Gun Control

The Sandy Hook Gun Lawsuit Panned and Praised by Sanders Has a Trial Date

What facts can the plaintiffs discover to substantiate their broad reading of "negligent entrustment"?

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Connecticut State Police

It looks like the gun lawsuit that Bernie Sanders has both condemned and cheered could actually go to trial. Yesterday a Connecticut judge set a trial date of April 3, 2018, for a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, and dealer who supplied the Bushmaster XM15-E2S used in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. In the meantime, the plaintiffs—who include the families of nine people murdered at the school, plus a survivor of the attack—can proceed with discovery. It's not exactly clear what they hope to find, since the case hinges not on facts but on the way they're spun. The plaintiffs argue that selling the Bushmaster XM15-E2S and other AR-15-style rifles to the general public qualifies as "negligent entrustment," because such "assault weapons" have "no legitimate civilian purpose."

That depends on what you mean by legitimate. Americans own as many as 9 million AR-15-style rifles, and it seems clear that almost all of them are used for lawful purposes such as target shooting, varmint hunting, and self-defense. AR-15-style rifles are involved in only a tiny percentage of crimes, and an even smaller percentage of AR-15-style rifles are used to commit crimes.

Handguns are by far the most common weapon used in homicides, including mass murders. In 2012 Sen. Dianne Feinstein claimed guns covered by her proposed "assault weapon" ban were involved in 385 murders from 2004 through 2011, a period when there were more than 76,000 gun homicides. Taking Feinstein at her word, "assault weapons" were used in 0.5 percent of gun homicides during that period. Feinstein also attributed 455 injuries to "assault weapons," or an average of about 57 per year—a negligible share of aggravated assaults, which totaled more than 750,000 in 2011. 

Just as it is not clear why the Sandy Hook plaintiffs think AR-15-style rifles have no legitimate civilian uses, it is not clear why they think such guns are especially lethal. The lawsuit cites three characteristics, none of which is unique to so-called assault weapons:

Rapid rate of fire. AR-15-style rifles fire exactly as fast as any other semiautomatic (or any revolver): as fast as you can pull the trigger. 

Large magazine capacity. Any gun that accepts a detachable magazine can fire more than 10 rounds without reloading—the definition of "large capacity" under Feinstein's bill and the federal "assault weapon" ban that expired in 2004. In any case, it's not clear that magazine size makes much difference in attacks on unarmed people, given how quickly magazines can be switched.

High muzzle velocity.  While the .223-caliber round typically fired by AR-15-style rifles does have a relatively high muzzle velocity, other cartridges, fired by guns that are not considered "assault weapons," equal or surpass it. Furthermore, muzzle velocity is not the only factor in a bullet's lethality; size also matters, and so-called assault weapons fire smaller rounds than many hunting rifles. Both velocity and mass figure into muzzle energy, a measure of a bullet's destructive power. As UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh notes, "the .223 rifles that are often labeled 'assault weapons' have a much lower muzzle energy than familiar hunting rifles such as the .30-06." Neither muzzle velocity nor muzzle energy plays a role in the legal definition of "assault weapon," which hinges on military-style features, such as folding stocks, pistol grips, and barrel shrouds, with little or no functional significance in the context of a mass murder.

Those are the facts. But as I said, the lawsuit consists mostly of spin.

"The number of lives lost in those 264 seconds [of the Sandy Hook massacre] was made possible by the shooter's weapon of choice," the complaint says. The same statement would, of course, be true if the shooter had chosen a different weapon, and there is little reason to believe the number of casualties would have been smaller. The deadliest school shooting in U.S. history—at Virginia Tech in 2007—involved two pistols. Likewise the 1991 massacre in Killeen, Texas, which killed nearly as many people as the Sandy Hook attack (22 vs. 26) and a lot more than other mass shootings involving "assault weapons."

The lawsuit also says that the AR-15 is "engineered to deliver maximum carnage with extreme efficiency," that it provides "overwhelming firepower," that it "reigns supreme" in mass shootings, and that it "enables an individual in possession of the weapon to inflict unparalleled civilian carnage"—statements that are either untrue, irrelevant, or meaningless. The complaint does not back up these generalities by citing specific features that distinguish AR-15-style guns from other firearms, making them uniquely suited to mass murder and uniquely inappropriate for lawful uses.

The plaintiffs have to meet that burden (at least), because they maintain that making such firearms available to anyone other than a soldier or a cop is inherently negligent. "Defendants know that, as a consequence of selling AR-15s to the civilian market, individuals unfit to operate these weapons gain access to them," the complaint says. "The Bushmaster Defendants knew, or should have known, of the unreasonably high risk that the XM15-E2S would be used in a mass shooting to inflict maximum casualties before law enforcement was able to intervene." But the same risks apply to the sale of any gun: Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers know for a certainty that some of the firearms they sell will end up in the hands of murderers.

