Do Threatened Businesses and Institutions Have Heightened Legal Obligations to Provide Security?

This case involved a Colorado Springs abortion clinic, but it could equally apply to synagogues, bookstores selling books with Mohammed cartoons, animal research facilities, etc.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

From the four-Justice majority opinion (written by Justice Richard Gabriel, joined by Chief Justice Nathan Coats and Justices William Hood and Carlos Samour) in Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood v. Wagner, decided by the Colorado Supreme Court in June; the case arose from a shooting that killed three (including one inside the building) and injured nine at a Colorado Springs abortion clinic:

Here, the plaintiffs introduced substantial evidence showing that PPRM [Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains] knew for many years that there was a risk of violence against its facilities. In fact, PPRM warned all new physicians that "there is an inherent risk associated with working [at PPRM]," and it provided them with training on how to protect themselves. PPRM even offered to provide all of these physicians with custom-fitted bulletproof vests, free of charge.

The plaintiffs also presented evidence tending to demonstrate that PPRM knew that the level of threats of violence and criminal activity directed against Planned Parenthood facilities increased exponentially in the aftermath of the release of the inflammatory "baby body parts" videos. In fact, after the videos were released, the Medical Director of PPRM personally reported the level of increased threats and more invasive actions to both the president and chief executive officer and the chief operating officer of PPRM, as well as to the president and chief executive officer of PPFA.

In addition to the foregoing, the plaintiffs presented evidence that, despite this awareness, PPRM did not take adequate precautions at the Colorado Springs facility. For example, the plaintiffs offered evidence to show that although PPRM had hired an armed security guard, that guard was on duty only three days per week and only for about four hours each day (until 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 noon), despite the fact that the facility remained open (and doctors were performing abortions there) after the guard had ended his shift. Indeed, the guard had been at work on the day of the shooting but left at 11:00 a.m., shortly before Dear started his shooting rampage at approximately 11:35 a.m. Similarly, the plaintiffs offered evidence that PPRM did not erect a perimeter fence around the Colorado Springs facility, although it had done so at its Denver location, and it did not replace its tempered glass entry door with a steel or otherwise bullet-resistant door, which allowed Dear to shoot through the door to gain entry and continue his rampage.

Finally, the plaintiffs presented a lengthy and detailed affidavit from Lance Foster, an expert in premises security. In his affidavit, Mr. Foster opined, in pertinent part, that (1) the lack of security at the PPRM Colorado Springs facility made it a more likely target and placed it at a much higher risk for an event like that which ensued; (2) fencing would likely have prevented Dear from gaining entry onto the facility's property in the first place; (3) had the security guard been on duty, the shootings would likely have been prevented; and (4) had steel doors been installed and electronic lock down measures been employed, Dear would not likely have been able to enter the clinic itself. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Foster opined that the shootings at issue "were reasonably preventable and the injurious effects could have been mitigated."

In light of this evidence, and cognizant of the settled principle that summary judgment is a drastic remedy, we conclude that on the evidence presented in the summary judgment record here, a reasonable juror could find that Dear was not the predominant cause of the plaintiffs' injuries and that therefore PPRM's action or inaction was a substantial factor in causing those injuries. Accordingly, we further conclude that PPRM was not entitled to the entry of summary judgment in this case….

We hasten to say that in ruling as we do, we offer no view as to the merits of the plaintiffs' claims. Nor should our opinion be read to suggest either (1) that different rules apply to what may be deemed "politically neutral" sites, on the one hand, and potentially "incendiary" sites such as a women's health clinic, on the other, or (2) that given the risk that a mass shooting could happen virtually anywhere, potential targets—even those that are sadly sometimes attractive to the deranged or sadistic, or those with sociopathic notions of political motivation—must build fortresses to protect against any possible risk.

To the contrary, our ruling is limited to the specific facts of this case, based on the summary judgment record before us. And we do not intend to suggest that summary judgment is never appropriate in a case such as this, although we are likewise unwilling to say … that summary judgment is required in virtually every case involving a mass shooting because the shooter's actions will almost always be the predominant cause of the victims' injuries. We say no more than that, on the summary judgment record here, we do not believe that a court can properly decide the predominant cause issue as a matter of law.

