REGULATION THROUGH TORT: As everyone undoubtedly knows, various trial lawyers and liberal groups have been filing lawsuits against the tobacco industry on behalf of people who have injured or killed themselves by smoking. Unfortunately for the tobacco corporations, very few people rallied to protect them against these egregious lawsuits despite the fact that their actions should be protected and that their various "victims" should be held responsible for their own choices. Like others, I don't really like smoking, and so even though I do believe that the companies had a right to sell their product as they did, I found it hard to muster much sympathy for them.

However, the fact that the public let these lawsuits slip past (and even encouraged them) has led to more lawsuits of similar form. Some of the most absurd are recent actions to sue gun manufacturers when someone uses their product in an illegal manner and injures or kills another person. As it stands, if I shoot you you have a cause of action to sue me in civil court for damages. Under this new theory, you also have a cause of action to sue whoever sold me the gun, whoever manufactured the gun, and perhaps every company in the gun industry as a whole. This is akin to geting hit by someone driving an Explorer, and then deciding to sue Ford for building the vehicle that hit you.

To eliminate these potential lawsuits, and perhaps break the momentum of this new culpability theory in general, the House passed a bill (H.R. 1036) today whose purpose is:

To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages resulting from the misuse of their products by others.

It passed 285 - 140, and should pass the Senate as well (although by a narrower margin). Via CNSNews.



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