If Bushmaster et al. are liable for violence committed with the products they sell, so is every gun supplier, which is exactly the outcome that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is supposed to prevent (as Bernie Sanders intermittently points out). The Sandy Hook plaintiffs have gotten this far by latching onto the law's exception for negligent entrustment claims. But their complaint does not come close to justifying their broad interpretation of that concept, and it is hard to imagine what evidence they could possibly turn up in the next two years that would. 

NEXT: Today at SCOTUS: Warrantless Drunk Driving Tests and the Fourth Amendment

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  1. Well, this will end well.

  2. Rate of fire. Regulate finger strength.

    Large magazine capacity. Regulate how often magazines can be legally changed.

    High muzzle velocity. Regulate the laws of physics.

    You people make this way more difficult than it needs to be.

    1. Regulate finger strength.

      100% of fatal handgun shootings involve people with hands.

      1. Police officer’s guns have often been known to go off on unprovoked shooting sprees.

      2. Solution: Gov’t cuts off the hands of all persons (excepting of course gov’t employees and favored persons).

        Colleges are well on their way to cutting off the penises of all men to stop this “campus rape epidemic,” so this solution of cutting off hands is not all that far-fetched.

  3. They’ll fail as a matter of law, eventually, the trial court’s rulings notwithstanding.

    Next up will be going after the law.

  4. If AR-15 rifles have no legitimate civilian purpose, why can cops have them? Cops have no legitimate need to “inflict unparalleled civilian carnage”.

    1. Nuh uh, someone high on the pot can become so superhuman strong that they can literally pick up an entire cop car full of fat cops and hurl it into orbit! This is why cops need assault weapons and people on dope don’t! Duh! Why do you hate the children?

      1. And you want the terrorists to win!

    2. The North Hollywood shootout has become the “shout fire in a crowded theater” for cops and guns. It doesn’t matter how egregious it is for them to have a certain weapon, some criminal somewhere could have a worse weapon.

      1. Yeah, I’ve argued with progressives who defended police militarization because OMG BLACK RIFLES. They actually think Hickville sheriffs need MRAPs and Bearcats.

        1. If it weren’t for you rat bagger libertarians, police wouldn’t need military style weapons! Someone has to think of the children!

        2. Police militarization is okay so long as the citizenry can have exactly the same gear. That was the intention of the Founding Fathers, and the goal was to make it so that the armed citizenry could always outnumber the armed agents of the gov’t, even if they had the same armament.

          The travesty is that Hickville sheriffs can have MRAPs while the serfs cannot.

        3. You do realize, don’t you, that MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles are just military style armored cars and have no inherent offensive capabilities?
          Except for not conforming to some size requirements for highway travel, there is no reason a civilian could not own and drive one.
          Hummer’s are a version of the style, only made to conform and without tons (literally) of armor.

  5. If Bushmaster et al. are liable for violence committed with the products they sell, so is every gun supplier

    That’s obviously the plan: run all of the manufacturers out of business.

    1. As Mark Steyn frequently states about his experiences, its the process that’s the problem. Regardless of the merits, this lawsuit will extract significant money from the defendents. Legally, they should win easily, but will still end up paying through the nose to do so. Likely the dealer will go under. Bushmaster will lose cash and probably end up ponying up more insurance each year.

      This is lawfare and is how the left has now chosen to fight the social battles that they can’t win in the legislature.

      1. But won’t a victory for Bushmaster set a precedent that will make the next lawsuit(s) that much easier to dismiss?

        1. Not if it’s a question of fact. Which, apparently, the loon running this court believes.

        2. Only if it gets decided at the appellate level – trial courts have no precedential effect.

          Now, it may act as a bit of a “nice try, dumbasses” if they lose outright.

        3. I thought this part of the law had already been tested and confirmed?

          This should have been dismissed with predjudice against the filing lawyer.

          In a sane world…

          1. This is little different than a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation), which has been banned in many jurisdictions.
            This “judge” should be removed from office and disbarred for not placing sanctions on the plaintiffs involved, especially the lawyers, and dismissing this frivolous action.
            What’s next? Auto manufacturers and dealers if someone decides to run someone else over with their car?

      2. lawfare, good word!

  6. If Bushmaster et al. are liable for violence committed with the products they sell, so is every gun supplier

    And so are Chevy, Ginsu, Exxon, and Hillerich & Bradsby. But of course the gun grabbers know how retarded their actions are here; they just don’t care.

