Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tort Reform and the Second Amendment

With a hat tip to Theo Sparks, today we find our selves at Pajamas Media where Howard Nemerov has a post up entitled Hidden Threat to the Second Amendment. It is interesting, and frightening because so few of us are paying attention most of the time.  Why?  I think part is deliberate.  Those "in the know" have little reason to tell the public what is going on in a straight forward fashion, and the press generally have no desire to highlight it either, lest someone gets upset.  Add to that the boring and tedious nature of much of it, and you can see why it doesn't get much play.  But Mr. Nemerov makes it quite readable.  So go read.

A quote here:
History shows why investing in congressional candidates can maintain a favorable legal environment for future high-return litigation. Lawyers received billions of dollars in contingency fees from the tobacco settlement in November 1998, in which manufacturers were held liable for the deliberate actions of consumers. In Texas alone, attorneys were awarded $2.3 billion...
As the article goes on to explain, the tobacco companies don't pay these costs, which amount to an additional tax, but rather pass the costs on to consumers, many of whom do not smoke. The gun industry is just a conveniently small and relatively defenseless industry to go after to get the precedent. Once gotten, they will go after industries where there is real money to be made. The plaintiff's bar will sue, win, and walk away with billions of dollars in fees taken from major industries. Those industries will in turn charge each of their consumers to make that up. It is outrageous and unjust.

I have no problem with all sorts of business that actually perform a useful service, or make an actual product, and sell it to willing buyers. I actually admire Bill Gates (though I don't agree with his politics.) But this system, which I'll call "jackpot justice" wherein the public is fleeced of billions of dollars, which are then transferred to trial lawyers and their lawmaker friends, has to stop. Like Cap and Trade legislation, this system bilks billions of dollars out of the hands of the public, but adds no value whatsoever. It unjustly enriches a few elites, who wouldn't be able to make it in the real world. If Democrats were really looking out for the "little guy," they would have put a stop to jackpot justice long ago. Of course, Republicans want tort reform, but that is only because they aren't getting any of the gravy.

But back to the Second Amendment, for a moment.  Sooner or later the trial lawyers will find a sympathetic judge who is willing to entertain their theory, and allow the suit against a gun maker for the acts of the criminal.  When that happens, it will just be a matter of time before there are no gun manufacturers left in these United States, or if there are, they won't sell to the public.  Similarly, Glock and other foreign manufacturers will shy away from selling to the public.  As they do now, they will be able to show that every weapon they make will be sold to a police or military agency, or to a foreign government.  Of course, criminals will still be able to obtain what they need through theft and black market sources, as they do now.  Microstamping, if it causes them a problem, will be relatively easily defeated.   Only you, the law abiding individual, will be seriously inconvenienced.   


  1. You're right, of course. The consumer ultimately - always - pays the costs of doing business, whether from taxes, regulations, or lawsuits.

  2. Rev. Paul,

    Is that a beard I see in that picture?

    As far as the consumer paying, I get tired of telling people this obvious (to me at least) truth. People say "let the corporations pay the tax" and when I point out that corporations merely pass the tax thru to their customers, people become can become quite adamant that no, the corporations pays.

    Oh well,

    Have a good day,