Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Tom Mauser's letter from the Denver Post. I have taken the liberty of providing a translation for those not well versed in Idiotspeak.

"Imagine a world in which one of its most dangerous products is exempt from consumer-protection laws. Imagine a world in which the makers and sellers of that product are immune from civil lawsuits related to that product.
The first scenario is already the case; the second is close to happening, right here in America

Translation: We're not going to be dealing with much factual information, so let's try to get used to the make believe world I'm about to describe to you.

"When consumer-protection laws were developed, the gun lobby convinced Congress to exempt guns from regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That means your child's toy gun is subject to greater regulation than a real gun."

Translation: We couldn't get Congress to outlaw guns under the guise of consumer protection, so we'll try to convince you that toys are more regulated than guns are, despite the many thousands of firearms laws & the very few toy laws.

"Recently Colorado was shocked by the tragic accidental shooting of 11-year-old Sahil Ahmed. He was shot and killed by a friend who thought a handgun was empty because the magazine was removed. This tragic mistake has occurred before, and many times manufacturers have been urged to change designs so a bullet doesn't stay in the chamber after the magazine is removed - or to at least place an indicator warning that a bullet is in the chamber. But why should gun manufacturers change? They're exempt from regulation."

Translation: we much prefer to blame a company or an object than a human being's negligence. We sleep better that way. Also we don't know exactly how guns work, but since this is make believe we'll pretend that a gun could be designed to make it completely & utterly safe from the risk of an accidental discharge & blame the gun makers for not defying the laws of pyshics to accomodate our desires. & while we're at it let's blame the lawmakers for not requiring the gunmakers to do the impossible.

"Having this unprecedented exemption apparently isn't enough. The House recently passed a bill that will provide gunmakers and sellers with immunity from virtually all current and future civil lawsuits related to the use of guns. The Senate and President Bush are expected to approve it."

Translation: if we use words like 'unprecedented', even if incorrectly, then we'll seem smart. & the lawmakers are to blame for passing a law that keeps people from suing gunmakers for stuff that ain't their fault, but if we tell you that we won't seem that smart so we use broad sweeping descriptions instead. See? we still seem smart.

"They're poised to prohibit one group - victims of gun violence - the right to seek redress in civil courts, providing the broadest legal protection ever granted to one industry."

Translation: They actually want to keep people who have been victims of crimes from suing companies with 2nd, 3rd & 4th party relationships to the criminals?? what's next? sayig it was the criminals fault for shooting someone? huh. Like criminals have any money!

"Gun activists say immunity is needed because of frivolous lawsuits. Perhaps some lawsuits are frivolous, but that's why we have a court system - to sort them out."

Translation: yes some of the lawsuits are silly, but it's the only way we can bypass the legislature to restrict guns.

"But this law wouldn't even allow a case with merit to proceed. The law of unintended consequences comes into play here - it's entirely possible that a host of negligent and felonious parties will escape any liability for their acts or failures to act."

Translation: we think that if a gunmaker sells a gun to a gun store, who sells it to a person & someone else steals it, then sells it to someone else that the gunmaker is responsible, as is everyone with any wealth in that chain of people. That's a meritous lawsuit that won't happen because of this new law.

"Gun activists say immunity is appropriate because of the Second Amendment, but that amendment speaks of a right to bear arms, not of a right to immunity for arms-makers and -sellers. Likewise, the First Amendment doesn't immunize publishers from libel suits."

Translation: We are too smart to get involved in that whole constitution/bill of rights/second amendment thing, so we'll compare apples & oranges & hope no one realizes that libel is more appropriately compared to a gun maker shooting someone than it is to regulating an industry which produces a product specifically mentioned in the constitution.

"Gun activists say immunity is needed because it's unfair for gunmakers to be sued for a buyer's unlawful use of a gun. But it's not that simple. The way guns are sold can enable criminals to obtain guns - e.g., failing to question large-quantity sales."

Translation: well of course it's unfair unless you look at things our way. I mean despite all the regulations & laws & licenses & such a person can still buy guns, & that means even if he's able to buy them legally the gun maker should have known he had evil in his heart. How dare they not read minds before engaging in selling a constitutionally protected product!

"The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which is responsible for regulating gun dealers, says that a small number of dealers are responsible for selling the majority of new guns traced to crimes. Why does the gun industry want to shield these bad apples?"

