Guns And Torts

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Via Eugene Volokh.

Like Secretary Clinton, the supporters of the bills put before Congress to repeal PLCAA argue that no other industry enjoys the legal shield that the gun industry does — giving as counter-examples firms such as auto companies, pharmaceutical drug companies and even tobacco companies.

They are right to some extent …. [But] would there be widespread tort liability for gun companies were both PLCAA and state pre-emption laws all repealed?

The central argument I will put forward is that it is not easy to find good examples from other important industries of defendants being held liable for the sorts of cases that gun victim plaintiffs would like to win.

Take the motor vehicle accident problem. It is well understood that car companies make vehicles intended to be sold to ordinary drivers that are capable of going more than 100 miles per hour even though that is well more than the maximum road speed allowed. Surely the car companies know that some owners regularly drive faster than, say, 75 miles per hour and cause accidents because of their speeding. Product liability law today generally requires product makers to take into account foreseeable product misuse.

Does this make cars involved in very high speed crashes defectively designed? Although there is something appealing about this idea, I don’t see successful cases being brought on this theory, and given the record so far I’d be surprised if they were successful.

Next, I imagine that in today’s high-tech world motor vehicles could be engineered so that (perhaps absent an emergency) they could not be driven faster than the posted speed limit on the road on which they are currently travelling (and I assume that self-driving cars currently have and will continue to have this feature). Does the failure to include this speed-control function in all of today’s new motor vehicles make them defective so that the manufacturer would be liable in tort to victims of drivers whose speeding (at any speed) causes accidents? This too is an appealing idea, but I don’t see such cases.

It’s only appealing if you’re a nanny-state control freak.  As for cars engineered with governors, don’t give the progressives any more ideas for things they can regulate.

I’ll just remark one more time that the free-for-all hippie culture –love, peace and feel-good – which made its living complaining about signs and other such rules, believed in absolutely nothing and held to no morals or scruples.  Their empty minds became vessels for the poison fed to them, and within short order (one generation), the generation of free wheeling liberty became the cabal of controllers.

The sons and daughters of hippies are nanny-state, government-worshipping control freaks searching for the next thing to regulate so they can bring ubiquitous sameness and monolithic utopia to the world.


Comments

  1. On September 19, 2017 at 8:08 am, Fred said:

    I will preempt the notion of driving being a privilege and firearms being a right before somebody says something ignorant.

    Driving is not a privilege. Period. No article of the constitution relinquishes, to government, the control of the manner or form by which I convey my body from one point to another. Driver licensing is a scam. You’ve been had.

  2. On September 19, 2017 at 8:15 am, Fred said:

    Ps. And now you know why I’m against National Reciprocity.

  3. On September 19, 2017 at 9:36 am, Longbow said:

    Traveling in a privately owned means of conveyance is an absolute right.

    The State says that “operating a motor vehicle” is a privilege extended by the State. This is in the same way that one must get a business “license” before engaging in commerce in most places. The State PRESUMES you to be a commercial entity engaging in commerce unless you assert otherwise. When you sign the bottom of your driver license, you are saying,

    “Yup, that commercial entity spelled out in all caps above, thats me!”

    You have no more obligation to beg the State’s permission before moving about in your automobile, than you do to strap on a pair of roller skates and head on down the road.

  4. On September 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm, Pat Hines said:

    I dare say that state and local governments do NOT want most vehicles equipped with governors that electronically obey the posted speed limits. That would cost these governments billions of dollars of revenue every year.

    Driving south of Greenville, South Carolina on US Highway 25 one will observe a constant changing of posted speed limits, allegedly tied to each community through which the highway passes, but in reality arbitrarily changing up and down to catch those that fail to notice a change from 55 MPH to 45 MPH.

  5. On September 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Pat,

    How dare you say that! You mean that the whole speeding thing is massive bureaucratic architecture to raise revenue?

    As for 25, yes, through TR and past 11 it does do that, and it’s frustrating. Especially when you get ready to go up that long hill towards Gap Creek Road and you need some speed to make it up.

  6. On September 20, 2017 at 7:20 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    Up here, we fly..or boat. Fuck speed limits. Driving is for tourists.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns,Politics and was published September 18th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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