Three Justices dissented, in an opinion written by Justice Melissa Hart, joined by Justices Monica Marquez and Brian Boatright:

[T]he majority makes "proximate cause" a determination solely of the foreseeability of a particular event—in this case a mass shooting—occurring at a particular location. The dangerous consequence of this move is to subject a landowner to liability for the irrational actions of a mass murderer, who has no concern about detection or death. And, while the majority asserts that its approach does not turn on the politically controversial nature of the landowner's business, I fear that in fact the majority is creating the equivalent of a heckler's veto—if a business owner receives threats of violence because of the nature of his business, the business owner will be subject to a risk of liability that could render his business uninsurable or require impossibly expensive fortifications….

On one hand, we expect all public-facing businesses—including women's health clinics—to incur the costs of security measures that are reasonably proportionate to the potential risk of harm to their patients. But, because mass shooters are not animated by reason or cost/benefit analysis, it is irrational to ask businesses—or jurors—to engage in the cost/benefit analysis of determining what sorts of preventative measures are sufficient to prevent or mitigate the harm caused by a shooter's senseless acts of violence….

I fully grant that "'the concept of foreseeability is central to establishing proximate cause' and that foreseeability acts 'as a guidepost to delineate the extent to which a defendant may be held legally responsible for a plaintiff's injury.'" And unfortunately, Planned Parenthood has suffered a "long history of violent direct attacks, killings and threats" against its various facilities.

But the reason for such threats, largely unacknowledged by the majority, is the well-known fact that PPRM provides abortions—a service fraught with political controversy and heated cultural divide. While the majority asserts that its analysis does not turn on whether a mass shooter's attack is on a politically controversial business, I fear that the consequence of the court's approach is that certain businesses and activities will face entirely different risks of liability than others will.

It bears emphasizing that our proximate cause analysis has never, and should not now, turn on how controversial the goods or services offered by a landowner are. But the majority's approach creates a perverse incentive: Knowing that women's health clinics are more threat-prone than other public-facing businesses, and that such clinics may be found liable for their failure to mitigate or prevent mass shootings, abortion opponents can increase the frequency and severity of their threats of violence in order to force women's health clinics to fortify their facilities to extreme levels. This, in turn, makes women's health clinics both prohibitively expensive to operate and virtually impossible to insure….

Moreover, this risk is not one that will be faced only by women's health clinics that provide abortion services. After today's decision, antisemitic fanatics can impose additional costs on synagogues, and White supremacists can inflict the same on Black churches or businesses. Threats of violence often precede acts of violence in these locations, as they did at PPRM.

I fear that the consequences of today's decision will be felt well beyond this litigation. The majority's analysis, by focusing so exclusively on foreseeability, significantly changes our proximate cause jurisprudence. In doing so, it ties the liability of the landowner to the nature of its business and ignores the reality that the overwhelming—the predominant—cause of harm to victims of mass shootings is the maniacal determination of the shooter himself.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: August 22, 1998

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  1. So basically, every business in a democrat ruled city?

    1. Or every business targeted by conservatives whose gun violence is associated with adult-onset superstition and old-timey intolerance?

      1. Sometimes you wonder if AK is either a bot or just someone suffering from late onset dementia.

        1. Differing substantially from your early-onset type.

    2. The distinction I would make was issuing the Kelvar to the MDs.
      If they’d issued them to everyone, that’d be a different story, likewise if the’y looked the other way when some (all) of them started showing up in them (as long as they would have permitted others to do so likewise).

      It’s like the disgusting advice I once saw a large law firm give businesses — if someone is injured on something that in hindsight appears hazardous, do NOT fix it because that is an admission that it was hazardous and hence that you should be liable.

      On a fishing boat, you have a (cold water) survival suit for EVERYBODY or you don’t carry them — you don’t get into a case of whose life is more valuable than whose. Here they did — if they’d offered the receptionist Kelvar and she’d declcined, fine — but they didn’t.

      1. “The distinction I would make was issuing the Kelvar to the MDs.
        If they’d issued them to everyone”

        They guys in Afghanistan couldn’t even get body armor (Kelvar or otherwise). Let’s give it to everyone.

