George Nation, professor of law and business at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., argues in the April issue of the Baylor Law Review that manufacturers of guns should be required to bear vicarious financial liability for the harm suffered by innocent bystanders who have been injured by the criminal use of their products.
“Traditionally, gun manufacturers have escaped responsibility when it comes to the criminal use of their products,” says Nation. “The legal system essentially presumes that criminal activity is not to be expected and that manufacturers have no control over the use of their products.”
So if a drunk driver accidentally kills an innocent person, Chevy should be responsible if he was driving an Impala? If a boater decides to violate a no-wake zone and accidentally capsizes a boat and kills a kid, should the boat making company be responsible?
Mr. Nation is proposing the usual anti-gun double standard; in his world guns are subject to different rules and regulations than any other lethal object, including cars which are responsible for more deaths than firearms anyway.
Nation also goes back to the “expected criminal use” argument, where he believes that certain firearms are marketed to criminals, and that the design of certain firearms makes it possible to “expect” criminals to use said guns. Not to flog a dead horse, but I have to go back to the car analogy on this one. Just because my wife’s car can go 160 mph doesn’t mean that she does; but if someone decides to break the law using a car like my wife’s and go 160 mph and kill someone, you don’t sue Lexus for putting a fast engine in the car, you sue the driver (or he goes to jail).
Mr. Nation wants us to treat guns like they have some kind of special power which absolves the person using the gun of any responsibility for actions taken while holding the gun. It’s an utterly ludicrous propisition to make, but I can’t say that I’m surprised by it. Lately, I feel like the anti-gun factions are pretty much grasping at straws here.