    1. Look, if you can use a dead relative to get a paycheck because the baseline event was a tragedy, why not just do it? I mean, you might get rich and at the very least you get more time in the limelight. Plus, you might make a lawyers career! The fact you trample on the rights of millions of law abiding citizens and are helping usher in the end of rule of law doesn’t matter; you need to get paid!

      /sarc

      1. sarc, but still true. From the way these things tend go at least.

        1. Obviously. Otherwise why sue the gun manufacture at all? They didn’t fire a single round into your loved one.

          So far I find it far more interesting that these ‘mass shooter’ types all seem to have one thing in common: perfectly legal narcotics that are proven to cause psychosis when improperly administered.

          But no, it’s clearly the gun going around shooting people.

          1. Yep, but Big Pharma is MUCH bigger than the gun industry and owns many more politicians for much bigger amounts of money… So you’ll never see the pharmaceutical industry sued for what patients do under the influence of their often-faulty drugs.

          2. There’s some evidence of psychosis when properly administered, too.
            Try suing the FDA for approving its use. Oh, that’s right, governments give themselves immunity from such things.

    2. You forgot about those bastards at Salsco.

  7. Interesting considering I’m fairly sure the worst school disaster to date is still a bombing. Go figure.

    1. Thats why bombs are outlawed never mind that that still hasn’t stopped anybody from using bombs

      1. And I’m sure if guns are outlawed no one will go that route. You know, the proven-to-be-more-dangerous route? A shooter you can run from, a bomb not so much.

        Of course, the fact that happened in 1927 means it’s so far down the memory hole is might as well be non-existent to people.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

  8. Weapon of Choice with a dancing Christopher Walken.

  9. Remember that the court system that giveth gay marriage can taketh away the exercise of gun rights.

    1. Never. Arbitrary court decisions only go one way, for Liberty. Don’t they?

      1. You’re right, if it wasn’t for gay marriage, we never would have had Dred Scott.

        1. Just because it wasn’t the first arbitrary decision, doesn’t make it any less arbitrary or any better of a decision.

          1. Indeed, but they have fuck-all to do with each other.

            1. They don’t. But they have fuck all to do with Libertarians and their credibility.

              1. You know, I’m really glad that a good many members of the commentariat enjoy waging war on the editors, but just send them fucking emails. They don’t read the comments except to make fun of us on Twitter.

                1. HEY, SOME OF THEM BANTER WITH US!!!!!

                2. I’m pretty sure they don’t read emails either…

      2. This is one of the reasons the left hates libertarians.

    2. And the court system that allows abortion providers to be regulated out of business can allow the same thing to happen to gun manufacturers.

      1. Except that abortion necessarily ends in a murder, gun ownership, not so much…

        1. That’s what we call begging the question.

          1. And actually begging the question, not just asking it like most people that use “begging the question” wrong. Kudos, Jordan.

          2. Okay, explain what questions I am begging.

            1. Begging the question aka circular reasoning: the act of assuming a premise which leads to a conclusion which affirms your assumed premise.

              Your assumption is that abortion is murder.

              1. See below comment, I should have said homicide, not murder.

                An unborn child is a human
                Killing a human is homicide

                Therefore killing an unborn child is homicide

                1. Now you’re assuming an unborn child is human. Not everyone will agree with that premise.

                  1. What else could it be?

                    1. A bundle of tissue. You’ll have to hash out when personhood begins. With any luck, you’ll be the first person to ever do that.

                    2. A bundle of…human tissue?

                    3. Is an apple seed an apple tree?

                    4. Is a baby an adult?

                      No.

                      Doesn’t make it less an apple baby.

                    5. Is a cancerous growth a human?

                    6. No, they are a part of a human.

                      Are you being deliberately obtuse?

                    7. If a bundle of cancer cells in a human is not a human then why is a bundle of fetal cells in a human a human? I’m not the one being obtuse, this is the argument that has been going on for longer than either of us have been alive.

                      I don’t care one way or the other, my “support” for abortion has nothing to do with when personhood begins.

                    8. Oh, you care; or you wouldn’t be commenting at this rate.

                      I care, and I’m honest enough to admit it.

                      I’m also able to differentiate between a malignancy which is the result of a mistake in a pre-existing cell, and an entirely new cell created by the fusion of two unique gametes. If you can’t, that’s your problem.

                    9. I support abortion only inasmuch as I don’t oppose women doing whatever they want with their bodies. Whenever you believe personhood to begin is irrelevant to the fact that women should be allowed to remove whatever they want to remove from their bodies whenever they want to remove it. It is not my duty to stand up for the life of any other person on the planet. I don’t think women should get abortions after five months or so except in extreme circumstances, but I’m not willing to have someone imprisoned or killed to enforce my preference.

