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Gun Manufacturer Liability Case

FACT PATTERN FOR QUESTION 7
Two twelve year old children are playing at one child's home when they find that the parents have accidentally left unlocked the cabinet in which a loaded gun is kept. One child carefully shows the other how the clip is removed, making the gun "safe." He demonstrates by pointing the gun at his friend and pulling the trigger. The bullet in the chamber (not in the clip) severely injures his friend.

Prepare an expert engineer argument for the court on why or why not the gun's manufacturer should be held responsible for a "defectively designed product." Limit to one-half page. ANSWER WHY OR WHY NOT -- NOT BOTH - DO NOT INCLUDE 2ND AMENDMENT CONSIDERATIONS (stripping the Court of power to decide this matter based upon common law) IN YOUR ANSWER. (HINT - treat this the same as you would a nail gun or staple gun.)

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Enforced Regulation

Guns are easily getting into the hands of psychotics, alcoholics, and criminals. They may get into the hands of nearly anyone who wants them. We need stronger gun control laws. "Enforced regulation laws, written or otherwise, lets people know that irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated. Automobiles haven't been banned to prevent auto accidents; instead, traffic laws are more aggressively enforced. To regulate hunting, a mandated condition for obtaining a license is to pass education and safety courses. In these and most other activities requiring licenses, a responsible society willingly accepts logical and practical regulation when its value is recognized and unilaterally enforced" (Leone 151).

When the wrong person picks up a gun, accidents involving life and death can occur. Alcohol says on the bottle, "Warning! Inhibits one's ability to operate machinery." When the wrong person consumes alcohol and gets a hold of a firearm, a limitless opportunity for destruction is at their fingertips. That person could, with one shot, end the life of another or their own.

Sixty percent of all suicides are committed with guns. The success rate for gun suicide attempts is about 90 percent. It is clear that the presence of guns increases the number of successful suicides.

Children and Guns

Guns are used in two out of three youth suicides. This is particularly strange because Federal law requires individuals to be at least twenty one years old to purchase a gun. So, where are children getting these guns? Unfortunately, a lot of the time the weapons come from their own home.

Children are being killed or injured by firearms accidentally all the time (just like in your scenario). Accidents account for around 40 percent of all gun injuries. More than half of all gun accidents occur in the home. Most of the rest are hunting related. In about half of the incidents, the children were playing with a gun stored, loaded, and unlocked in the house.

America loses the equivalent of 25 youth basketball teams each year because a gun was left unlocked, loaded, and too easy for the wrong hands to reach. Most gun owning parents store their firearms loaded or unlocked, believing that their kid can properly handle a gun and can tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun.

Every child needs to have a right to a safe, gun-free environment. It's about that time for a gun policy that reaches children in every state. There should be strict penalties for adults who allow their child to have access to a firearm.

There needs to be stricter safety standards for firearms. "The gun industry is currently exempt from any consumer safety features. Toy guns and teddy bears are more regulated and must meet more rigorous safety standards than firearms" (Leone 36).

Design flaws in guns need to be identified and corrected. Inexpensive safety features, such as devices that show whether the chamber is loaded, and trigger locks need to be incorporated in the manufacture of the firearm.

Gun Safety

Currently, only four states have a "one gun a month" law limiting ...

Solution Summary

MS Word Document - Expert engineer argument for the court on why or why not the gun's manufacturer should be held responsible for a "defectively designed product - 5 Pages
2120 Words
57 Paragraphs
8 References

$2.19