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Noteworthy: Dana Radcliffe on firearms industry’s moral responsibility

Dana Radcliffe, Day Family Senior Lecturer of Business Ethics, speaks at the Johnson/Law School joint lecture “Business Ethics and the Law” at Reunion 2016.


The mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month has many questioning whether the firearms industry should be held accountable and whether regulations, such the one being considered on bump stocks, are the answer. In a recent piece, an LA Times columnist talked to Dana Radcliffe, the Day Family Senior Lecturer of Business Ethics and a senior lecturer of management at Johnson, and other business ethics experts about whether the firearms industry, like the automobile and the tobacco industries, has a moral obligation to make and sell products that are as safe as possible.

Key Takeaways from Dana Radcliffe in the LA Times:

  • Executives have a moral responsibility to shareholders and to everyday Americans.

“CEOS have obligations to shareholders, but they also have obligations to citizens. One of those obligations to be respectful to other citizens, to have a moral responsibility.”

  • Companies should use the “Spider-Man test” when making decisions.

Radcliffe recommended that companies use “the Spider-Man test,” referring to Uncle Ben’s quote from the movies that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

  • The firearms industry needs to shoulder more of the burden when it comes to safety.

“These are powerful industries, but they’re not behaving responsibly.”

Read the full column in the LA Times to learn what Radcliffe and other experts have to say on the topic of moral responsibility and the firearms industry.


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