Right to Protect Arms?

As a survivor of the Jesusita Fire, I read with interest Ray Ford’s article describing the confidential payout to homeowners whose houses were destroyed in that fire. To paraphrase the oft-quoted National Rifle Association, “Weed whackers don’t start fires, people do.”

As a civilized society, we attempt to allocate the costs of harm to those who caused it. In the case of shooting, penalties are usually imposed on the shooter. But what about gun-makers and dealers who make and sell weapons to the shooter? Ah, the gun lobby has no use for that kind of justice (take note, Stihl Inc.) and in 2005 Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, essentially reducing the legal liability of gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. Not surprisingly, the NRA called it “the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in 20 years.”

Consequently, thanks to the wisdom of Congressional gun-lobby lackeys, the makers of guns can turn a blind eye to the lethal consequences of what they sell, whereas the makers of weed whackers cannot. Are we schizoid, or what?

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Senior Fair Hosts the ‘Young at Heart’

The Senior Fair brought together more than 25 organizations to match needs with services.

City College Ranked #1 by Value Colleges

High graduation rate, community service, and online degree programs made SBCC a 'flawless investment.'

News Commentary: Ribbon Cutting Is Not As Easy As It Looks

Grand opening for new Eastside bridge conveys a tingle of progress.

Santa Barbara Rental Prices Have Skyrocketed Over the Last Five Years

The average rent for a South Coast studio is $1,553.

Trio Stops the Show at Board of Education

More than a dozen appeal to Santa Barbara Unified School District to maintain music classes and programs.