                      I was simply providing the counter to your argument.

                    10. Is a cancerous growth a human?

                      If cancerous tumors develop arms, legs, eyes, brains, lungs, hearts, digestive systems and such as they grow and metastasize, yes, they are human; otherwise, no.

                  2. An argument can be made if left alone it WILL be a human

                    1. I don’t think that is quite the case. If left alone, it will become a blastocyst, an infant, a toddler, a child, an adolescent, an adult, elderly et cet. But those are just descriptions of humans at various ages/stages of development. At all points subsequent to fertilization of the ovum, a new, human, genetic code is at work. Cells belong to a species, ad as far as I know, the number/age of cells doesn’t change that species.

                      A human at any stage of development can be removed from a hospitable environment, be it a womb or the (sometimes) warm embrace of an oxygen-rich atmosphere, and perish as a result, that doesn’t make it any less human.

                    2. Talk about the “womb” does raise the question: when is it okay to force a mother against her wishes to offer the use of her womb to her fetus? If at a given point in time, the removal of the fetus from the womb will absolutely result in its death, even while attempting to transfer it to some sort of mechanical incubator, and that mother decides she does not wish to offer the use of her womb to this fetus, the choice is between forcing the mother to do something against her wishes and causing the death of the fetus.

                      There is no easy answer for this–you have already chosen one of these two outcomes and assumed it is better without even considering the input of the mother(s) involved, hence the references to “begging the question.”

                    3. Keep in mind also that many people here, when faced with the above choice, value free will above life. Hence Patrick Henry’s quote, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Essentially, the choice above is: “Give me the mother’s liberty or give me the fetus’ death.”

                      That choice is very personal and for each person to make for himself or herself. Obviously there are those who believe they can force their value judgment on others, and thus we have all the conflicts of politics of all time…

                    4. One more thing. If you are Christian and claim that “life is more important than free will,” then I ask you this.

                      God gives each of us life but then takes it away.
                      But He always gives us free will and never takes it away. We are free to choose Him or choose to reject Him (sin).

                      Which then does God consider more important, life or free will?

                    5. You make this argument as though the fetus is placed there by some outside force and the mother has no role in its creation.
                      But that’s not the case and goes to the heart of the reasoning of people, who are against killing the nascent human, because, well after the fact, the woman decides she doesn’t want the consequences of her actions.
                      If you don’t want your womb to be used by a fetus, the choice needs to be made long before it is there. It almost always gets there with the full knowledge that it could happen.
                      Under the rare circumstances of rape, immediately after it is detected, it seems as though the woman should have the “choice” but in other situations, the woman could have prevented this attempt to use her womb, simply by not having sexual intercourse – it is not something essential to living.

                    6. AWESOME handle, BTW.

          3. I guess I should have said “homicide” instead of “murder.”

      2. Abortion providers aren’t being held liable for providing abortions. Not yet, anyway. They’re being forced to meet certain requirements as a matter of health and safety, similar to how progressives are using public accommodation laws to force businesses to meet certain requirements as a matter of non-discrimination.

        Neither of which has anything to do with forcing providers to face penalties for the unlawful use of their products.

        1. unlawful use of their lawful and lawfully-obtained products

        2. Neither of which has anything to do with forcing providers to face penalties for the unlawful use of their products.

          Well, Sugarfree said that gun manufacturers could be regulated out of business, just as abortion providers could. And under Wickard, that is true.

        3. It was more of an analogy than a direct comparison.

    3. WTF does the one have to do with the other?

      Was gay marriage the reason the courts upheld the NFA in 1938?

      1. They don’t. What they both have to do with is Libertarians and their moral and intellectual credibility to object to arbitrary court decisions. You can’t claim to be “read the document its right there” types on the second amendment and then turn around and say “well of course there is this right to “gay marriage” in the Constitution when it clearly isn’t there but you like the result. You can, you just won’t look very good or have much credibility doing so.

        1. I don’t think so, John. Because there is no amendment in the constitution that specifically grants or denies the right of anyone to marry the same sex person. However, the 2nd amendment…

          1. …allows you to murder a same-sex couple because you have a right to own a gun. It’s written right here!

          2. Being gay was illegal in every state when the document was written. And marriage law has always been left to the states. I don’t see any way you can say the document gaurantees the right to do something was was illegal at the time it was written.

            There isn’t any rational way to do it. And that is why the decision is such a mess. Kennedy just made up a bunch bullshit about “the inherent dignity and right to be loved” to get the result he wanted. Remember, we are not talking about the right to call yourself married or live as a married person. We are talking about the “right” to have the government recognize that union. And that just isn’t there. Libertarians will never admit it because gay marriage has become almost a sacred cause for them. But it isn’t. And saying it is hurts Libertarian’s ability to demand a proper interpretation of other amendments.

