Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Supreme Court allows gun suit

Wonderful. The Supreme Court has allowed a suit to be brought against two firearm manufacturers because someone was killed with their product:
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for victims of the 1999 shooting rampage by white supremacist Buford O. Furrow Jr. to sue the companies that made his guns.

Without comment, the justices let stand a decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that said the mother of a Los Angeles letter carrier killed by Furrow and the families of several children wounded by him could sue Glock Inc. and China North Industries, the gun manufacturers.

The companies — and eight dissenting judges of the 9th Circuit — had argued that the appeals court's decision would open the way for manufacturers, at least in California, to be hauled into court simply because their products had been used improperly.
This is just ridiculous. There are already laws on the books (too many, in this blogger's humble opinion) regulating the manufacture and sale of firearms. The suit doesn't even contend that Glock and CNI broke any of those laws, just that they appear to have manufactured and sold too many to be accounted for by law-abiding citizens! Are you kidding me? Who's thinking this stuff up?

Does the suit contend that they should be responsible for the actions Buford Furrow took using their products? No, because then you'd see a rash of suits against car makers - why didn't the parents of Steven Abrams' victims sue GM when in May 1999 he rammed his Cadillac into a Costa Mesa, CA playground, killing a 4- and a 3-year-old and injuring 5 more? Oh, it must have been because GM sold exactly the "right" amount of cars to driving-age customers. Keep in mind that Furrow injured 5 kids and killed 1 adult while Abrams and his Cadillac killed 2 kids and also injured 5.

I said it once and I'll say it again. This is ridiculous. I hold out hope that the suit will be defeated and Glock and CNI will recoup their legal expenses. Why should everyone care about frivolous lawsuits like this? Because the way things currently work, in the absence of a countersuit by Glock and CNI, if the court decides to recompense the defendants for their legal expenses, it comes out right out of the taxpayers' pockets. That's right, you and I personally pay the price for lawsuits like this, and I can honestly say, I'm getting really tired of it.


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