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Gender: Male
Hometown: Pelican Bay, TX 76020
Home country: United States
Current location: home
Member since: Thu Jan 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 12,969

Journal Archives

The Case That Could Topple the Gun Industry's Special Legal Protections


A Pennsylvania court ruled September 28 that a law that has for decades insulated the gun industry from lawsuits is unconstitutional. The opinion quashes an attempt by the Illinois-based gun manufacturer Springfield Armory to dismiss a suit brought by the family of a Pennsylvania teenager killed with one of its guns.

If the ruling stands, no gun company will be able to use the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, to dismiss a lawsuit in the state of Pennsylvania. But the implications are potentially far greater. If the decision survives appeal at the state level, it is likely to catch the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court. A ruling against PLCAA at the federal level would provoke the gun industry’s worst fears, exposing companies to the kinds of product-liability suits that forced sweeping reforms in the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and automotive industries.

“This decision puts this case on the national radar in a way it would never have been otherwise,” said Timothy Lytton, a legal scholar at Georgia State University who edited a book on the history of gun industry litigation. There have traditionally been two strategies for getting past PLCAA’s immunity, he said, and this case represents the most ambitious: “Strategy One is trying to penetrate the immunity wall by finding cracks” via the law’s narrow exceptions. “Strategy Two is to knock down the wall with a wrecking ball… If this Pennsylvania case succeeds, it’s going to knock the whole wall down.”
(emphasis mine)

The case in point is here: https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/03/20/parents-of-teen-shot-and-killed-by-friend-file-wrongful-death-lawsuit/It involves the lack of safety devices or inadequate safety devices on guns. A young man was killed when his friend picked up a gun that had no magazine loaded into it and pulled the trigger only to find there was a round in the chamber, a round that killed his friend.

The PLCAA allows gun makers to be sued if they knowingly make a defective product BUT it allows the gun manufacturers to define a defect. Just call it a design feature and voila, no defect.

Oh, please, if there is a God of some kind please let this hit the SCOTUS and have them rule in favor of the Pennsylvania court.

Guns and penises . . . The marketing of death.

The Sandy Hook lawsuit against Remington hinges on one thing: Do gun manufacturers aim advertising at vulnerable males who feel their masculinity is threatened?

Remington is willing to pay $33 million to keep their marketing information secret. There must be some really nasty shit in those memos, don'ya think?

So, do gun makers advertise to men who might need a little, ah, 'boost'? You be the judge . . .


When they aren't pandering to the misogynic impulse with semi naked women there's always the epitome of testosterone; the Military image of war fighting tough guys.

Then there's the ad to end all ads:

Yet I have it on good authority from any number of gunners that guns are NOT penis substitutes . . .

Seen outside Smith and Wesson's

Springfield, Mass headquarters:

Mexico sues U.S. gun companies, alleging 'massive damage' that is 'destabilizing' to society

The Mexican government on Wednesday presented a civil lawsuit against several U.S. gun manufacturers.

The lawsuit alleges that they knowingly supply the criminal gun market in Mexico, noting that their military-style guns often end up in the hands of drug cartels.

The Mexican government seeks compensation for the “massive damage” and bloodshed allegedly caused by the defendants’ conduct.

A majority of traceable crime guns in Mexico come from the USA. Not just killing at home, exporting death at every opportunity!

The gun industry's PLCAA armor is further cracked by a new two-fer!

Not long ago I posted about the Sandy Hook Lawsuit against Remington in the deaths of 20 first grade children and six of their teachers. The post was about a legal victory against the gun industry and how others are using the same legal tactic; going after gun makers for the way they market their deadly product. https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215687099

Two other suits are pending!