            1. All I’m saying is that you really cannot compare it with the 2nd amendment argument, which IS a guaranteed right in the constitution.

              I would also argue that marriage is none of the government’s fucking beeswax. But the pants shitting rabble rousing busy bodies on both sides disagree with me.

              1. If Kennedy was a true Constitutional scholar, he would have come up with other means to achieve the same ends. For instance, right of contract, stating that government approved marriage is a contract, and governments can’t discriminate on the basis of gender with contracts. Then states would do similar things to what Oklahoma did, and end state approval of marriages, just have you sign the forms and get them filed.

                1. ^^THIS x sideways 8!

                  The court made the right decision but used horrid reasoning.

          3. But there is an amendment to the Constitution that says that the declaration of un-enumerated rights resides with “the people” and not with the judiciary, or, even Congress, which is what has happened, far too often.
            The Ninth and Tenth Amendments go together to limit what the federal government can claim as a right and, as such, have been routinely ignored by the very institution the document was written to restrain.

        2. It doesn’t need to be in the constitution, because arguably the government is not granted the power to decide who can marry and who cannot within said document. The governments enumerated powers don’t cover marriage last I checked. Therefore its absence means it isn’t the governments business.

          That’s been along abandoned though, obviously. Not sure what their justification for issuing marriage ‘licenses’ is anyway. To me it’s always been a taxation issue, but that’s just because it’s a taxation issue.

          1. It’s true that the federal government’s enumerated powers don’t cover marriage, but no one is arguing that the federal government has a role in regulating marriage. It’s *state* governments that regulate marriage, and state governments aren’t governments of enumerated powers; they’re governments with plenary powers, which means they can legislate pretty much on anything they like, in the absence of an express prohibition (in, e.g., the state or federal constitution).

            1. John was clearly talking about the Federal Constitution, which is why I went there. He brought up the state issue in another post after I’d already put this down. Personally, I’d say the Bill of Rights would indicate that States don’t have that authority. That’s just me though, and I’m no lawyer. Equal protection under the law and whatnot, y’know.

      2. Its a reminder that we have allowed the courts to dictate pretty much what they please, and that libertarian-oriented folks who are happy about judicial imposition of socially liberal ideas like gay marriage, should remember that the same courts can impose socially liberal ideas like gun control.

        1. we have allowed

          What is this bullshit? Who the fuck is “we”? I’ve already pointed out two court cases that nobody presently alive had any say in.

          Yes, Nick Gillespie deserves unending scorn for supporting Obergefell. What the fuck does that have to do with anything?

          1. “We”, meaning the majority of citizens of the USA, who appear to have decided that the Supreme Court is the final say on any legal or political question that arises.

    4. The gays are not responsible for this, Homple. You can’t lay everything at the feet of the gay rights movement or you’ll end up a babbling obsessive husk of your former self.

      1. I’m not blaming the gays; unlike very many people, I’m happy for them to marry. I’m only saying that the courts can dictate what they please and I expect that some day soon the Second Amendment will be as thoroughly gutted as the Fourth.

        1. When they got away with gutting the Ninth and Tenth, as in Oberkefell and many others, none of the others were safe.
          Blame a lot of it on the terribly misused 14th. Once the courts got to decide what is “equal”, all bets were off.

  10. The derp is strong here. If their claims are true, then why do police need to inflict “maximum carnage with extreme efficiency”?

    1. Officer safety. Duh.

    2. They don’t “need to”, but why the hell not? Whatchugonadoaboudit?

  11. The muzzle velocity claim is just bizarre. I guess these people never took high school physics. Force is mass times velocity. It is not just a function of velocity. An AR 15 has a high muzzle velocity because it has to have to be effective. It is a small caliber round. A .308 round doesn’t need that high of a velocity to be just as or more deadly. That whole mass thing.

      1. forgot the squared.

        1. You both fail physics. Forever.

          F = ma = m * dv/dt

          There is no squaring and it’s not mv (that’s momentum)

          1. Unless you meant energy…

            1. I think energy is the important property in this matter.

              1. In, say, the 40 watt range?

              2. Kinetic energy is 1/2 x mass x velocity squared.

                Momentum is mass x velocity.

                One of the major arguments of bullet effectiveness is the importance of one over the other.

                Momentum makes more difference in ‘knock-down’ and velocity makes more difference in ‘damage’ and/or ‘wound channel’.

