No, but law professors trying to blame them for crime seems to be pretty much par for the course.
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.
What hasn’t been used by a criminal to hurt a victim?
“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.”
We have seen cars used by criminals. The cars of choice used by thugs around here are Hondas, Acura, and Cadillac Escalades. So since there is an expected criminal use of those models, I guess we can sue Honda, Acura and Cadillac when a criminal uses one in a crime.
We’ve seen more than enough knives used in crimes to believe there is an “expected criminal use” for knives. Sue those nasty knife makers.
Baseball Bats- yep. Chain saws- yep. Trashcan lids- I kid you not. Chains, whips, and Great Danes- yep. Well, okay, maybe not Great Danes.
I even read about a case where the criminal stuffed a Nerf ball into his victim’s mouth which she choked on. Everyone join in chanting- “Sue Nerf! Sue Nerf!”
As pro-gun as I am, I’d almost be willing to let him have his victory and get that liability passed. All I would want in return is the right to sue people who allow criminals to continue engaging in criminal behavior. And to be fair, the gun manufacturers should be able to do the same.
That would include any lawyer who gets a criminal freed if that criminal hurt someone after that because the lawyer should expect it. It would include the right to sue any judge that lets a criminal go because the judge should expect it. It would include the right to sue the members of any parole board that releases a criminal who goes on to commit more crimes because they should expect it. It would include the right to sue any State or Federal lawmaker that passes a law that allows criminals to stay free after they have bought violence upon a victim because they surely know they are coddling the criminal at the expense of our safety.
Once we can compile a list of items criminals use and a list of people who allow criminals to continue engaging in “expected crime”, and have the right to sue them given the percieved liability on their part, I’ll give Nation his meager victory. Then I’ll sue him into the poor house!
Ed, lets’ not forget suing the professors who taught the lawyers that get a murderer freed to commit more crimes! It makes just as much sense as the professors’ argument.
Absolutely. We could sue people as our national pastime. Oh wait, forget it, we already do.
If one of his students uses his legal knowledge to commit a crime or aid a guilty party to get an acquittal, does that make the professor liable?
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