This week it’s guns, with at least 59 people dead and hundreds injured after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. But the focus just as easily could be on cigarettes, or junk food, or sugary beverages.
No reasonable person disputes that all these products can be dangerous, whether we’re talking about firearm casualties, lung cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
The issue is how, or if, the makers of these products should be held accountable for the trouble they cause.
“CEOs have obligations to shareholders, but they also have obligations as citizens,” said Dana Radcliffe, a professor of business ethics at Cornell University. “One of those obligations is to be...