                A .45 has more momentum than a .223 (roughly 4.44 vs 3.80 N s)

                A .223 has significantly more KE (2007 vs. 608 J)

                This is why there is significant back and forth between the 9mm and the .45.

            2. /450,240

              😉

              Yay ft.lbs.

        2. Physics is all wrong guys. If your going to whip out the HS physics card then make sure you passed it yourself 😉 Velocity and mass are directly proportional to momentum, and therefore directly proportional to lethality.
          Without showing the derivation; momentum (p) = mass (m) x velocity (v), so p=mv. The change in momentum of the slug (impulse) is the critical measurement in determining lethality, as this is directly proportional to the kinetic energy converted to other forms (deformation, heat, sound, etc.). This converted energy (by way of the slowing slug) is what fcuks up the target. Plenty of other nuances to the problem (slug deformation and how this contributes to impulse), but in a nut shell the higher the momentum (p=mv), the higher the lethality.

          1. Arguably false! See my previous response.

            1. physics is solid, lethality arguable

    1. force is not the question, but energy. mass time velocity squared.

      The .223 has high kinetic energy due to its high velocity. regardless of its low mass. However, it does not translate that energy well when it hits a fleshy target, so it’s stopping power is not as good as a higher-mass, lower velocity bullet.

      that said, they are using “scary words” to convince uneducated jurors. Facts are meaningless.

      1. Stopping power is why I carry hollow point .45. Subcompact Glock 30SF. Perfect concealed carry piece. If one teacher at SH had this tool and knew how to use it, this would have been a tragedy of a much smaller proportion. Scary is being at the whim of a crazy and not able to protect yourself.

        1. Kimber ultra carry .45 FTW

  12. I wonder if these people understand that they’re talking about a fucking .22 with a lot of powder behind it.

    1. The majority of them probably know nor care about things like calibre; guns are scary mmmmkay?

    2. Of course not. These are people who start hyperventilating over a pistol grip on a rifle for crissakes.

  13. (B) NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT- As used in subparagraph (A)(ii), the term `negligent entrustment’ means the supplying of a qualified product by a seller for use by another person when the seller knows, or reasonably should know, the person to whom the product is supplied is likely to, and does, use the product in a manner involving unreasonable risk of physical injury to the person or others.

    (Emphasis added.)

    The person to whom the product was supplied didn’t use the gun against anyone. Kangaroo court.

    1. I wondered about that too. Are the manufacturers liable for people that steal lawfully purchased firearms? How do you background check a thief? Does everyone in a household need to pass a security check for one to buy a gun? How does one do a background check on a minor?

      Hmm…

    2. Of course, the person to whom the manufacturer supplies the guns is a dealer. A heavily regulated federally licensed dealer.

      Good luck with that.

      This whole thing is a farce. The judge who allows this to survive the first motion to dismiss should be fired.

      1. I’d like to see the pleadings, but I can’t imagine that there’s not enough there to have to dismiss this. It really is a clownshow.

  14. So this entire thing is basically very simple. The progressive left want to totally disarm American citizens. If you think for one minute that is not their goal, you’re wrong. Some of them will just come right out and say it. Of course, their leaders cannot say this because it’s very unpopular politically and they would have no chance outside of the most leftist of areas to win a majority vote. IOW, they could just say bye bye to their political career. So instead, they have to say things like ‘Sure, I support the 2nd amendment, why I hunt myself. But no one needs a rocket launcher or a military rifle that fires 3 million rounds a second to hunt rabbits and deer.’.

    But the situation we actually have here, cut through all the bullshit, is that the hard left want to get rid of the 2nd amendment, period. Why? Because they want an authoritarian regime that can force you to do exactly what the government wants and they don’t want you to be able to resist in any meaningful way when that day arrives.

    1. And just for record, they also don’t want anyone to be able to say what I just said, which should be labeled ‘dangerous hate speech’, right? This is why you also go after the first, which is exactly where they’re going with all the PC rhetoric.

    2. Well, yeah. You see, self defense is vigilante justice. No one has the right to use deadly force to defend themselves. They are sentencing someone to death without a trial. No one can do that except the police, because government. Duh.

      1. Can you imagine how much more carnage there would have been at Sandy Hook if some of the teachers had been armed? Because everyone knows that more guns create more violence and death.

        1. The standard argument is that armed teachers would have missed the shooter, hitting students; that armed teachers would have shot at each other, not knowing who the actual shooter was; and that the police would have shot the teachers, thinking they were the shooter.

          When the fact of the matter is that had some of the teachers been allowed to be legally armed, the shooter would have chosen a different target.