        1. That was the DOD not having the money to buy it, not a lack of it.

          1. Scarcity drives price. And there are very few things the DOD does not have enough money to buy. What happened was, the body-armor industry didn’t spend enough money lobbying, and/or the company’s operations weren’t located in the correct Congressional district.
            It’s not unknown for Congress to authorize spending for stuff DOD didn’t even want or need, if the spending benefits someone’s re-election campaign. See, e.g. V-22 or electric boat manufacturing facilities.

      2. It’s like the disgusting advice I once saw a large law firm give businesses — if someone is injured on something that in hindsight appears hazardous, do NOT fix it because that is an admission that it was hazardous and hence that you should be liable.

        Ed, you are lying again. Again. You made up a fake anecdote because you wanted attention. We know that, because the rules of evidence do not permit a party to make the argument that you pretend you heard a law firm warn businesses about. (That’s even setting aside the fact that lawyers do not give businesses legal advice in public in front of Ed.)

        1. ” (That’s even setting aside the fact that lawyers do not give businesses legal advice in public in front of Ed.)”

          They do when they are paying Ed to photocopy it and mail it out, and when Ed has to read portions of it to ensure that it is legible.

          As to rules of evidence, whatever….

          1. “They do when they are paying Ed to photocopy it and mail it out, and when Ed has to read portions of it to ensure that it is legible.”

            Which of these do they do in public?

    3. “So basically, every business in a democrat ruled city?”

      Except ones on the same block that the Democrat Mayor lives, of course. Those are perfectly safe.

      1. Doesn’t happen because of zoning. mayoral residences in business blocks, I mean.

  2. From a common law negligence standard, it’s been true for years that a history of violent incidents sets a higher standard for providing security. Nallan v Helmsley-Spear.

    1. Well there is more than common law here — there is also the Colorado Premises Liability Act, section 13-21-115, C.R.S. (2019) (“CPLA”).

      I’ve never heard of such a thing, but it may have been written in response to the Batman shooting — and if 2019 was the origin date, that might be an issue, but the court didn’t raise it.

      Instead, it said “In this claim, they alleged that they were invitees at the Colorado Springs facility and therefore PPRM had a duty to provide them with a safe and secure environment, “free from foreseeable risks and dangerous conditions on the premises of which [PPRM] knew or should have known.” “

      I read that as the legislature creating a specific duty to customers.

      What I did NOT understand was them turning around and letting PP National off the hook.

      1. “free from foreseeable risks and dangerous conditions on the premises of which [PPRM] knew or should have known.”

        How foreseeable is it that TODAY an irrational nutjob will show up an open fire? One of the key characteristics of the irrational is that they are hard to predict…

        1. Offering to provide your employees custom-fitted bulletproof vests, which aren’t cheap (and require a permit depending on the state), sorta indicates foreseeable…

          1. As does hiring armed security, who just wasn’t there at the time.

            If the armed security wasn’t necessary, why hire it?

            1. If armed security was necessary, why wasn’t it effective?
              Suggested answer: the armed security was there when it was there, because of a different problem.

          2. “Offering to provide your employees custom-fitted bulletproof vests, which aren’t cheap (and require a permit depending on the state), sorta indicates foreseeable”

            Against A threat, but not necessarily that specific one. Did they get threatened by anyone else? Someone who, say, said they’d show up first thing in the morning?

      2. “What I did NOT understand was them turning around and letting PP National off the hook.”

        PP national didn’t operate the facility and the facilities they do operate didn’t get shot up… thus, no liability for PP national.

  3. a reasonable juror could find that Dear was not the predominant cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries

    I’m surprised they didn’t blame the gun itself.

    1. Some people do want to blame the gun manufacturer.

      -dk

      1. But of course; don’t we pursue the car manufacturers for drunken driving damages, and for getaway cars in thefts?

        1. We do if the brakes fail, or the seatbelts.

          1. Well, if a gun blows up in a lawful user’s hands because of a defect — for instance, if they accidentally fire when dropped, or if the safety doesn’t work — then the gun manufacturer certainly could be sued (though of course such defects are quite rare). The federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act expressly exempts

            an action for death, physical injuries or property damage resulting directly from a defect in design or manufacture of the product, when used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner, except that where the discharge of the product was caused by a volitional act that constituted a criminal offense, then such act shall be considered the sole proximate cause of any resulting death, personal injuries or property damage.

