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Gun bill's gaping holes (a consumer safety regulations exemption)

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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 02:12 PM
Original message
Gun bill's gaping holes (a consumer safety regulations exemption)
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/edit... ... /


GLOBE EDITORIAL
Gun bill's gaping holes
3/2/2004

FAMILIES OF the victims of the Washington-area snipers would be unable to hold accountable the gun store that somehow "lost" the assault rifle used in the attacks if a bill before the Senate becomes law. This legislation would bestow on gun makers and gun dealers an almost total immunity from civil suits that no other industry enjoys. Senators should reject the measure, which has already been passed by the House.

Firearms and tobacco are already the only two consumer industries that are not subject to federal consumer safety regulations. Tobacco, at least, has been held accountable in suits brought by states and individuals on behalf of smoking's millions of victims and the budget-busting medical bills that government health programs have to pick up because of tobacco use. That legal recourse also would be denied to victims of guns under the bill.

The two shooters in the sniper case are responsible for the deaths they caused. But the gun store in Washington state that cannot locate records of the transaction involving its assault rifle also should be held to account for the negligent or irresponsible way it has trafficked in such dangerous goods.

Each year, several thousand children are shot to death in the United States. Many such killings could be prevented if all manufacturers were required to install safety devices. If one or two courts ruled on behalf of victims and required the gun makers to pay substantial awards, they would be quicker to include foolproof devices on their products. Senators have included an amendment in their version of the immunity bill that mandates child safety locks on all new handguns, but it would be better to do that through separate legislation and just kill the immunity bill.

Other suits now pending in courts aim at both makers and dealers for establishing a distribution system that makes it all too easy for firearms to wind up in the hands of criminals through easily detected "straw purchasers." With Congress so cowed by the gun lobby that it won't crack down on this leaky distribution system, civil suits provide leverage for cities that are particularly victimized by gun violence.

The immunity bill is opposed by many police organizations. William J. Bratton, chief of police in Los Angeles and formerly head of the Boston and New York City departments, recently said it is "crazy" to give gun makers and dealers immunity. With such a law, he asked, "What incentive do they have to make guns with safer designs or what incentive do the handful of bad dealers have to follow the law?"

Those are questions that senators should ask -- and answer honestly -- before they follow the House in passing this badly conceived legislation.



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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. Its going to take one of these republican senators
getting their guts shot out, or a family member's head blown off for them to vote right to ban assault weapons and hold the manufacture and sellers of guns accoutable. Its that way on all issues facing regular people. These rich senators have no idea what regular folk have do deal with because of their policies. The republicans are animals, they have no soul, they are in love with money, I can't stand them.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. Falsehoods abound.
FAMILIES OF the victims of the Washington-area snipers would be unable to hold accountable the gun store that somehow "lost" the assault rifle used in the attacks if a bill before the Senate becomes law.

Wrong. If the gun store violated the law or regulations they can be held liable.

Firearms and tobacco are already the only two consumer industries that are not subject to federal consumer safety regulations.

Also not true. Whoever made that statement pulled it out of his or her ass.

Each year, several thousand children are shot to death in the United States. Many such killings could be prevented if all manufacturers were required to install safety devices.

A crock. The number of children accidentally shot annually is around 200. Teaching gun owners to store their weapons responsibly is a much better solution IMO.

If one or two courts ruled on behalf of victims and required the gun makers to pay substantial awards, they would be quicker to include foolproof devices on their products.

There's no such thing as a "foolproof" device. If you try to make something foolproof someone will come up with a better fool.

Other suits now pending in courts aim at both makers and dealers for establishing a distribution system that makes it all too easy for firearms to wind up in the hands of criminals through easily detected "straw purchasers."

Straw purchasers are not always easily detected. If they are, they can and should be prosecuted. Law enforcement is a job for cops, not gun dealers.

It's a shame that people who oppose this bill have to resort to emotional arguments and falsehoods.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I would love to send the Golbe a LTR saying they are wrong - LINKS?
Could you provide links to the source that says that the Globe is wrong.

Thanks

:-)
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Check this out
Edited on Tue Mar-02-04 05:05 PM by slackmaster
http://www.cpsc.gov/federal.html

In fact there is a federal agency that has jurisdiction over firearm safety issues - The BATFE. It's a myth that guns are completely unregulated in this country. We've had federal gun safety laws in place since 1934 when the National Firearms Act was passed.

As far as mortality stats for kids go, see http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars / and define "kids" however you see fit. In context it appears that the Globe was referring only to accidental shootings.

And for the Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act go to http://thomas.loc.gov / and look up HR 1036.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. thanks
:-)
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