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Liability for Gun Makers a Dangerous Precedent

September 30, 2002

Re "Davis Signs More Curbs on Gun Makers," Sept. 26:

So, gun manufacturers can now be held liable for the misuse of their product. Is anyone concerned about the precedent that this sets? Or is it simply an act to increase lawyers' income? Should we worry that individuals, with each new law, seem to have less responsibility for their actions?

A study concluded that each 100-pound decrease in the weight of sport utility vehicles would save 40 lives and result in 600 fewer serious injuries. So, should the manufacturers of SUVs be held liable for every accident involving an SUV in which a person is injured? After all, if they didn't build such large vehicles, fewer deaths and injuries would occur.

A study found that a person on a cell phone has a reaction time 24% slower than normal. Other studies have found that a person driving while talking on a cell phone is as impaired as a person with a blood-alcohol content of 0.1%. So, should the manufacturers of cell phones be held liable for accidents when the driver is talking on a cell phone? After all, the technology exists to disable the phone in a moving vehicle, so the manufacturer must clearly be negligent by not providing it.

Jim Winterroth

Torrance

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