Sunday, July 17, 2005

Republicans for immunization

The Republican Senate (with a fair amount of Democrat help) is finally doing something about immunization. Of course it's not immunization against disease, but immunization against a cure. They are about to pass sweeping protection against lawsuits for gunmakers, distributors and sellers (WaPo).

Before last year's elections opponents were able to attach killer amendments (like that assault rifle ban) so the gun lobby killed their own bill. But thanks to victories in November they have come back stronger and are poised to completely immunize weapons makers and dealers within the next couple of weeks. The immunity bill is a top priority of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
"Unfortunately, as long as gun-ban advocates are able to burden firearm manufacturers with the costs of defending themselves in court, the entire gun industry is at risk of being eradicated," the NRA said on its Web site.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said claims that the bill weakens law enforcement is a "red herring." He called it a "narrowly worded" bill to protect law-abiding businesses.

But the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says this year's bill goes even further than last year's by making it harder for regulators to move against rogue dealers.
The best that might be hoped for is to close loopholes that would allow terrorists to buy weapons without background checks and to restrict the sale of the .50 caliber weapons to federally licensed dealers, not gun shows.

So, no immunity against bird flu, but plenty of immunity for negligent, callous and murderous gun makers, distributors and dealers. Public health in full-throttle reverse.