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Supreme Court allows Sandy Hook lawsuit to proceed

by Harvest Prude
Posted 11/12/19, 12:40 pm

WASHINGTON—Survivors and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can sue the maker of the rifle used in the deadly tragedy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. Gunman Adam Lanza, 20, used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle to kill 20 first graders and six teachers in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012 before killing himself as police arrived.

What do the plaintiffs want? The lawsuit alleges that the gun’s manufacturer, Remington Arms, should not be shielded from product liability damages. According to the lawsuit, the company marketed the AR-15-style rifle “for use in assaults against human beings.” Lawyers argue Remington irresponsibly targeted younger males through product placement in violent video games. Congress passed a law in 2005 protecting firearms manufacturers from being held liable for crimes committed by gun owners. Lanza’s mother legally owned the rifle Lanza used in the shooting.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew about how congressional Republicans are struggling to unite around solutions to gun violence.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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  • SN
    Posted: Tue, 11/12/2019 02:44 pm

    Assuming that the Sandy Hook shooting really happened, it does not follow that the manufacturer of the weapon allegedly involved should be legally liable for the killings.  The blame should rest instead upon the shooter, not upon the weapon or its manufacturer.  Remington should be regarded as guiltless in this matter.  The mantra is true.  ‘Guns don't kill people.  People kill people.’  Any attempt to hold Remington legally responsible or morally culpable would prove a miscarriage of justice.  And it would set a dangerous legal precedent.

    Deuteronomy 24:16 "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 11/12/2019 03:15 pm

    Lots of cans of worms opened up by decision to allow this lawsuit. 

    For instance, will GM or Ford be sued for car accidents because they make cars that go fast enough to kill people?  

    Can fast food chains be sued because people get fat from a diet of fast food?

    Kitchen knife makers sued because people get cut?

    Then there’s the issue of saying placement of the gun in video games caused young game players to associate that gun with killing people. Yet the makers of violent video games vehemently claim the games never influence anyone to violent acts. 

    Too many of us are willing to absolve criminals or selfish people or thoughtless people of responsibility for their own actions. 

    If I get fat or drive too fast or, God forbid, kill someone, isn’t it pretty much on me, my poor decisions?

    Are we at the point we can all claim we need a nanny, and our misdeeds are the fault of society, for not providing us with 24/7 nannies?

    [SN, Sandy Hook really happened.  Let’s not start down that rabbit hole.]


    Posted: Tue, 11/12/2019 04:33 pm

    Good points Old Mike.

    And when China begins making those guns and sending them in secret containers to America. Or sends them across the Mexican open borders who will be sued then? Mexico? Border Patrols? China? 

  •  CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Tue, 11/12/2019 05:04 pm

    Does anyone really believe that a manufacturer is responsible when anyone steals their product and misuses it?

    The person who made Sandy Hook Elementary School an alleged "gun free zone" is more responsible for the multiple deaths there than anyone, but the shooter, who really is the only one to blame.

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Wed, 11/13/2019 12:06 pm

    "Survivors and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can sue the maker of the rifle used in the deadly tragedy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday."

    What a waste of time. Sandy Hook families could have already sued. Why did SCOTUS have to make a ruling about who can sue whom? It's a free country. Go ahead and sue! This ruling doesn't guarantee a victory. It only approves that a law suit can go forward. Right? What's new?