Friday, July 29, 2005


In the early days of the invasion of Iraq, war supporters often spouted some variation on the claim that "a 20-something male is more likely to get killed in the inner-city than in Baghdad."

Well, the Senate Republicans just increased the likelihood of that 20-something male getting killed in both places.

From your Chicago Tribune:
After years of battle, gun rights advocates are poised to win one of their biggest victories, as the Senate moves toward shielding makers, dealers, distributors and importers of guns from liability lawsuits.

A result of increased Republican majorities in Congress, the passage of legal protection for the gun industry would mark an enormous setback for gun control advocates and for leaders of cities such as Chicago, who have filed suit against gun dealers and manufacturers. ***

Infuriated Democrats on Thursday sought to play up the fact that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) yanked a defense authorization bill from the Senate floor, at a time of war, to push the gun bill through. ***

The legislation would provide immunity from civil lawsuits to gun manufacturers, gun dealers, distributors and importers of firearms and ammunition. In addition, trade groups would be protected and any pending legal action against gunmakers would be moot. ***

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who has taught law at the University of Chicago, said the courts have done a good job of handling, and disposing of, the suits that have been filed. And, he said, gun manufacturers and dealers are not going bankrupt from those cases.

"There is no crisis," Obama said. "Guns are plentiful. We have multiple guns for every man, woman and child in this country."

Some Democrats said they were stunned that Republican leaders would stop a defense bill designed to help American troops on the eve of Congress' monthlong recess.

"I can't imagine what's going through the mind of Sen. Frist to take the defense bill off the floor for this special-interest legislation," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the assistant Democratic leader. "What can that be saying to the men and women in uniform?"
Remember: Guns don't kill people, Republican legislative priorities kill people.

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