Currently, firearms manufacturers are mostly protected by federal law from being sued by victims of gun violence. Two editorials published in Monday’s New York Times call for that law to be changed.
Former Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau — who refers to gun makers as “arms dealers” —writes:
A BASIC function of law in a civilized society is to allocate the costs of harm to those who caused it. In the case of a gang shooting or terrorist attack, penalties are imposed on the gang member or terrorist. But what of the person who sold them their weapons?
Elsewhere on the Times’ pages, in a piece titled “Make Gun Companies Pay Blood Money,” two professors, Lucinda M. Finley and John G Culhane, write:
But there is a simple and direct way to make them accountable for the harm their products cause. For every gun sold, those who manufacture or import it should pay a tax. The money should then be used to create a compensation fund for innocent victims of gun violence.
If gun makers are made liable for the illegal abuse of their product, would the same be true of automobile, knife, and fireplace-poker manufacturers should someone choose to use their product as a murder weapon?
What if a murderer chooses to choke someone to death by shoving a rolled-up copy of the New York Times down their throat?
The possibilities of such a precedent are endless.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC