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Not gun maker's responsibilty
December 14, 2009 - Jim Smith
Some lawsuits are pure idiocy ... and for once the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that fact.
The court has rejected a challenge to a 2005 law that shields gun manufacturers from lawsuits by victims of gunshots.
The justices Monday refused to hear Hector Adames Jr.'s appeal to reinstate his lawsuit against Beretta U.S.A. in the accidental shooting death of Adames' 13-year-old son, Josh.
The Illinois state Supreme Court earlier had thrown out the case on the basis of the federal 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The 13-year-old boy was fatally shot by Billy Swan, another 13-year-old who had found his father's Beretta, removed the magazine, pointed the weapon at Josh and pulled the trigger, apparently not knowing there was a bullet in the chamber.
Adames' lawsuit maintained the Beretta did not have proper warnings or safety mechanisms to stop the pistol from being fired without the magazine in the grip.
While it is sad beyond belief that a 13-year-old boy was accidental shot, the fact remains it is not a gun manufacturer's responsibility to teach children not to pick up a weapon, point it at a friend and pull the trigger. A firearm is made to inflict injury or death and those touching one need to have that imbedded in their mind.
It is not up to the gun manufacturer to have a weapon out of a teen's reach or locked away from curious hands. It isn't the weapons makers job to tell a teen never to point a weapon at anyone unless the teen intends to inflict injury. It isn't the manufacturer's job to teach a teenager to treat all weapons as if they are loaded.
The adults undoubtedly are suffering beyond belief, but attempts to transfer blame to the manufacturer is unjust.
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