A New York jury recently awarded Steven Fox $500,000 because a handgun a friend was holding discharged, the bullet striking Fox in the head. According to a recent Time Magazine article, the two high school boys were standing on a street corner when the friend's handgun discharged. (Does anyone know if the friend with the illegal gun was named in this suit? I don't think he was, isn't that interesting?)
Fox was one of seven plaintiffs who sued 25 gun manufacturers. In the end, only 15 were held accountable. But, accountable for what?
"The Brooklyn case was built on an innovative theory. It argued that gun makers should pay for injuries from illegally obtained guns because their distribution practices let guns fall into the hands of criminals," said Adam Cohen, Time reporter.
"Innovative?" Ask yourself, is anything wrong with this picture? How can the manufacturer of any item control the movement and/or ownership of the goods they make after these goods are legally purchased and leave their hands? What about the checks and balances instituted by the government at the urging of gun-control advocates? What about Brady, what about the 5-day waiting period, what about the inclusion of long-barrel guns?
For many years now, people have had to place their name on the dotted line to purchase a gun. How can any manufacturer regulate where those legally purchased guns go once they are in the hands of legal, law-abiding citizens? Simply put, they cannot, any more than the manufacturer of a brand of knives can regulate who uses them to injur or kill. Have we totally lost our minds here in America? It sure seems that we have.
Okay, after the dust settles, who's next in line? The automobile industry? After all, the manufacturers of those SUVs and darn pickup trucks know that those vehicles are big and quite capable of running over people, killing and injuring them. Someone has to pay for those funerals and hospital bills, don't they? So, let's start jointly launching lawsuit after lawsuit against Ford, GM, anyone and everyone who sells them. Hey, let's even include the mechanics who work on the darn things. Anything to make a buck!!
How do deaths by firearms stack up against accidental deaths caused by motor vehicles here in the United States? According to the National Safety Council, there were 1,400 accidental deaths caused by firearms in 1995. In comparison to 43,900 by motor vehicles! Check it out!
Hey, I'd say the next people in line are the automobile manufacturers--but what will that do to the price of the cars we buy and use? Will the victims of these automobile accidents and the lawyers who try these cases care about that? Of course not--it's the rest of us who will be left holding the bag. Of course, these motor vehicles are responsible for all these deaths--are they not? It's funny how uncommon sense works, isn't it?
The same thing is true of firearms here in the United States. Sure, this is not a politically correct topic, but that does not remove the fact that to besiege the gun industry into a state of financial surrender, essentially forcing them out of business, will only hurt the majority, rather than help the minority. The fact is, America is far stronger with firearms in the hands of its citizens than it would be without them.
If you don't believe that, just go to heaven and ask the murdered Rwandans what the outcome of the genocide that occured in 1994 would have been if they had had a means of self defense at their disposal. Tens of thousands of innocent people were butchered because they did not have access to firearms. Oh, but stuff like that only happens in OTHER countries (you had better hope).
All the while, the United Nations, the United States, and the rest of the world stood by and watched, doing nothing to help them. And we're suppose to disarm and entirely rely on the U.S. Government and the U.N., to protect us? I don't think that is a practical option. And yet, there is proof to be found that this is exactly what our own government, in conjunction with the U.N. expect us to do!
Let me take a few moments at this point to educate those who don't have a clue what is really going on. There has long been a plan afoot to disarm the citizens of the world. Why? Officially to assure peace, but it's this very effort that will cause war. The International Cummunity cannot subjugate all nations and all peoples in order to assure peace. It won't work that way. In order to do that, the International Community will have to wage war, and they are now doing that, via the so called U.N. Peace Keeping Forces, also the U.N. Police Force.
How do I know that this is so? That our government as well as the U.N. have long intended to take our guns? Check the following two files out and then you will perhaps understand the real issue here. To learn what the U.S. Government has been doing, click HERE. To learn what the U.N. is doing right now, under your nose, click HERE.
It's a fact that so long as there are millions of guns available to average, common citizens that 1) no foreign power would attempt to invade this country without serious consideration, and 2) our government would never get so big that it would try to subjugate it's citizens to slavery of a physical nature. Our Founding Fathers knew that and that is why they assured us the right to own and bear firearms.
In all fairness to those who are concerned about firearms, there were 39,277 deaths total caused by firearms in 1993. But, they were caused by perpetrators of crimes. In the case of these deaths, the perpetrators should be held accountable for their crime and not the industry that made the weapon. To set a precedent where the manufacturer of an item can be held accountable for others' actions is not a wise thing. In the coming years you will see the truth of this as more and more people look to sue more and more manufacturers, as if domestic manufacturers don't have enough trouble on their hands with pressure from off-shore firms.
The deck in Cohen's story also reads: "The siege of Big Tobacco and a Brooklyn verdict provide a strategy to take aim at gun manufacturers."
The fact is, as an issue, guns and tobacco are about as far apart as fire and water. Tobacco, under any circumstances, is not safe to use. The components within it are potentially life threatening right from the start. Firearms, on the other hand, are by their very nature safe when handled correctly by the owner. Yes, they have the capacity to kill, but in the hands of law abiding citizens, they can and often do mean the difference between successfully warding off a criminal's attack or becoming a victim--possibly even a vital statistic.
Another difference between tobacco and firearms is that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees U.S. citizens the right to own firearms. It doesn't say a thing about tobacco. Why is this so important? Because without it, there is no collective defense, no self defense, other than law enforcement and a central government--both of which cannot be everywhere at all times.
For those who do not know, here is what the Second Amendent says:
"A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." No where in the Constitution or any of the original 10 amendments, which are collectively considered the Bill of Rights, do you find any mention of tobacco. And yet, the presidence set by this and other lawsuits is sure to be used by cities across the United States as a call to action against gun manufacturers.
There is little doubt that those who framed the U.S. Constitution intended the right to bare arms as a determent to inappropriate government action. If you read the first sentence carefully, it says A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a state....
There is little doubt in my mind that having millions of firearms scattered throughout this country helps assure that this nation remains free. Not only from it's own government, but from outside governments as well. This is not a peaceful world, as many would have you believe. It's a very cruel and dangerous world, and without a means of citizen defense, we would be sitting ducks.
So, when you hear on the news about more gun suits, you should be very concerned, because the firearm and ammuniction you have in your home for protection relies on a strong gun and ammo manufacturing community. What's the ultimate answer for wrongful deaths? We have the laws in place, but they don't seem to be working. I don't have the answers, but one thing I know, eliminating guns altogether is not it.
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By Alicia Colombo