If Gun Control Doesn’t Work, At Least Remove Gun Manufacturer Liability Protection

With over 300 million guns in the hands of Americans — enough for every man, woman, and child to have one — there’s no point in fuming and raving about gun control anymore. The National Rifle Association has enough members of Congress to block meaningful action and is no doubt working right now to block any new legislation in response to the massacre of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas.

The gun lobby is successful because it knows Americans have ridiculously short attention spans. The sense of outrage over Uvalde will last only a little longer than the insincere moment of silence the NRA will let its politicians observe before unleashing a new campaign to turn this tragedy into a victory for gun rights. .

The profiteers of the bloodshed are, coincidentally, expected to gather in Houston — not far from Uvalde — on Friday for the NRA’s annual convention. There, former President Donald Trump will join presidential hopefuls like Sen. Ted Cruz in a political competition to see who can bow lowest to kiss the feet of the gun gods.

They know, like the NRA, that Americans will soon forget this tragedy, just as they forgot the massacre of 20 freshmen and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the murder of 17 at the Stoneman Douglas High School. in Florida. They know that even the racist mass murder of 10 people in Buffalo less than two weeks ago already seems like a distant memory.

To his credit, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr refused to let the NRA win at the distraction game. He took advantage of an NBA playoff press conference on Tuesday not to talk about basketball, but to focus heavily on the Uvalde massacre. “When are we going to do something? Kerr shouted and banged on the table. “I’m tired of moments of silence. Sufficient!”

He blamed Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell among 50 senators ‘who refuse to vote’ on a background check bill passed by the House, putting political interests ahead of measures to prevent future mass shootings. Even though the vast majority of Americans favor enhanced background checks, slavish politicians won’t budge without NRA permission.

One thing that is catching the attention of gunmakers, however, is the only successful product liability lawsuit filed by the families of Sandy Hook victims against gunmaker Remington, which concluded in February. to a settlement of $74 million. If Republicans don’t want to impose better checks or background checks, then why not at least consider repealing the Lawful Arms Trade Protection Act of 2005?

Tobacco companies, once among the most powerful in politics, were brought to their knees once billion-dollar lawsuits forced them to account for the deaths caused by their products. It’s time for Congress to stop protecting gunmakers and hold them accountable for the deadly toll their products have.

—The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Maria D. Ervin