Victims of a 2014 Dayton, Ohio mass shooting are suing the manufacturer of the 100 round drum magazine that allowed the shooter to fire 41 times in 32 seconds killing 9 and wounding 17 others. Citing negligent entrustment and public nuisance in the suit they claim that :
The company made and sold 100-round magazines fully aware they “have no or negligible utility for lawful uses of firearms but pose a tremendous risk to public safety because they are extremely effective and attractive for use in unlawful mass shootings,”

In another lawsuit a federal judge dismissed an appeal by Smith and Wesson in the case against them by the NJ AG in the marketing of their guns for self defense. The AG is suing the gun maker for marketing their guns as necessary for home defense and personal defense without grounds to show that the guns do either. U.S. District Judge Julien Neals rejected the attempt to move the trail to federal court without exhausting state court appeals. Typically state courts are less sympathetic than federal courts in such cases. https://www.courthousenews.com/federal-judge-dismisses-gunmakers-suit-over-new-jersey-ags-subpoena/

So please join me in offering heartfelt and tearful thanks to the Sandy Hook parents who have used their pain and grief to power them forward in the fight to find justice for their children and all others who have had lives taken or ruined by the gun industry in their pursuit of profit.

We have a victory for gun sense! It's complicated, but stay with me.

We have finally found a chink in the gun industry's armor. Hang with me while I wade through the details.

The PLCAA (Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act) was signed into law in 2005. It was the ILA's (the legal arm of the NRA) answer to a a number of cities bringing public nuisance* law suits against gun makers for their failure to control the flow of guns into their populations. The law effectively shields the gun makers from any responsibility for the sales, distribution and use or misuse of their product. No other product has such widespread protection from responsibility for their product. NONE.

In 2014 the families of Sandy Hook children brought suit against Remington Arms, the manufacturer of the gun used by Alan Lanza to murder 20 children and 6 caregivers for the sale of that weapon. It was immediately dismissed under the PLCAA.

Their attorneys appealed on different grounds, again it was dismissed. Finally the attorney's found s clause in the Connecticut constitution that protects against false and damaging advertising and filed yet again under that statute. They sued claiming that the rifle was marketed to vulnerable young men as a bolster to masculinity. It was appealed all the way to the State Supreme Court where it was ruled a viable suit with standing.

Plaintiffs asked for discovery to include all internal and external documents and communications regarding marketing. Remington responded with 6000 pages of junk which the plaintiffs appealed. REMINGTON RESPONDED WITH AN OFFER OF $33 MILLION TO MAKE IT GO AWAY! There must be some really nasty shit in those documents, doncha' think?

Since their success in bringing the suit the victims of the San Diego Synagogue shooting have brought suit on the same grounds and the state of New York has re-written their public nuisance laws to include guns and gun dealers specifically making it possible to reach across state lines to hold gun dealers accountable (74% of recovered crime guns come from outside the state).

Aside from that the Remington offer, accepted or not, will make banks and insurance companies rethink the gun industry as a client.

What this means is WE WON! No matter what happens next is secondary. The gun industry is NO LONGER BULLET PROOF.

* A public nuisance is any action that interferes with the rights and well being of a society or a group within society. Think about a cigarette store next to a high school or a topless bar near a church.

The legal battle between Good and Evil

Everytown for Gun Safety on Wednesday announced the launch of a litigation fund aimed at supporting legal claims by survivors of gun violence.

Everytown Law, the legal division of the gun control advocacy group that is made up of lawyers working to advance gun safety measures through the court system, said in a press release that it hopes to “support legal action seeking to address the impact of gun violence on disproportionately affected communities, including Black, Latino, and other communities of color.”
“A lack of resources shouldn’t prevent gun violence survivors and their allies from holding reckless actors in the gun industry accountable,” Tirschwell argued.
Legal efforts that may be supported by the fund include claims filed by survivors of gun violence, unfair or deceptive marketing of guns and “lawsuits seeking to compel state and local officials to enforce gun safety laws,” the organization said.

Meanwhile the NRA is spending massive amounts to simply stay in existence.

NRA Spending on Lawyers Is on Pace for Record This Year
The National Rifle Association racked up $22 million in legal costs in the first five months of 2021, on pace to surpass the record $40 million spent for all of last year, even as efforts to match its 2020 revenue faltered, internal documents indicate.

