Last Sunday, the families of several Sandy Hook victims came together to remember the tragic shooting that transpired 2 years ago. However, they didn’t gather to light candles and lay wreaths on the graves of their children. Instead, they’ve decided to file a lawsuit against Bushmaster for the “crime” of manufacturing the weapon used by Adam Lanza.
At least that’s how they seem to view it. The parents are arguing that since the rifle used by Lanza was originally designed for military purposes, they had no business selling it to civilians. Thus, the company that built the rifle and the dealer who sold it to the shooter’s mother are both liable for monetary and punitive damages.
You can’t make this stuff up.
I’m not going to go over some of the Constitutional arguments, as that ground has been thoroughly covered, and I don’t think it would convince these folks to change their minds anyway. Nor am I going to go over any of the conspiracy theories surrounding the Sandy Hook shooting. Let’s take this story at face value for just a moment, and see if this case has any grounding in reality.
“Defendants know that, as a result of selling AR-15s to the civilian market, individuals unfit to operate these weapons gain access to them,” writes attorney Joshua Koskoff. Bushmaster is the country’s largest supplier of combat weapons to civilians, according to the complaint.
So should we hold car manufacturers responsible for the deaths of drivers? Granted, if your car was built with faulty brakes, it’s clear that the manufacturer is liable for any deaths or damages that occurred. But what if someone used that car to deliberately murder someone? Is the car company responsible then? After all, they had to have known that some of their cars would wind up in the hands of unstable people.
And don’t tell me that guns are an exception, because they are designed to kill. Cars may not be built for their ability to kill folks, but they’re damn good at it. Just ask the 33,000 people who are killed on America’s roadways every year.
The 40-page document goes into the history of the rifle: The AR-15 was developed after World War II, when the US Army analyzed casualty reports and determined that shooting lots of bullets fast meant soldiers could kill more people. A company called Armalite built a machine that was “lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, and magazine-fed” that was so good “its lethality was not dependent on good aim or ideal combat conditions.” When equipped with the equal-opportunity killing machine, five men became as deadly as 11.
The crux of the attorney’s case, is that since Bushmaster sold military weapons to a civilian, they are partly responsible for the deaths that occurred at Sandy Hook. Not only was their weapon built for war, but it was also advertised as such by Bushmaster. But as you’ll see, none of that is relevant for anyone with half a brain.
Never mind the statement “it’s lethality was not dependent on good aim or ideal combat conditions” is completely ridiculous, and any gun enthusiast, cop, or soldier, could tell you why. What’s bothering me is, how exactly does their case have a chance in hell of winning?
It’s not illegal to sell certain military weapons to a civilian. Bushmaster hasn’t done anything wrong. They manufactured and sold a rifle that was deemed by law, to be suitable for civilians. It’s not even fully automatic, as described by the attorney’s ridiculous statement on lethality. A gun is no more or less dangerous by virtue of it being made for the military. Should Beretta be sued for all the civilians that have been killed by their M9′s? Why hasn’t anyone sued Colt for the M1911? Is it because, those weapons are not scary “assault rifles?”
“The number of lives lost in those 264 seconds was made possible” by the rifle that was “engineered to deliver maximum carnage with extreme efficiency,” according to the lawsuit against AR-15 manufacturer Bushmaster.
The lawsuit was filed Monday morning in Connecticut superior court against Bushmaster, several other manufacturers, and Riverview Gun Sales, where Lanza’s rifle was purchased.
Oh ya? How about 44 people in a fraction of a second. That’s what happened at Bath Elementary School in 1927. Historically speaking, the Bath School Disaster is the most devastating school attack in the United States, and no guns were required. Just one crazy man and a lot of dynamite.
The only reason bomb attacks are not more common, is because firearms are a little bit easier to get than explosives. If these weapons were banned, explosives would make a comeback among mass killers. What with the internet and all, it doesn’t take a genius to make your own bombs. And if you think it’s hard to stop a crazy person from getting a gun now, at least there’s a paper trail in most cases. Try tracking down a lunatic who’s ordering the raw materials for a bomb (which often have other innocent applications).
Under the title “The Road to Sandy Hook,” the lawsuit painstakingly details the use of the AR-15 in other mass shootings, including those at schools. Yet Bushmaster continued to market the AR-15 as a weapon that would make others “bow down” and kept selling high-capacity magazines with it.
After recounting the individual lives taken by Lanza and his Bushmaster AR-15, the lawsuit says the defendants “knew, or should have known” that the sale of the AR-15 “posed an unreasonable and egregious risk of physical injury to others.” In addition, it should’ve known it would’ve been used in a mass shooting to inflict maximum casualties.
Let’s go back to the car industry for a moment. Does anyone remember when that senior citizen plowed through a farmers market back in 2003? 9 people were killed and dozens were injured, in what was widely believed to be either an accident, or an act of gross negligence. In the aftermath of the event, no one tried to sue Mercedes for making the vehicle that killed those people. Nobody said “they should’ve known it would fall into the wrong hands.” Instead they blamed the driver, and there was a national debate over whether or not we should allow senior citizens to drive. Case closed.
But with guns the case is never closed. Some people seem to be completely incapable of viewing these weapons as inanimate objects. They can’t shake the stigma behind these objects, and they pour all of their attention towards stopping these “killing machines” while completely ignoring the many other ways an individual can kill a lot of people.
Gun control advocates just can’t accept the nature of the world. They can’t accept that they live in a world filled with killers, and as time goes on, they will have even more ways to kill people. As of right now there are plenty of ways for a lone wolf to commit mass murder, and there will never be a bureaucratic solution to stop them. Forget about guns. Someone can plant a bomb in a school, or crash their vehicle into a busy mall. They could cause a blackout in their city by blowing up a transformer, or they could dump a bunch of ricin in the water supply.
And in the future, anyone with a computer and a 3d printer will be able to make an assault rifle. And not just one assault rifle, but for a few thousand dollars they’ll be able equip a whole freaking battalion in a matter of days. And in a few years anyone with a computer and some basic equipment will be able to sequence the entire human genome. That means that someday soon, anyone with a biology degree and a few thousand dollars will be able to engineer a virus that could kill millions. What once took a warehouse full of scientists and equipment can now be done with one lunatic in his garage. The same will probably also follow with nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and nanotechnology.
So spare me the whole gun control debate. It’s over whether these people care to admit it or not. Not only have they lost the debate from an ethical and constitutional standpoint, but the march of technology is leaving their sentimental ideals in the dust. There is no law or government on Earth that can stop people from owning and building the means to kill other people, and whether those people are good or evil does not matter. It’s simply a fact of life that can no longer be ignored.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.