    of course, if I had my way, I would have taken an entirely different tact:

    I would have defined "frivolous lawsuits" as a terrorist tactic, which turns our court system into a Weapon of Mass Distruction. Then, I'd sick the FBI on these terrorist groups like the brady bunch and detain them indefinitely at gitmo w/o access to lawyers.

    heh
     
  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Life still outweighs property, and anyway, the issue is whether citizens may keep their own, privately owned firearms in their own, privately owned motor vehicles. Are corporations' properties somehow of greater importance than mere citizens'?
     
  14. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    To my way of thinking, any individual or company has the right to ban the possession of weapons on their property, but doing so should put the responsibility of your defense on them.
     
  15. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    The RIAA thing, in my opinion, isn't even remotely related to S397.

    Check
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04slipopinion.html

    Specifically, Docket 04-480.

    The lesson was an old one: "Shred the memos" / "Wipe the hard drives". Grokster / Streamcast left a paper trail and a string of emails specifically promoting piracy. Geez - we even get emails advising clients "how to" and reference to how swell theft is in selling banner ads. :eek:

    The "betamax precedent" is undamaged, IMNSHO.

    If S&W and Ruger had gotten busted with a load of memos and emails bargaining directly with gangs and taking kickbacks from trauma wards for increasing ER traffic (actual signed contracts in evidence) then there might be a similarity. As is, they're as different as night and day.
     
  16. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    No, they're not more important. But if we start drawing distinctions between the rights of different classes of property owners, it sets a precedent for government control over all owners' rights.

    And the issue isn't whether citizens may keep their own, privately owned firearms in their own, privately owned motor vehicles, it's whether they may do so on someone else's land.

    It's a fine point that Sullum makes about the NRA's reasoning behind boycotting Conoco, but an important one. I, for one, will not spend my money on their products if I can help it. But that's because the company is choosing to deny its employees the option of defending themselves, not because it's resisting the state's infringement upon an owner's right to make that choice.
     
  17. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Who owns this land?
     
  18. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    From the accounts I've read, Conoco does.

    I wouldn't work there. I won't buy their gas. But it's up to their employees and the market to change the policy, not the government.

    I do believe that with such a policy in place, that if their employees are somehow injured as a result of the policy, the the company is liable.

    It's a dangerous precedent that's being set.
     
  19. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    ...and is "Conoco" a person?
     
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    well, that's what "corporation" means...
     
  21. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    Legally, yes.

    k. I'll say this once more:

    If we start drawing distinctions between the rights of different classes of property owners, it sets a precedent for government control over all owners' rights.
     
  22. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    So do corporations get to vote?
     
  23. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    I guess I will have to respectfully disagree. I would agrue that, once we start drawing distinctions between the rights of different classes of citizens (regardless if they own property) it sets a presedent for government control over all citizens rights.

    For example, churches do not pay property taxes and have not since the beginning of the nation's history. That is most certainly "drawing a distinction between different classes of property owners". But churches cannot vote. They cannot even legally advocate a particular canidate. Churches...are not people. People have rights.

    If Conoco really wants to restrict the rights of citizens on its property then it should buy back all of it's stock and become a sole proprietorship company. It will not do that, of course, and will remain a "public" company. Note the word "public", as in "I have the right to carry in public".
     
  24. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Uh-uh

    "Public" as in "publically traded" as in partial ownership rights in the form of stock certificates which can be bought by private individuals who then have a private ownership interest, who can then decide, with their fellow owners, what policies they want their employees, the board of directors, to implement for them.

    If you want to boss Conoco around, buy a share of stock and start voting your beliefs at corporate meetings.
    Otherwise you are forcing your beliefs on a bunch of other private citizens on their own land, which is kinda tyranny.

    Don't like the policy, work to change it or don't go/work there.
     
  25. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    So you think they had a vote among the stock holders whether to prohibit guns in private cars? I don't think so. Some exec simply decided this "policy", and that was that. Isn't that a form of "tyranny" - one person making all the decisions without consulting the property owners?
     
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