Forty-three states have dram shop laws — though round-the-clock, free-booze-for-gamblers Nevada, of course, isn’t one of them.
I know of no state that holds Jack Daniels and its ilk of manufacturers liable when someone overimbibes and causes harm to another.
Hillary Clinton seems to want to hold gunmakers liable for when purchasers misuse their product, going after Bernie Sanders in Saturday’s debate in Michigan for backing a 2005 law that provides broad civil immunity for gun manufacturers and dealers so long as they do not willfully or negligently misbehave or create a defective product.
It is one thing for a bartender to refuse to serve an obvious drunk, but how do gun dealers — much less gunmakers — spot a kill-crazy psychopath?
Clinton pronounced that she believes “giving immunity to gunmakers and sellers was a terrible mistake …”
She declared, “Because it removed any accountability (ignoring the exceptions for willful and negligent) from the makers and the sellers. And it also disrupted what was a very promising legal theory, to try to get makers to do more to make guns safer for example. To try to give sellers more accountability for selling guns when they shouldn’t have. So that is an issue that Senator Sanders and I differ on, I voted against giving them immunity, but I think we should very seriously move to repeal that and go back to making sure gun makers and sellers are like any other business. They can be held accountable.”
Watch out who you sell those hammers and machetes and nail guns to, Home Depot, Hillary thinks you and the makers of those things are liable right now.
Sanders correctly pointed out that Clinton’s proposition would end gun manufacturing in the United States, and presumably gun dealerships, though Sanders did not say it
“If you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun, and then, three days later, if you go out and start killing people, is the point of this lawsuit to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable?” Sanders asked.
“If that is the point, I have to tell you I disagree. I disagree because you hold people — in terms of this liability thing, where you hold manufacturers’ liability is if they understand that they’re selling guns into an area that — it’s getting into the hands of criminals, of course they should be held liable.
“But if they are selling a product to a person who buys it legally, what you’re really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America. I don’t agree with that.”
This was followed by quibbling and hemming and hawing and cross talk.
The moderator kept trying to change the subject, but Clinton insisted, turning it into a Sanders-like argument against corporate greed.
“I want people in this audience to think about what it must feel like to send off your first grader, little backpack, maybe, on his or her back, and then the next thing you hear is that somebody has come to that school using an automatic weapon, an AR-15, and murdered those children,” Clinton meandered.
“Now, they are trying to prevent that from happening to any other family.”
With Sanders and the moderator trying to interject, she charged. “… you talk about corporate greed?
Sanders: “Hold it.”
Clinton: “The gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make.” This from the woman makes hundreds of thousands of dollars giving 30-minute speeches to Wall Street firms that she refuses to release to the public.
When Sanders got to talk he repeated his observation about the consequences of what Clinton is asking for: “But it, as I understand it, Anderson (Cooper), and maybe I’m wrong, what you’re really talking about is people saying let’s end gun manufacturing in America. That’s the implications of that, and I don’t agree with that.”
Just as making the manufacturers of alcohol liable would end all distilling, brewing and wine making.
When everyone is responsible for everything that goes awry, no one is responsible.