    3. The left has always depended upon the threat of mob violence to obtain its political ends. You can’t use the threat of mob violence against an armed populace. The end game is to disarm the population and then be able to tell them “you better vote for us or the mob is coming to your neighborhood to settle the score”. That is all this is about.

      1. Well, you can to a reasonable extent, in order to enforce reasonable laws. So they can use deadly force to stop a robbery or to collect taxes, and they can get away with this.

        However, the things that the far left really want to do, they will never get away with those things while there is still a heavily armed populace, and they are fully aware of this.

        The far left have actually went about as far as they can go without doing 2 things:

        1. Effectively nullify 2nd amendment.

        2. Effectively nullify 1st amendment.

        BTW, when I say they have went about as far as they can go, see exhibit #1, Bernie the ‘democratic socialist’.

        1. Yup. All other rights are built on the foundation of the first two amendments – that’s why they came first and second. They know that nothing stands in their way if they destroy that foundation, which is why they expend so much effort on tearing down the First and Second Amendments.

          1. Did you know that, of the proposed amendments, what we have now, as the “first and second” were the third and fourth submissions.
            FYI, the “first” was one that limited House districts to no more than 50,000 people, about which there is a dispute of if it was ratified, or not – imagine a House of Representatives with 6,200 members.
            http://www.boldtruth.com/
            The “second” was finally ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment.

    4. Peterson’s debate remark that the 2nd amend is not intended for hunting and sport, but for shooting at tyrants, sums it up nicely. Everything else is window dressing.

      1. ^This, and thank you for pointing that out.

  15. that it “reigns supreme” in mass shootings

    So you can just outright lie to the courts?

    1. False. As long as you define mass shootings as involving more than 2 people and an ‘assault weapon’.

      1. Ah, I see now. AR-15s are the most used weapons in crimes where an AR-15 is used.

    2. that it “reigns supreme” in mass shootings

      Don’t forget that it featured prominently in the Waco Biker Massacre. That’s gotta up its score.

      1. Nice one. 🙂

      2. Well, “reigns supreme” has no actual legal definition as far as I am aware, so it can mean whatever the speaker thinks it means, I suppose.

  16. “I know not with what weapons WW3 will be fought, but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones.” ~ Albert Einstein

    1. I heard that the devs are just gonna pull the plug on the simulation before the nuclear weapon wielding monkeys blow up the motherboard.

      1. They’ll just slow the simulation down because the servers can’t handle the load.

  17. The post verdict sanctimony and derp will be vomit inducing no doubt

    1. I’m going to laugh my ass off at HuffPo comments after this case gets thrown out.

      1. Why wait until then? There’s always a treasure trove of mockable idiocy in the HuffPo comments…..to say nothing of the HuffPo articles

  18. I think what we are going to see, if we’re going to see other countries introducing 2nd amendment rights for their citizens. This will inevitably have the progressive left go into an epidemic round of pants shitting, which I will very much enjoy. No, I don’t have links, but it’s what I think we’ll see. Along with other countries ending their US backed war on drugs, which will have the neocons go into an equal round of pants shitting, which I will enjoy just as much.

  19. But.. but.. *looks around cautiously* [whispers] they’re _black_ …

    1. they also come in pink

    2. Honestly, it would be interesting to hear a second round of complaints from Democrats over black people with guns. At one point Republicans didn’t care for those arguments but it appears they’ve both finally come around to suppressing gun rights for everyone because a black man might accidentally own a firearm.

      Or, wait…do you mean the color of the gun?

      That’s Raycyst.

  20. Worst case short-term scenario is the spotlight is placed on AR pistols and ZOMG!!1SBR!!!!!!!!! and there’s coordinated pressure on ATF to tighten regs.

  21. Sullum forgot to mention the deadliest feature of assault weapons – the dreaded shoulder thing that goes up.

    1. you’re of course referring to the Predator’s shoulder mounted plasma rocket launcher with optical tracking.

      1. plasma rocket *sigh*

        And its IR tracking, not optical.

    2. I thought it was the ghost gun 30 magazine clip …

      1. Its got a 30 caliber clip and disperse 30 bullets in half a second and its UNTRACEABLE! It can empty its 30 magazine clip in half a second.

  22. Rapid rate of fire. AR-15-style rifles fire exactly as fast as any other semiautomatic (or any revolver): as fast as you can pull the trigger.

    My gun-fearing Facebook friends think the AR-15 is an automatic weapon and it looks like the plaintiffs do, too.

    Some even believe the AR stands for Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle.

    1. I can kill more people with a semiauto AR-15 than I can with a fully auto M-16A1 because I can fire much more accurately with the semiauto, which is why the US military replaced auto with burst on the M-16A2 selector switch…..but try telling the average pants-wetter that.

