Dwight Watt Internet Article #22


#22 Atlanta Suing Gun makers 3/10/1999

#22- Atlanta Suing Gun Makers

Mayor Campbell of Atlanta has decided for Atlanta to sue the makers of guns. He wants to recover the costs of people getting hurt by guns and to force the gun makers to put safety features on guns and to offer gun safety education to children. He says it is the fault of the gun makers that people get hurt by guns. He is using the tobacco settlement as a precedent.

The suit against the gun makers is silly. So silly that with bi-partisan support the Georgia legislature is banning such suits. The guns are a protected right of the American people by the second amendment of the United States Constitution. Rather the guns should be controlled or not, or to what degree is a separate issue. If Mayor Campbell wants it illegal to make guns, then he needs to work to amend the Constitution.

The gun makers have never advertised guns as safe or healthy to people when they are used on people. The tobacco industry did. (Remember they even ran MD endorsements of smoking). Gus have always been made with only two purposes and both destroy stuff. One is to kill things (people in war, people when threatened by them, or animals by hunting) or two, for target shooting (destroys the target). To claim they are totally safe by adding safety items is ridiculous. However the safety items to make them more safe from accidents are available.

Not only that, but Mayor Campbell and his administration need to sue themselves. They buy guns for the city police to use. Occasionally these guns end up in the wrong hands also. If Mayor Campbell knows how to make them 100% safe then start with the Atlanta police. Innocents get shot by the police occasionally and the police get overpowered occasionally also and lose the gun to the assailant.

Suing the makers of the guns because criminals get them and kill people does not make sense. First off the gun industry is regulated and the buyers must go through a criminal check. If the wrong ones get the guns now, it is the government's fault (yes Mayor Campbell, yours and Clinton's) and not the gun seller's fault. Next Mayor Campbell will want to sue the car makers because they do not make all cars theft proof an people are killed by stolen cars or people in criminal activities. Several have been killed because of this in Atlanta in the past week. Those of us in education may in turn be eligible to be sued by him for allowing future criminal s to have passed our classes.

As far as gun safety for children, the programs are there. The Jaycees (a.k.a. Junior Chamber of Commerce) have run a program called Shooting Education for over 30 years and taught gun safety to millions (yes that is correct millions) of children. Daisy manufacturing (makers of BB guns) has been the sponsor of this program. I was the chairman of Shooting Education in Georgia one year and a national representative for three years. In all that time I never could persuade the Atlanta area chapters to run the program because they said only children in rural area needed to know gun safety. Now Mayor Campbell wants gun safety programs fo children. As a second optional part of the Jaycee program, the children use BB guns to compete in state and national matches. This year the national match (International BB Gun Championship Match) will be held in the Atlanta area at the Wolf Creek range. As chairman of this match, I hope Mayor Campbell comes and sees what is being done for gun safety for children. Other gun safety programs for children are offered by 4-H, the Boy Scouts, the NRA Eddie Eagle programs and other organizations.

The city of Atlanta continuously claims it is broke, but yet has money to waste on fruitless lawsuits like this. If it would take the money being spent on this and instead spend it to support the NRA Eddie Eagle and Jaycee program and other similar programs, the results would be much better and many a child's life would be saved from accidental gun related deaths.

Dwight

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