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Wednesday, March 3, 1999

Sun Letter:
It's wise to restrict suits against gun makers

State Rep. George Albright should be applauded, not pilloried (lead editorial, Wednesday, Feb. 24) for his plan to restrict local officials from filing frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

The editorial mischaracterizes Albright's bill as restriction on citizens to file lawsuits. It is not a restriction on citizens, but on irresponsible government officials.

He is to be commended for his courage to stand up to ultra-liberal urban snobs like Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas, who want to throw out the rule of law and put in the "rule of lawsuit."

Albright and other legislators are smeared as "lapdogs" of the NRA. It is better to have them act as lapdogs of the NRA than to be part of the sickening frenzy of ridiculous litigation that is destroying our legal system.

The Spokane Spokesman-Review hit the bull's-eye when it recently proclaimed the cities' lawsuits against gun manufacturers as nothing more than a "cynical grab for undeserved money."

A gun manufacturer makes a legal product, which, in the hands of a law-abiding citizen, is no danger to anyone. No one is responsible for crimes but the criminals themselves.

Criminals are not affected by restrictive gun laws or ridiculous lawsuits against gun makers. The person who pulls the trigger is culpable for where the bullet goes, and no one else is. Why is this so hard to comprehend?

Even the NAACP is considering filing suits against gun manufacturers. After advocating restoration of voting rights to convicted felons, you have to wonder if they really have their members' best interests at heart.

If they were looking out for whom they claim to represent, they would be suing the city governments of Washington, DC and Chicago where law-abiding citizens, mostly black, cannot even have a gun because of the strict laws.

These are nothing but an extension of the racist Jim Crow laws in the South following the Civil War, which explicitly prevented free blacks from owning guns, allowing them to become the unarmed victims of hooded criminals. Now they are disarmed against modern criminals. But instead of protesting this, the NAACP is defending criminals and trying to blame and sue those who follow the law.

Albright's bill, HR. 937, deserves to be passed. I would urge all citizens concerned with the freedom to defend themselves and with the rule of law to contact our Florida state representatives to support it. They are listed in your phone book.

Tom Walls,