Translation: not that many gun dealers break the law, so we must use inuendo to associate this new law which does not protect a gun maker or seller from criminal acts or even negligent ones with the small number of dealers that break one of the many thousands of gun laws.

"Robert Ricker, a whistleblower who once was an attorney for the NRA and spokesman for the gunmakers, says the gun industry has failed to crack down on questionable dealers and rejected his proposals to establish stricter guidelines for the industry."

Translation:If we use the term whistleblower it might cover up the fact that Ricker is being paid. It might also make people think that his claim that the gun makers were not reading minds of the gun sellers who were not reading minds of the customers seem legitimate.

"Gunmakers say they can't be responsible for policing dealers who sell their guns. But most manufacturers go to great lengths to control distribution of their products. Why not gunmakers?"

Translation: Why do the gun makers do things just because it's legal for them to do? Why can't they do the BATF's job for them? & just because it's legal, why do they still keep selling guns? That's just mean & we don't like it.

"Gunmakers say it's up to the ATF to police gun dealers. However, for years the gun lobby has fought against any increase in funding or regulatory power for the ATF. The NRA's top executive has referred to ATF agents as "jack-booted thugs." Does the gun lobby really expect us to believe they support ATF oversight of gun dealers?"

Translation:Just because it's not their job why should they place blame on the agency whose job it actually is? & why, just because the BATF is a bunch of jack booted statist thugs do people call them that? I don't care how many kittens they stomp to death or how many people's lives they needlessly ruin through the incompetant enforcement of Constitutionally prohibited laws, they shouldn't be calling them bad names.

"Gun activists say this legislation is simply part of tort reform. It's far beyond that. Most tort reform is aimed at limiting amounts of punitive damages, not at immunizing an entire industry. There surely are plenty of industries that would welcome such immunity."

Translation: I'm not sure what tort reform is, but we want you to believe that because it is not just limiting monetary awards that the new law isn't tort reform. We seem smart when we do that kind of stuff. & of course many other industries would want that kind of protection. But since no one is suing them in an attempt to wipe out the entire industry they don't need it. & since the gun makers need it & the others don't, then that's not fair!

"Gun activists say gunmakers are under attack and need protection. But we've heard other industries make that claim before. Automakers, for example, have said it's unfair to blame them for the misuse of a car by a driver."

Translation: Of course gun makers say they need protection, but that's only because they're getting sued. & othe rindutries would need that protection & they say so, but let's not dwell on the fact that the auto industry isn't getting sued because people drive drunk while gun makers are getting sued because criminals shoot people. It makes much more sense if we don't look at the facts or even go into much detail.

"Yet, despite lawsuits, automakers still thrive. More important, when automakers faced civil lawsuits, they made safety improvements in automobiles. Do you really think we'd see as many improvements if not for civil lawsuits? Lawsuits can succeed in reforming where reluctant regulators and heavily lobbied legislators fear to tread."

Translation: let's pretend that all lawsuits are the same. So suing a car company for having a faulty seat belt design is the same as suing a gun make for making a gun used by some criminal in a crime, even though in the one instance we're talking about material defects & in the other we're talking about intentional misuse. Besides, Congress won't let us ban all guns, but maybe the courts will. Trying to stop us from banning all guns using the courts rather than the legislature is wrong. I mean, we allready bought most of the judges!!!

"If we provide unprecedented immunity to the gun industry, where's the incentive to make guns safer and not as easy to slip into the hands of criminals?"

Translation: we used the word 'unprecedented' again so we must seem really smart. So let's not dwell on the free market regulating itself in terms of making safe weapons. & let's pretend that if we sue the pants off of gu makers that it will keep criminals from getting guns.

"I hear lots of rhetoric about how the gun industry believes in responsibility and accountability. Well, it's time its members start acting like it. It's time for them to accept responsibility and accountability like the rest of America and stop asking for special treatment not afforded to others."

Translation: Just because the gun industry is being sued in a manner unlike any other industry before in an attempt to bankrupt them & bypass the legislature to regulate them, let's use the words 'accountability' & 'responsibility' to make them seem like they being unfair, mean & whiny.

"Gunmakers and sellers are not above the law."

Translation: gunamkers & sellers should do what we want, because we mean it.

"Tom Mauser's e-mail address is"

Translation: If i show a catchy e-mail address then maybe people will think i'm credible.

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