      1. Or you could just set the selector switch to ‘semi’ and get the same result

        1. The Navy likes the A2 specifically because there’s no ‘full auto’ setting.

        2. Teenagers/young men and restraint, how does that go again?

          I’m thinking a “fun switch” was too much temptation for the average soldier to leave it on “semi” for very long, especially in battle.

  23. Ironically the old 38 revolver used to be called the police automatic.

  24. Just as it is not clear why the Sandy Hook plaintiffs think AR-15-style rifles have no legitimate civilian uses, it is not clear why they think such guns are especially lethal.

    You keep using that word … “think”.

  25. “The plaintiffs have to meet that burden (at least), because they maintain that making such firearms available to anyone other than a soldier or a cop is inherently negligent.”

    Given that cops commit 23 times as many violent crimes as concealed carry permit holders, I’m not entirely sure why the former can have these guns and the latter can’t.

    1. Because these people completely ignore reality and *assume* that police (and military) are ‘well-trained’ in not just firearm use but use of firearms under pressure.

      When the reality is that most police force formal training involves an annual BBQ at the range as you plink at targets and *maybe* a 36 round scored course of fire where the only criteria is ‘did you hit the paper at least half the time? then you’re qualified’. Amusingly enough, that’s the standard navy COF minus the BBQ.

      Even among soldiers and Marines the vast majority of them rarely will pick up a rifle and will receive minimal training simply because their specialties are for *support*. If their OB is being attacked they know which side faces enemy and there’s not a lot of concern about ensuring they know more unless they end up in a billet where its needed.

  26. Brush Master had better pay attention, woodchipper lawsuits aren’t far behind.

  27. In 2012 Sen. Dianne Feinstein claimed guns covered by her proposed “assault weapon” ban were involved in 385 murders from 2004 through 2011, a period when there were more than 76,000 gun homicides.

    Let’s not engage in the same bullshit statistics of the Left, treating homicides (which include suicides) as if they were all murders.

    1. He’s not. Over the 7 year period there were approximately 76,000 homocides. Just over 10K a year. Gun suicides for that period are over 150,000.

  28. Auto makers and dealers cannot be sued for criminal actions that might be perpetrated by those in possession of what they legally manufacture and sell (automobiles and trucks), so why should or are gun makers and dealers treated otherwise? Obviously, though this escapes some, they shouldn’t be.

  29. “no civilian need for “assault weapons”?

    During the LA riots of 1992,the police REFUSED to enter the riot zone to protect citizens,and Korean shopkeepers used “assault weapons” (Ruger Ranch rifles) to hold off the rioting mob that came to burn them and their families alive in their shops/homes. that’s just ONE good reason,not that we need ANY reason to own them.
    it also is justification for 30 round magazines,you need firepower to hold off a riot mob.
    Not that we need any justification.

    Such semi-auto rifles as the AR-15 and AK-47 are today’s modern MILITIA weapons,and thus should be the MOST protected of firearms,under the Second Amendment. Citizens cannot form a militia if they don’t have the weapons to arm the members. Militia were expected to muster bearing arms similar to and compatible with what the Regular military had in use at that time.

    But the NRA never applies that reasoning against the several “assault weapons” bans that have been enacted or are pending,when it should be a clear-cut,winning defense. The NRA is too willing to compromise with gun grabbers.

  30. By the way, the following phrase appeared in the above article, “negligent entrustment”. Re that, and the mayhem on the highways, year in,year out, how come it seems that the auto industry is shielded as it so obviously is, from similar, equally ridiculous legal actions.

  31. I have a friend who is a CT judge. It damned well better or have been him who set a court date.

  32. The Truth About “Assault” Weapons — Prior to 1989, the term “assault weapon”
    did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term, developed by
    anti-gun publicists to expand the category of “assault rifles”…
    http://www.assaultweapon.info/

    1. Just consider the meaning of the word “assault”. Then consider the meaning of the word “weapon”. Then try to understand why the first word would be necessary to modify or augment the meaning of the second word.

      How could a “non-assault weapon” even be a weapon?

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  35. The real issue is the left mislabeling Tactical rifles. They are not Assault rifles or military style weapons. They are not different than any other semi auto rifle. The only difference is they look “scary” to progressives and they swallow the BS various groups claim. No soldier or marine would ever run into a full scale fire fight carrying a civilian AR 15. An assault rifle is an fully automatic rifle which is already banned in the US unless you have a Class III license which is very costly and highly regulated. the majority of “mass shootings” in the US have been with handguns, not rifles. If progresswives really want to stop mass shootings they need to eleiminate “gun free zones” since these locations are where the majority of all mass shootings occur.

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