Who should pay for Gun Violence?

It has long been an unspoken question: who pays for Gun Violence?  To date, the answer has been society, the general public, taxpayers at large.  It’s another instance of “privatize the profits, socialize the costs”.  But it might be about to change.  Buried in the article below, about the bankruptcy of Remington and the lawsuits from parents of the Sandy Hook children’s massacre where an AR-15 was used, is a novel legal strategy trying to overcome the “protections” an NRA-driven Congress granted firearms manufacturers.  Protections, it must be said, that do not apply to other consumer products with potential safety issues. 

Here is the legal logic being pursued in this case, per the article blow (emphasis ours):

“Congress granted gun companies industrywide immunity from blame when one of their products is used in a crime. But the law, enacted in 2005, includes exceptions for sale and marketing practices that violate state or federal laws and instances of so-called negligent entrustment, in which a gun is carelessly given or sold to a person posing a high risk of misusing it.

The lawsuit argues that Remington — along with a wholesaler and dealer, which were also named in the suit — erred by entrusting an untrained civilian public with a weapon designed for maximizing fatalities on the battlefield. It also asserts that the companies relied on advertising, with messages of combat dominance and slogans like “Consider your man card reissued,” that appealed specifically to disturbed young men like Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old gunman.”

From our perspective, the real solution to this is to change the laws, as was done for tobacco, cars, etc.  A “free market” where sellers are “free to harm” is not one that belongs in a society guided by desire “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.  Put another way, one person’s Liberty stops where another person’s Safety starts.

Novel legal strategy pursued to hold gun sellers accountable for damages

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