• 61°

Gun immunity bill makes sense

"Guns don’t kill people: People kill people.

Monday, July 09, 2001

"Guns don’t kill people: People kill people."

As silly as this cliche sounds, it makes perfect sense. For every reckless, gun-wielding psychopath there are scores of responsible weapon owners.

On Friday, Gov. Bob Taft signed a bill into law that grants immunity from lawsuits to gun manufacturers. In essence, the bill says those who make the guns are not responsible for somebody else’s irresponsibility.

The bill would prohibit legal action against manufacturers as a result of injuries or damages caused by users of their products, but the gunmakers still would be held responsible for damages or injuries caused by defective weapons, which is logical. It goes into effect in 90 days.

The bill is retroactive, so current cases pending in court are valid. Future lawsuits related to gun accidents in the past, however, are disallowed by the bill.

We, as individuals, need to take responsibility for our own actions. Is it the manufacturer’s fault if people mishandle firearms and injure or kill themselves or others? The company just made the weapon, it didn’t pull the trigger.

The gun problem in America is not related to the weapon itself – it is the weapon getting into the hands of the wrong person. The real challenge is finding a way to assure guns are used in a responsible manner.