            1. The quoted excerpt is at odds with the opinion above, specifically
              ” where the discharge of the product was caused by a volitional act that constituted a criminal offense, then such act shall be considered the sole proximate cause of any resulting death, personal injuries or property damage.” AND “a reasonable juror could find that Dear was not the predominant cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries” cannot be reconciled.

              1. James Pollock: I don’t think I quite understand; can you elaborate?

                The passage I quoted provides that gun manufacturers can be held liable (notwithstanding the federal PLCAA’s immunity grant), if state law so chooses, for manufacturing or design defects that essentially cause accidental injury. The passage you quoted has to do with when Colorado law imposes liability only on the shooter, and when it also allows liability to be imposed on the owner of the property where the shooting take place. (The court isn’t purporting to discuss manufacturer liability.) I don’t quite see why there’s a problem reconciling them, but I may be misunderstanding your point.

                1. One quoted passage says that only the shooter can be called the proximate cause. The other says that a juror could have held that the shooter was not the predominant cause. These are inconsistent things, and both can’t be true at the same time.

                  1. Oh, I see: This does call for a bit more explanation.

                    1. The PLCAA is a federal statute that preempts contrary state law:
                    It limits lawsuits against gun manufacturers or sellers. I don’t think it would apply at all to premises liability suits such as the one here, and that includes the passage I quote (which deals with the definition of “qualified civil liability action[s]” against gun manufacturers and sellers). So I don’t think there’s any conflict with the Colorado opinion.

                    2. If there is a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer or seller, even based on supposed manufacturing or design defect, then “where the discharge of the product was caused by a volitional act that constituted a criminal offense, … such act shall be considered the sole proximate cause of any resulting death, personal injuries or property damage.” Since that’s a federal statute, it would indeed preempt the state law rule, in those particular situations.

                    1. Unlike firearms enthusiasts, I don’t think that sales of firearms should be categorically exempt from negligence actions. Part of the service of selling someone a weapon should include making sure the weapon is well-suited to the buyer’s need. Yes, a lot of firearms enthusiasts are quite well-qualified to select their own weapons, but some firearms customers are really not, and wind up with a weapon they can’t handle well. Ordinary civil liability would correct that better than any criminal law ever will. Plus, it give the firearm industry a strong motivation to ensure that firearms buyers are able (and willing) to be safe and responsible with their weapon purchases.

                    2. “Part of the service of selling someone a weapon should include making sure the weapon is well-suited to the buyer’s need.”

                      Even if that were accepted as a valid theory of negligence, it wouldn’t and/or shouldn’t reach deliberate criminal misuse.

                    3. Even if that were accepted as a valid theory of negligence, it wouldn’t and/or shouldn’t reach deliberate criminal misuse.

                      Nor would it apply to the manufacturer.

                    4. “Nor would it apply to the manufacturer.”

                      Who claimed it does ???

                    5. “Even if that were accepted as a valid theory of negligence, it wouldn’t and/or shouldn’t reach deliberate criminal misuse.”

                      Did you read somewhere that it does or should?

    2. “a reasonable juror could find that Dear was not the predominant cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries”

      Yeah, I’m just picking myself up off the floor after reading that one.

      1. ” The test for causation is the “but for” test—whether, but for the alleged negligence, the harm would not have occurred. The requirement of “but for” causation is satisfied if the negligent conduct in a “natural and continued sequence, unbroken by any efficient, intervening cause, produce[s] the result complained of, and without which the result would not have occurred.”

        1. Sounds like the guy pulling the trigger caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

          1. Read the case and you will see the two distinct uses of the word “causation.”

            1. The part where the guy with the gun could be reasonably determined to NOT be the cause of the gunshot wounds would require more than redefining ONE word.

      2. It sounds like whoever created the ‘body parts video’ that caused the heightened danger according to this article is also on the hook. The clinic should sue for contribution to any damages they have to pay.

        This sounds like a “heckler’s veto” situation. This ruling provides a tool for irrational, violent nutjobs to impose costs on businesses, with the goal of driving them out of business.

