By now, we know that the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case Remington over the Sandy Hook massacre. The court should have dismissed the suit as being preempted by the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was intended to keep gun manufacturers from being sued by a criminal’s act using the firearm.
Allowing a victim to sue a manufacturer would be like allowing Ford to be sued because a drunk driver injured someone while behind the wheel of an F-150. Using the car analogy, it’s ridiculous to think Ford bares liability for someone’s criminal use of their vehicle. But because we have so stigmatized firearms somehow “it’s okay” to sue them.
The actual Connecticut Supreme Court ruling allow the suit to proceed forward because Remington’s advertising “might” violate state fair trade laws. What the US Supreme Court’s decision does is allow the actual trial to go forward.
One of the ads in question was “Consider your man card re-issued,” (imply the purchase of an AR-15 did that). Of course, the plaintiff would have to prove that Lanza saw the ad and was somehow influenced by it. It’s a difficult bar to reach because he is dead and took pains to destroy and information regarding motive. Also, the weapon was never purchased by Lanza. Instead, he murdered her and stole her firearms.
Even the Connecticut Supreme Court found that proving a violation might be problematic. The plaintiffs will likely lose at trial against Remington. That’s the one upside to all of this; the suit is obviously ludicrous. An appeal going forward would probably be supported not on the PLCAA, but free speech grounds. Nevertheless, it’s all about precedence and forcing gun makers to spend money defending this crap.
The problem for firearm manufacturers and the PLCAA is that the US Supreme Court not squashing this case summarily provides encouragement to anti-gunners to file lawsuits to try and exploit and crack they can. The incrementalism strategy of gun control is very dangerous in this regard, especially if the US Supreme Court waffles on future appeals. The plaintiffs should have been slammed down hard because this case was an affront to federal statutes.
The court should have shut this down on principle because at the heart of the challenge is this kind of find-a-weakness attack on the PLCAA. Our system of judicial review is being used against us and the court is too morally weak to think strategically. Oddly, courts wrap themselves narrowly in precedence and narrow reading but also exercise their own feelings and politics when it comes to decisions. On one day, they are too conservative with the law and the next they decide purely based on emotion and politics.
The idea of judicial review puts the ultimate power of everything in the hands of the Supreme Court making the nine robed “sages” our masters instead of a proper separation of powers. We cannot rely on courts to “save” our rights. Our rights are God-give and inherent. A court ruling is only a means to an end. We are also at the decline of American constitutional government and jurisprudence. No matter what favorable ruling we might get, it’s only a means to an end. We all know that one day we will have no other recourse than the ammo box.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West