U.S. Gun Manufacturers Win Right to Sue Shooting Victims


Washington, D.C., April 12, 2006 -- A controversial law passed yesterday by the Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives will give gun manufacturers the right to sue both perpetrators and victims of shootings for "defamatory product misuse". This new measure follows on the heels of a new "blank slate" law passed in 2005 absolving gun manufacturers of any legal liability in the event that their products, no matter how small, powerful, or easily concealed, obtained or abused, are used in the perpetration of violent crimes.

Spokesmen for both the National Rifle Association and major weapons manufacturers hailed the new law as "a victory for law-abiding makers of peaceful, recreational, easily-concealed high-velocity assault weaponry" and welcomed it by firing revolvers into the ceiling of Congress, causing minor damage. Two democratic congressmen were killed in the revelry.

The new law, which passed by a lopsided 283-144 vote, states that perpetrators who use a gun in the commission of a violent crime are guilty of "defamatory product misuse"; essentially, giving the gun and its manufacturer a "bad name" by using it in a way other than ostensibly intended, thus potentially causing negative publicity for the manufacturer.

Furthermore, victims of shootings are equally liable under a subordinate clause of the law to "accessory to defamatory product misuse". This law states in principle that if the victim had not placed him- or herself in the vicinity and trajectory of the bullet, he or she would not have been injured or killed, thus making the innocent law-abiding gun manufacturer a victim of defamatory product misuse.

Both laws carry weighty civil and criminal penalties, and can be punishable by up to ten years in jail or a $50,000 fine.

Billy B. Boomer, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, hailed the passage of the defamatory product misuse law as a victory for law-abiding gun owners and manufacturers throughout the United States.

"It's about time Congress started protecting the interests of our members in the NRA," he said. "Look, guns don't kill people, people do. And sometimes dogs or children. It's not the gun's fault that someone gets killed or wounded when some jackass shoots some other jackass, it's the jackasses fault. Faults. And yet, every time some psycho teenager shoots the hell out of some hick village high school cafeteria, we're the ones who get all the blame. We're the ones who get all the abuse. It's just not fair. And finally, thanks to our Republican supporters in Washington, there's something we can do about it."

"I couldn't agree more," said Kip Dipschlitz, Senior Manager at Smith & Wesson, a major manufacturer of small arms and assorted weaponry. "Look, if you're dumb enough to be walking around the streets late at night or in the afternoon, or to go to church looking weak and pasty and victimlike, of course someone's going to shoot you. It's just common sense. And like Boomer said, who pays the price for that? We do. But not any more. Thank you, Washington."

According to Dipschlitz, a hypothetical example of how the law could be applied is as follows: Bubba, a hypothetical three-time convicted felon, is released on parole from a Texas prison after serving 22 years for rape, murder, and aggravated assault. He collects the money he has saved working in the prison library and visits the Waco gun show, which serendipitously happens to be running between the months of February and November, inclusive, that year, where he purchases a number of weapons including a small Smith & Wesson pistol. Current laws permit him to purchase the weapons without background checks or waiting periods, and Bubba's feeling just fine.

He carries the weapons and the feeling of weapon-toting euphoria with him into the nearest saloon, where he spends the remainder of his prison earnings on shots of Wild Turkey. On staggering out to the parking lot, he stumbles into an old blind man who is attempting to enter the post office next door. Bubba shoots the old blind man three times, then goes home. The blind man is badly wounded, but survives.

Bubba is later convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and returned to the federal penitentiary for a new 18-month sentence.

The old blind man, under the law passed by the House in 2005, is legally blocked from seeking damages from Smith & Wesson, makers of the Smith & Wesson CS9 pistol used by Bubba in the shooting, for their role in his injuries. He is further sued by Smith & Wesson and forced to pay damages of $22,000 for accessory to defamatory product misuse due to his wilfully and provocatively having placed himself in the line of fire of a legally purchased weapon manufactured by a law-abiding gun manufacturer and sold legally under state law, resulting in several lines of bad publicity for the manufacturer in the local newspaper. Unable to pay the fine, he is also remanded to federal custody where he becomes Bubba's bunkmate and companion.

"And that about sums it up," says Dipschlitz. "If that old blind man had just waited to buy his stamps until Bubba had passed out or gone home, or, better still, just stayed home, he wouldn't have made himself the victim of a shooting and thereby made the law-abiding manufacturer of the weapon look like an irresponsible company for having made it so easy for Bubba to buy his pistol, thus potentially having a negative impact on sales. This is a victory for all Americans. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to see what this Uzi can do to my jerkoff neighbor's lawnmower. "

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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