Monday, June 30, 2008

Hmmm. A couple of professors come up with a moronic idea:

whoda thunk it?
Among the other gems in this:
What is to be done? The conventional regulatory approaches seem to be failing. A more recent strategy, in which victims or municipalities bring lawsuits against gun manufacturers or retailers, seems legally and politically unpromising since the 2005 passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields gun manufacturers from civil liability.
Well, professors, the reason for this Act was that a bunch of people realized two things:
A: It's stupid to blame the manufacturer of a legal product for misuse of the product, and
B: If you can sue a gun maker because some gangbanger used a stolen/illegally bought gun to commit a crime, some lawyer can sue Chevy for a drunk driver and Apple for some hacker and so on.
So there really was sound reason for this Act, whether you like it or not.

In other words, rather than telling gun makers what to do, performance-based regulation would tell them what outcome they must achieve: Reduce deaths by guns. Companies that achieve the target outcomes might receive large financial bonuses; companies that don't would face severe financial penalties. Put simply, gun makers -- whose products kill even when used as directed -- would have to take responsibility for curbing the consequent public health toll.
"Do what we want, or we'll penalize you out of business. And no, we've got no idea how you should do it."
Oh, and if the products 'kill even when used as directed', then mine are defective; not a single death. Should I return them for warranty service?

Under our plan, Congress might require gun makers in the aggregate to reduce gun homicides from 12,000 to, say, 7,000 in 10 years, with appropriate interim targets along the way. Individual firms would each have their own targets to meet, based on the extent their guns are currently used in homicides. Or Congress might simply leave it to neutral experts to determine just how much of a numerical reduction should be required -- and how quickly. Either way, the required decline would be substantial.
Kind of like the Democrat energy 'plans': "We will set a target, and at some point the PFM will occur and all will be well!"

On and on of "We don't know what to do, but we should force someone to do SOMETHING." Though you get to the meat of it here:
Sen. Michael D. Enzi (R-Wyo.) has put forward a proposal along the same lines to target tobacco. Typically, anti-smoking organizations lobby Congress to give the Food and Drug Administration regulatory power over cigarette companies, and press locally to increase tobacco taxes, run more government anti-tobacco ads and boost enforcement of bans on sales to minors. Under Enzi's performance-based regulation plan, however, the tobacco companies would simply be told by Congress that they have to cut their customer base by about 50% in 12 years. It would then be up to the companies to figure out how to curtail smoking rates.
Here's what they're after, really: force the companies to stop selling guns by making their customers go away. Just like we want tobacco companies to put themselves out of business. I'll bypass the "If I'm not blowing smoke on you, leave me the hell alone" point for now and focus on the basic of this: they want government to force gun makers to make people stop buying guns. You want a new something for hunting or target shooting? "Studies have shown that owning a new (fill in the blank) Wondernine or Deerwhacker may be bad for someone's health. Somewhere. Somehow. So you can't have one." God knows what they'd come up with for people who want to (Gasp! Horror!) protect themselves with one("Studies have shown that women who buy guns sometimes cause rapists to lose bladder control, and occasionally suffer puncture wounds: therefore you buying one is not Socially Acceptable to the People Who Matter.")

I think it was Bill Buckley who once said he'd rather have a government run by people chosen at random out of the phone book than by the professors at Harvard. Make that 'professors from anywhere' and he's right.

Found this through Insty.


Keith said...

Wasn't John Lott at Harvard for a while?

I wouldn't mind him in Govt.

There are plenty of places which have proved you don't need guns to have a high homicide rate, are the profs suggesting that the makers of sticks and stones be financially penalised too?

I wish them luck in invoicing The Almighty. If various religions are to be believed, he has a special place for mortals who try tricks like that,
it's hot.

rick said...

Nice. I seem to recall that the teachers' unions have been fighting the concept of performance/merit-based teaching for some time now.

If it's not right for the teachers, it's not right for the firearms industry.