Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The NRA's Real Purpose: Fronting for Gun Manufacturers

by Sunnyjane

NRA Blood Money, brought to us by American gun manufacturers.

Every time a gun enthusiast says I'm a proud member of the NRA, they should be saying I'm a proud NRA sucker.  For that is what they are.

Adjusting Focus and Taking Aim

It's time the gun manufacturers had the curtain pulled back to expose who is really responsible for the eighty-six-a-day gun deaths in this country. The NRA serves as the loud-mouthed front for the weapons industry (and other interested parties, like major gun-seller Cabela's) through its enigmatically named Ring of Freedom, which is nothing more than the funny-money-funnel from gun corporations to the NRA. 

Manufacturers hiding behind a so-called grass-roots organization is not a new concept.  The tobacco industry tried it some years ago with the Philip Morris-funded National Smokers Alliance in order to shield manufacturers of tobacco products from regulations and additional taxes.  This front group only lasted for about five years, from 1994 to 1999.  For one thing, Morton Downey, Jr., it's chain-smoking spokesperson, developed lung cancer.  Resigned.  Died. 

But the gun industry decided they could do a better job at such a charade and enlisted an established organization, which actually began as an association for hunters, to become the spokesperson for Second Amendment rights extraordinaire and champion of such extreme weapons as assault rifles.  As Rachel Maddow reported in a recent segment, the NRA acts as the heat shield for the gun manufacturers: keep the heat off us!  So far, it's worked beautifully; the gun industry sells more guns and the NRA reaps much of the profits -- cha-ching!

Living in a No Accountability, No Liability World
Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage.
If you've ever wondered why some instructions that come with an item you just purchased are overly cautious to the point of being ludicrous (and often contradictory, as in Aim-n-Flame fireplace lighter: Do not use near fire, flame, or sparks),  it's because of product liability.

Manufacturers of the products they sell  -- from, um, personal massage devices to flashlights -- are responsible for ensuring that those products are safe and do not pose a hazard to the public, because they can be held liable for any damage or harm their products might cause.  Further, product liability includes: all claims or action brought for personal injury, death, or property damage caused by the manufacture, design, formula, preparation, assembly, installation, testing, warnings, instructions, marketing, packaging, or labeling of any product.

Since December 2012, three baby stroller manufacturers have recalled their products because they might cause an injury.  In January of this year, there were 103 recalled automobiles for various safety issues.

But!  Gun manufacturers are exempt from product liability laws.

How So? You Have Every Right to Ask

When the assault weapons ban signed by former President Bill Clinton expired in 2004, the  congress refused to reinstate it The following year, George W. Bush signed into law The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, whose stated purpose is: To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm caused solely by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.  So, there you have it: a gun is produced to kill, as designed and intended, so you're up the proverbial creek if somebody shoots you.  The gun performed as intended.

And history will be kind to George W. Bush?  The same president who started two wars, wrecked the economy, made enemies abroad, and signed a bogus gun law?  I don't think so.

Aiders and Abettors

It's time -- no, way past time -- for politicians and gun owners to reject the NRA's influence over our lives and end its reign of terror.  Congress should repeal The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and make gun manufacturers accountable in civil liability cases.

End Note

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.  Albert Einstein


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