  4. “The plaintiffs also presented evidence tending to demonstrate that PPRM knew that the level of threats of violence and criminal activity directed against Planned Parenthood facilities increased exponentially in the aftermath of the release of the inflammatory “baby body parts” videos. ”

    I had reason to look at the numbers recently. It was more “logarithmic” than “exponential”, if you catch my drift. But, “Our opponents are murderous terrorists” has long been a staple PR line for the abortion industry.

    1. Speaking of “baby parts videos”, you posted a bad url on the law review article you (EV) wrote about the graphic protests.
      A 404 error. Likely either a typo in the url or the file removed from the server, sometimes it corrupted and possibly even a permission set wrong, although usually that gives a different error.

      1. Sorry, here is the correct link.

    2. ‘Our opponents are murderers’ is also the standard public relations approach of the clingerverse’s commercial operations.

      1. While the conservative side of things is likely cheering right now, it likely evades them that shooting at NRA offices is now a way to promote gun control.

          1. So did PPRM.

            1. No they didn’t — he wasn’t there at the time.

              1. Yes they did — he wasn’t there at the time.

              2. “No they didn’t — he wasn’t there at the time.”

                He who? (the guard they posted left the post because his shift was over. That doesn’t make him either not a guard or not posted.)

  5. Without commenting on the correctness of the decision (I’m not familiar with Colorado law), any law (presumably common law?) that requires a judge to write that a mass shooter is NOT the “predominant” cause of the shooting victims’ injuries/death is asinine, and should be changed. Predominant doesn’t mean “only,” it means the main or chief cause. I assume they’re using it based on some special definition developed through decades or more of common law, but pretty much every other state that uses comparative fault principles in tort cases allows for some liability as a secondary, contributing factor (if not too remote or insignificant) without having to write that the actual mass murderer wasn’t the predominant cause of the deaths he caused. Might be time to update your terminology, Colorado.

    1. I’m thinking it has more to do with the Colorado Premises Liability Act, section 13-21-115, C.R.S. (2019) than common law — and am wondering if CO (in it’s infinite wisdom) established the same sort of strict liability(?) for shooters that exists for Acts of God. For example, a lightning strike is an Act of God but having a large number of people on a hilltop in a thunderstorm is negligence.

      Like I said, the infinite wisdom of the legislature…..

      1. Well, I was wrong — it actually is a statute that appears to be written to defend property owners from random trespassers injuring themselves. Here is the relevant portion:

        A licensee may recover only for damages caused:

        (I) By the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care with respect to dangers created by the landowner of which the landowner actually knew; or

        (II) By the landowner’s unreasonable failure to warn of dangers not created by the landowner which are not ordinarily present on property of the type involved and of which the landowner actually knew…. an invitee may recover for damages caused by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers of which he actually knew or should have known.” [emphasis added]

        The classic example is someone falling down an uncovered well. The proximate cause of death is drowning, but within this context, the proximate cause is the lack of a well cover.

        http://www.gojolaw.com/Assets/Artwork%202012/Colorado_premises_liability_act.pdf

        1. “an invitee may recover for damages caused by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers of which he actually knew or should have known.”

          Did they know the shooter was coming that day?

  6. Not great when the law instantiates a heckler’s veto.

    1. A true story from 30 years ago, and yet another thing the Boy Scouts ought to be liable for. A summer camp has an old (open top) water tower that had been donated by the railroad 30 years earlier when it had converted to Diesels, and it had been lugged up to the highest point on a campsite for the water tower. Over the years, the trees grew over it, and in 1991 there was a Gypsy Moth pandemic.

      Long story short, the tank was full of decomposing Gypsy Moths and while the staff knew not to drink the water (that hadn’t been boiled), the campers and their parents weren’t told this. And they all got bad cases of diarrhea, all summer long.

      That, Sarcastr0, is what I think this case is — not the institution of a heckler’s veto but a “duty to warn.”

      It wasn’t like PP was performing these abortions for free, and your average pregnant 15-year-old has no way of knowing how many threats PP gets annually, nor how seriously rational people take them.

      1. Getting a couple of nut jobs to shoot up a Planned Parenthood office imposes new costs on the organization, because suddenly it doesn’t just have to make itself safe from actual violence, it has to make itself safe from threatened violence. That’s a heckler’s veto.

