Friday, October 02, 2015

Newtown Families Sue Gun Makers For Tragedy

Newtown families' suit against gun maker sent to state court - Washington Times:
 By - Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015 HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A wrongful death lawsuit filed against gun maker Remington by families of some Newtown school massacre victims has been sent from federal court back to state court, where it may have a better chance of succeeding.
Well, perhaps not.

The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" (2012) might reasonably make their attempt moot.
This kind of suit is similar to suing GMC because a drunk in a Chevy hit a school bus full of kids.
Yes, it's a tragedy, but no, GMC isn't liable because their local dealer sold a Chevy to a a person who turned out to be a drunk.Should GMC have known that the buyer was a drunk?  Even this allegory is not a parellel to the Sandy Hook massacre.

Should Remington have known that a gun shop sold an AR15 knock-off to a woman who was a legal purchaser with no criminal record, that she would store that rifle in a locked gun safe, that her insane son would murder his mother and steal her rifle, and then use that rifle to assassinate children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut?

Nobody should have to suffer the horror of having their children murdered by a maniac in their kindergarten class.  There is not a single person reading this article right now who, having experienced a loss this tragic, would not do ANYTHING to seek revenge on ANYONE who was even remotely connected to that sick act of violence.

The Federal Court sent the wrongful death lawsuit back to state court because there was no way that Remington can be considered even tangentially complicit in this horrible crime.

Manufacturers are responsible for the safe and reliable function of their product.  That holds true for rifle manufacturers, automobile manufactures, pinball machine manufacturers, and creators of all sorts of mechanical contrivances.

The manufacturers sell to wholesalers, who sell to licensed dealers, who are responsible for vetting the eligibility of their retail customers; which happened here.

Customers are responsible for securing these "weapons of destruction", which Adam Lanza's mother did by locking her rifle in a gun safe.

Adam Lanza killed his mother and stole her rifles.
And then he went out and killed 20 children and six adult caregivers.

There is no question that the sole person who was responsible for this tragedy was Adam Lanza, who was so sick that he murdered his own mother just so he could acquire the means to kill kindergartners.

It's understandable that the family and survivors of this heinous act would want to punish anyone who was even tangentially connected.  But the manufacturers are so far removed from the murder that they must have known that this law suit has absolutely NO chance of success.

We can only assume that these people, who have lost the family members who were the most innocent, are making a statement about the evil gun industry.

But the gun industry is, truly, no more evil than the 'evil car industry' which builds a car owned by a drunk who piles into a school bus which holds 30 children and some of them die.  (Or should we blame the makers of the school bus?  They're just as culpable as Remington!)

The rule of cause and effect strained beyond the bounds of reason, and neither the manufacture of he car, or the school buss (to strain the allegory) or the manufacturer of the rifle have any control over the way  their product is used.


Anonymous said...

I think they would have a better case if they sued the school for failure to provide adequate security.

Anonymous said...

Typical of the logic and thinking of NE progressives.

Archer said...

I've said it elsewhere: these lawsuits aren't about winning. The "gun control" groups who file them know they're bound to lose.

However, "gun control" lawyers work pro bono; the group backing the lawsuit is only on the hook for filing fees, usually a few hundred dollars. The manufacturer, on the other hand, has to pay its legal costs, and defending a lawsuit - even if successful - can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here's the business model: Spend a few hundred dollars on a lawsuit that's bound to lose but will nevertheless cost the defendant three orders of magnitude more to win, and shake down your donors for cash. Proclaim on social media that you're "taking the legal fight to the gun lobby", and shake down your donors for cash. Cry when you lose, and shake down your donors for more cash. Lather, rinse, repeat.

We all know how the Lucky Gunner lawsuit by the Brady Campaign turned out. It's because the Bradys made a critical error with the decision to proceed in Colorado courts, where state law says the winners can get their costs paid by the losers. The federal PLCAA has no such requirements, and I'm not sure about the state laws where this lawsuit is filed.