I urged you to write your congressional representative, and included the full text of a letter which I had written to my congressman, Peter DeFazio. (D-OR)
Today I received a reply from Mr. DeFazio, and I would like to share it with you:
Thanks for your message supporting H.R. 800, legislation to protect firearms and ammunition manufacturers and sellers from liability in certain circumstances. I appreciate hearing from you.
Like you, I oppose frivolous lawsuits whether they are against a government agency or a private entity. However, I have always been reluctant to limit citizen access to redress through the courts. I have opposed limiting liability on a wide-range of issues including limiting commercial or individual appeals of actions taken by the federal government around land use issues, prohibiting actions against manufacturers who knowingly sell defective products like the Ford Pinto, and restricting the ability to bring suit against securities brokers for negligence or fraud.
I have carefully watched this issue develop. Thus far, two dozen cities and counties have filed suit against the firearms industry for law enforcement and public health expenses incurred from firearm injuries and deaths. A number of courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court and three state Supreme Courts have already rejected these lawsuits. I believe other courts will continue to find in favor of manufacturers. It doesn't make sense to hold manufacturers liable for the illegal use of a firearm anymore than it would to hold a car manufacturer liable for damage caused by a drunk driver or other improper use of an automobile.
In the last Congress, the House passed similar legislation, H.R. 1037 by a vote of 285-140. I voted for the bill. Unfortunately, the bill was defeated in the Senate after a number of controversial amendments were added to it. The House is expected to consider the bill in the near future and I intend to vote for it again this year.
Again, thanks for your message. Please stay in touch.
Fourth District, OREGON
****Please do not reply directly to this email******
Please submit further correspondence from http://www.house.gov/writerep/
I applaud Representative DeFazio for his boldly reasonable stand.
This is a much more thoughtful reply than I had expected. Democrats, we are told, are knee-jerk anti-gun extremists who not only do not recognize the right of a law-abiding citizen to own a firearm, but are all too ready to undercut this right by imposing draconian legislation against firearms, and even ammunition, manufacturers (cf: the recent California bill to require bullet manufacturers to engrave serial numbers on every bullet!)
Mr. DeFazio, however, is a refreshing exception to this picture.
I've been a registered
Here are just a few examples of why I consider DeFazio a Democrat worth voting for:
Sure, there are a lot of issues on which I disagree with my representative. Often, though, his positions are either those which I support or those about which I have no overwhelming opinion, either way.
* October 8, 2004: introduces HR5250, the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program
* October 8, 2004: votes against exporting American jobs (HR4520)
* August 3, 2003: releases report showing Medicare Drug Discout Cards provide little benefit to seniors.
(You're right; I disagree with the president on this issue, and I am a senior)
Until the Republicans can find and field a better candidate, I'll continue to vote for DeFazio.
While I don't always agree with him, I'm glad that he at least listens.
Correction to brain-typo;
I've been a registered Republican since shortly after Bill Clinton was elected ....Thanx to WhiteFish for pointing out my errors. I can always depend on my readers to be smarter and more alert than I am.