Who's liable if prize gun is used to kill someone


November 28, 1999

The recent debacle about the Carroll County Republican Central Committee using a handgun to raise money offers further proof that indeed the inmates have taken over the asylum. Although they won't use the handgun literally to raise money, they intend to sell tickets to a raffle, and with the help of the Carroll County State's Attorney Jerry Barnes, only a certified law-abiding citizen would be the lucky winner.

The Republicans would do well to consider that with the odds as they are in America, the gun that the law-abiding citizen takes home will be left somewhere in the home, loaded, easily accessible, allowing a curious child to harm themselves or another. In America, the odds are that the owner will use it in a fit of anger, to shoot a spouse, a relative, a neighbor or possibly a family member mistakenly taken for an intruder. Worse case, the gun would be stolen by, heaven forbid, a drug addict who needs money for a fix and comes to my house and shoots me. Then, my wife and children will sue the Republican Central Committee for all the money they have or ever will.

Vince DePalmer Manchester

Carroll County recently has made the headlines for two different matters. The very good issue is the campaign against heroin, including a video titled "Heroin Kills." This ambitious effort is aimed at young people and has gotten national attention.

Not so praiseworthy is the idiotic plan by the county's Republican Central Committee to have a raffle for a 9mm handgun. Just what we need, more guns in our homes and on our streets. Even prominent members of their own party don't think this is a good idea.

The contrast between these two ideas is overwhelming.

Carole Fisher, Ellicott City

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