Monday, August 01, 2005

Bullets or Ballots


Lawyers, Guns and Money
By Greg Palast

"Just put down that law suit, pardner, and no one gets hurt."


There are 200 million guns in civilian hands in the United States. That works out at 200 per lawyer. Wade through the foaming websites of the anti-Semites, weekend militiamen and Republicans, and it becomes clear that many among America's well-armed citizenry have performed the same calculation. Because if there is any hope of the ceasefire that they fear, it will come out of the barrel of a lawsuit.

And that is why a shoot-to-kill coalition in the Senate, led by Wild Bill Frist (R-Tenn) and his simpering sidekick, Scary Harry Reid (D-Nev), voted yesterday to grant immunity from law suits to gun makers.

First, the score. Gunshot deaths in the US are way down - to only 88 a day. Around 87,000 lucky Americans were treated for bullet wounds last year; 32,436 unlucky ones died, including a dozen policemen by their own weapons.

For Americans, America remains more deadly than Iraq.

In one typical case, a young man, Steven Fox, described feeling pieces of his brain fly from his skull after a mugger shot him. He is permanently paralyzed.

But, hey, that's business for you. And what a business it is. Guns, ammo and accessories are a $6 billion-a-year honey pot for several corporations: Glock, Smith & Wesson, Colt and too many others.

But, the gun-o-philiacs say, what does po' widdle Smith & Wesson have to do with a mugger who uses its gun in an unsocial manner?

This cop-out drives Elisa Barnes crazy. Barnes is the lawyer who brought the groundbreaking lawsuit against handgun manufacturers which, for the first time, were found negligent in abetting a criminal.

It's lawyers like Barnes -- and victims like Fox -- that the Senate went gunning for. . . .

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1 Comments:

At 12:12 AM, Blogger Maugham Malraux said...

Excellent article. America has gone quite mad.

 

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