In Dicta

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Protecting the gun industry

Bad idea:

"Senate Republicans on Tuesday moved the National Rifle Association's top priority ahead of a $491 billion defense bill, setting up a vote on legislation to shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits over gun crimes.

Completion of the defense bill, which the Senate had been debating for a week, will now be delayed until fall. Democrats were incensed.

"What's happening on this gun liability bill is really despicable," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. "To put that ahead of the defense bill, I think, is the most distorted priorities I can possibly conceive of."

On a 66-32 test vote, sponsors of the gun bill showed they have more than enough support to prevent opponents from defeating it with a filibuster.

Supporters said it was high time the measure received consideration in an environment of lawsuits that would devastate the gun industry. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., complained that gun control advocates are abusing the courts "to steer public policy through litigation."

With strong support from the White House, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., used a technical maneuver to halt debate on the defense bill and move to the contentious gun legislation sponsored by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho."

We shouldn't protect this industry (or any other) through half-assed measures tailor-made by lobbyists. I am in favor or tort reform, but this is an example of legislating to protect a particular industry that has a strong lobbying presence on the Hill.

From The Washington Post.

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