Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Protecting my right to shoot Tookie Williams

Actually, now that he's dead, shooting Tookie would accomplish nothing...except maybe target practice. But since this site has spent some space criticizing President Bush (for whom I twice voted), I thought a little pat on the back was good. So let's revisit Bush's signing of the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" (S. 397), which effectively ends politically-motivated lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Such lawsuits operated on the dubious claim that gun manufacturers, and not just the criminals, were responsible for armed robberies and murders.

I'm a bit conflicted. I support gun rights as a necessary antecendent of liberty, and I am happy to find something I like about Bush and co. in this dismal second term. But is a federal law governing such things necessary? Desirable? Shouldn't the states be left to decide such things?

In fact, according to the NRA piece linked above, "33 states passed similar legislation outlawing frivolous lawsuits intended to bankrupt the gun industry...". So the states were, for the most part, doing their bit for liberty.

But if even one state (say, California) allowed such frivolous and unjust lawsuits (and assuming gun manufacturers were not silly enough to set up shop in that state), what would be the results? Would a Federal judge (9th circuit, perhaps?) then rule on whether other states had to honor that California court verdict, even if the state the gun was manufactured and sold in did not?

I can't answer 'cause I'm no lawyer. I'm just the violent, deranged, hillbilly who teachers your kids about the Dewey Decimal System.



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