        1. Sucks to be them — they still have a duty to their PAYING customers.

          Much like Islamic terror threats force water companies to secure the water supply better.

          1. “Much like Islamic terror threats force water companies to secure the water supply better.”

            Where, exactly, did this happen?

          2. Back when Iran had put a fatwa on Salman Rushdie because of his book, Satanic Verses, and there were a few cases of publishers and related getting killed around the world (including a translator at a press conference IIRC), some US book stores decided to remove the book for fear of their employees’ safety.

            They got heavily criticised, and couched it in concern for their employees, but hey, lawsuits are expensive.

            1. When did these bookstores start supplying water?

      2. A true story from 30 years ago,

        No.

  7. Making any rules at all in response to mass shooters is a mistake. They aren’t rule based. Rules don’t change their behavior.

    They are also an extreme outlier. Anyone who makes consequential day-to-day choices in response to extreme outlier phenomena is making a mistake.

    We will see a lot of that in the next few years when we start hearing about measures to prepare for the next pandemic. The right thing to do will be not much. Resources spent preparing for once-in-100-years events are wasted 99 out of 100 years. Anything anyone does needs to be useful for those other times for it not to be a big mistake.

    1. “The right thing to do will be not much.”

      But includes “don’t put a guy in charge of anything important, if he’ll only react to a pandemic if he can make money off of it”.

    2. As a policy matter, the idea that you don’t prepare for a 1 in a 100 year event is not necessarily correct. Between the saved money from prophylactic versus mitigation cost, and amortizing the costs over a decent period of time, you may come out ahead.

      That’s the whole Black Swan thing that’s been all the rage in Europe.

      You’d love it; it counsels austerity.

  8. This case is “slip & fall” writ large — a merchant’s liability to injured customers.

    Should we go to a strict liability/compensation approach, as we do with worker’s comp?

    1. If only we could hold politicians liable for deaths due to slowed down medical research. They seem concerned over problems from lack of coverage, but that barely shows up on radar to this magnitudes larger problem.

      I doubt they could afford liability for those tens of millions of deaths, cumulative over decades, but it’s the thought that counts.

      1. “If only we could hold politicians liable for deaths due to slowed down medical research. ”

        If only. Stop voting for them.

  9. I’m more interested in whether the government, by withdrawing police protection, gives property owners a right to have the means to defend themselves (thus making the city or state liable if waiting periods for purchasing a weapon, or unjustified confiscations as from the couple in St Louis, render a victim defenseless). This has to be the principal purpose of the Second Amendment.

    1. Interesting that you label a person without a firearm as “defenseless”. didn’t you see “Home Alone”?

      1. No but I did see Death Wish 3.

        1. 6% Rotten Tomatoes ranking

          1. Give it a watch. Probably not too popular with the “woke” crowd, but hey that is what New York City is going to look like again in another year.

            1. I think I’ll pass on your wishful-thinking fantasies.

            2. You get your worldview from 1980s schlock. That explains a lot.

    2. I think that would open up a rather interesting “as applied” challenge. Say the local government defunds the police but heavily regulates firearms making them almost impossible to carry outside of the home or even effectively use in the home due to storage requirements. Could that invoke some “sliding scale” of the 2nd Amendment where a court would normally say “in an era of professional policing these firearm regulations are reasonable” to “since there is no professional policing citizens have a right to be able to reasonably defend themselves.”

      I would also note that most of the gun control arguments are predicated on the fact that we have professional policing in the United States. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard a leftist say “only the police should have guns” in the last 20 years. Well if we don’t have police that removes their basic argument for gun control.

      1. Now you’re hearing a non-partisan say “we’d be better off if the only people who had guns were people who handled them responsibly” and “that includes cops”.

        1. It is funny when the left thinks what they push is either “bi-partisan” or “non-partisan” because it largely shows that the initiative isn’t either it is just they think any opinion other then theirs is illegitimate.

          1. It’s funny when dipshits assume everybody who points out their dipshittedness must be “the left”.

        2. ““we’d be better off if the only people who had guns were people who handled them responsibly” and “that includes cops”.”

