Gun giveaway (Updated)
(This post has been corrected. In my original post, I mistakenly wrote that the legislation applied to all legal responsibility when the reality is that it doesn't apply to criminal prosecution. I would have left the comments up for readers to peruse but the commenter was just a bit too eager in his or her posts. Still, thanks to Iron Yuppie for the correction. -- e.d.)
Some NRA sweetheart legislation passed under the radar last month, sponsored by the usual suspects (Hatch, Frist) and supported by Bush and a handful of Democrats.
The bill -- a sort of twofer for Republicans as it combines the gun control bogeyman and the "frivolous lawsuits" bogeyman -- essentially prevents civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers and sellers. At a time when everyone's freaked out about national security and terrorism, congress passes a bill that removes an incentive for a gun seller or manufacturer to adequately screen a customer?
Here's Doug Ireland (who has the whole story) describing some of the lawsuits that will no longer be permitted: "Last year, the families of DC area sniper victims won a settlement of over $2 million from the Washington State gun dealer who could not account for the 'missing' assault rifle used by the snipers and who 'lost' over 200 other guns."
So that's what congress is up to? Decreasing national security? While sellers and manufacturers could still be held liable, the families could not seek remuneration which provides another valuable incentive for those in the gun business to be vigilant about whom they sell guns to.
Republicans want to talk frivolous lawsuits? How about frivolous gun sales? Frivolous national security? Frivolous counter-terrorism? (Direland)