Wash Po on bill ending mfr lawsuits
The Washington Post (free subscription req'd) has its predictable editorial opposing the Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act.
I'd expected the usual tirade about gun nuts and mass murder ... but instead the Post is unusually cautious. How about:
The rash of lawsuits against the firearms industry is troubling. Guns are legal products, and it's usually not due to any product defect that they kill people. Many lawsuits against the industry are obvious attempts to use litigation to achieve policy changes that gun control proponents are unable to garner legislatively. We favor many of those policy changes, but litigation is not the answer to America's problem with guns.
Now, it does go on to "But not all of the gun lawsuits are frivolous or deserve to be thrown out without examination," but this is hardly traditional Post ranting. (To cite an example of a valid suit, it asks what of a dealer who knowingly sells a hundred guns to straw purchasers, so they can sell them to criminals. Well, the bill specifically allows suits where the dealer or manufacturer knowingly violated the law, and even one knowing straw sale would meet that requirement, let alone a hundred).
All in all, a pretty tame effort by the Post.
A few humorous aspects:
As proof that the sponsors are unreasonable, the Post refers to a rejected amendment that would have allowed liability if a dealer sold to someone whom he knew to be on the terrorist watch list. An amendment like that is likely to grab headlines -- but we might ask just how many dealers have access to the terrorist watch list? Last I heard, that was a closely-guarded document, and not likely to be found in most gun stores.
And the editorial just has to trot out the magic word of 2004: the bill "is not a nuanced piece of legislation." Helllloooo.... legislation is not supposed to be nuanced, guys. A set of commands that can land people in jail does not make for nuances. In the crimina law, carefully nuanced = void for vagueness.