          Hmm, I’m not sure if you are saying that only cops who responsibly handle guns should be allowed to carry guns, or if you delusionally believe that all cops by definition handle guns responsibly.

          1. A person with normal reading comprehension would have picked up on that first one.
            For the slow (a category of at least one person).
            By no means are all cops definitionally responsible with their weapons. It has a lot to do with the way they are(mis)trained.

  10. Just ban guns and problem solved. Right? That is what Australia did and New Zealand. Now those are lands of have turned into violence free paradises.

    1. Much like Somalia, which has no government gun control. Paradises all around!

      1. Nor no government.

      2. Yeah that is a really bad example for anything government….

        1. NO gun control, government or otherwise.

          1. … paradise.

  11. Someone please explain to me, what is the legal duty of any business to provide their own security? After all, isn’t that burden on the state?

    It seems you will run into absurd legal situations where someone shoots people at a business, and the business is sued. Then the business turns around and sues the city they weren’t protected by the local police, or sues to overturn gun control laws because they claim that they could have provided adequate security if they had access to fully automatic weapons!

    1. “Someone please explain to me, what is the legal duty of any business to provide their own security? After all, isn’t that burden on the state? ”

      When you invite people on your property, you have a duty to keep them safe from harms on your property. So if you have an old,dead tree that you know might fall on people, you have a duty to protect your invitees from having a dead tree fall on them. There’s a few related doctrines, such as, for children, a requirement to protect them even if you haven’t invited them over if you have something that’s inviting to a child, such as a swimming pool.

      With regards to crime, the usual application involves lighting and locks in “bad neighborhoods”. If you get mugged because the parking lot was unlit, you get to go after the property owner for maintaining the property in a way that kept you from noticing the mugger was there, even though the property owner had no part in the actual robbery.

      The claim here is that operating a Planned Parenthood branch draws irrational assaults, and they should know that and take stops to keep you from being assaulted by an irrational nutjob.

      1. I can understand things like locks and lighting, but this question is going beyond that to hiring armed security guards. I remember from my international law class that theoretically, the state has a monopoly on the use of force. Only the state can legally use force, (although like in the US some states delegate that down to individuals but only in cases when their lives are in danger). So it seems the default position should be that the burden of armed guards fall on the city. If the clinic was so dangerous, why wasn’t there a police officer permanently at the clinic?

        1. A state (and hence a city) has no duty to protect any particular individual or business, although a state can decide to create such a duty.

          1. Then how could a business have duty to protect its customers?

            1. The state establishes by fiat that such a duty exists, and imposes liability for failure to serve the duty.

        2. “I can understand things like locks and lighting, but this question is going beyond that to hiring armed security guards.”

          On the mistaken theory that hiring armed security guards can prevent irrational violent people from being irrational or violent.

  12. I have long been skeptical of the court’s abortion jurisprudence.

    But giving a heckler’s veto does not seemed the right way to go about things. Still less an armed heckler’s veto.

  13. If the law protects heckler’s vetoes, the law should be changed, rather than idiosyncratically re-interpreted, to curb the heckler.

    The dissent’s analysis is no different than the original RvW decision, or any of the major leftward shifts of the past 80 years. Vote for the intended goal, or avoidance of some perceived disruption, rather than what the law says.

    1. This looks like a common law case; there is no statute cited here.

    2. “The dissent’s analysis is no different than the original RvW decision, or any of the major leftward shifts of the past 80 years.”

      I don’t see Roe v. Wade as a “leftward” shift. It’s rather the opposite. Roe v. Wade didn’t really involve a question of the left-right axis. It’s a straightforward weighing of whose rights take priority. I think it turns into a left-right issue because some folks on the right are extremely anti-sex, and they object to any legal ruling that lets people who want to have lots of sex go ahead and have lots of sex. They want people who have lots of sex to be stuck raising kids as a result, which is why they’re also commonly against contraception being readily available. If people can have sex, conceive children as a result, and then not have to spend time and effort raising those children, why then there’s no reason to limit how much sex you have, and we obviously can’t have that! I think it traces back to the early Christian church where the faithful were supposed to show their devotion by surrendering Earthly pleasure. They don’t think it’s fair that they’re surrendering, and other people aren’t surrendering anything. God will punish them by blessing them with plentiful offspring!

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