Legal costs were the nonprofit’s largest single expense after membership activities in the five months through May, when a judge rejected the gun-rights group’s bid to reorganize through bankruptcy, documents obtained by Bloomberg show.
The recent financial data illustrate the challenges the NRA faces after years when revenue has remained below its peak, though the group said it added about 350,000 new members in 2021, and has cut operating costs. Tax records show revenue fell 21% from 2016 to 2019, while unaudited results for last year and the NRA’s below-budget performance so far in 2021 indicate further declines.

It would appear that reason and simple humanity is slowly gaining ground in the continuing battle against the gun industry and the culture it has spawned. The further good news is that as long as the NRA is spending on it's survival there's less for the purchase of legislators.

Remington offers $33 million to Sandy Hook Elementary School families

Remington Arms Co. has offered to pay nine Sandy Hook Elementary School families $3.66 million each to settle lawsuits that claimed the gunmaker’s marketing contributed to the 2012 massacre in Newtown that killed 26 people.

Documents filed in Superior Court in Waterbury state that Remington is offering to “to settle all claims inclusive of any fees and costs on behalf of all Defendants.” The offer, which totals nearly $33 million, is the first settlement offer from the manufacturer of the gun used to kill 20 school children.

Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the families, said the offer was from two of the four insurance companies that did business with Remington, which is bankrupt. He praised two of the insurers, Ironshore and James River, “for now realizing that promoting the use of AR-15s as weapons of war to civilians is indefensible”

“Since this case was filed in 2014, the families’ focus has been on preventing the next Sandy Hook. An important part of that goal has been showing banks and insurers that companies that sell assault weapons to civilians are fraught with financial risk,’' Koskoff said in a statement.

Short article, no more at link.

I do not speak for the families and have no 'inside information' but I will be surprised if the families accept the offer.

This isn't about damages. It isn't about punishing only Remington. It's about losing a child and the hole in the heart that leaves.

The purpose is to expose the marketing of guns to vulnerable people by making them essential to masculinity and creating fear. The purpose is to have the CEOs of every gun manufacturer before Congress giving testimony just like the Tabaco industry. The purpose is to lay bare the callous nature of an industry that spreads death and anguish for the sake of sales and profit.

I wish them well and God speed.

She is 8 years old.

Afterward, when a reporter from local TV station WUSA asked how she felt, Faris Nunn, chewing on a fingernail, spoke almost with nonchalance. “It was my second shooting,” she said, “so I was kind of prepared, ‘cause I always am expecting something to happen.” As she said it, she dropped her hand and gave a tiny shake of her head as if to say, “What are you going to do?”
One of humanity’s nobler attributes is its adaptability. To be human, after all, is to learn, often by bitter experience, that “normal” can change in an eyeblink of time. So surviving and thriving require an ability to adjust to whatever the new normal might be.
. . .
But sometimes, maybe we should be more maladjusted. Sometimes, adapting oneself to the new circumstance is less a hopeful sign of resilience than a troubling sign of collective failure. “I always am expecting something to happen,” she said.

She is 8 years old.

Eight-year-olds should not have to go about always expecting something to happen. That this one does — that a 7-year-old in South Carolina was diagnosed with PTSD after a shooting there, that a 6-year-old in D.C. was shot and killed the night before the ballpark incident — is an indictment of this country. It is a rebuke of every pundit and gun-lobby functionary who ever sold mass terror as freedom, of every lawmaker who ever accepted NRA blood money in exchange for conscience, of every voter who voted for the politician who promised more guns in more places, of every individual who fires a gun as a show of cheap courage and counterfeit toughness, of all our thoughts and prayers and deepest condolences, of all our words and promises and newspaper columns and court cases and debates and tweets and resolve and pain.


What is wrong with us?

"We must never allow people to get away with murdering our children,"

said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Yet, over the weekend there were 12 (count 'em, TWELVE) mass shootings leaving 11 dead and 49 injured.

We allow this to happen. The gun lobby isn't invincible. Politicians are more afraid of US than they are of losing contributions. We have votes. They only have money.

Even Republicans don't want to be shot or have their children taken from them. When will WE learn to USE our votes?

I get so tired of writing this stuff and weeping.
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