On December 17, North Central Connecticut’s Journal Inquirer (JI) reported that by suing Bushmaster firearms, Newtown parents and their attorney have effectively sued every gun company.
Written by managing editor Chris Powell, the JI column shows this is so because “the lawsuit’s theory”—that the AR-15 “has little utility for legitimate civilian purposes”—”could be applied against any gun [manufacturer].”
Powell points out that federal law actually prohibits suing gun manufacturers for the misuse of their products. But he believes this suit may test that law or may be intended to somehow bluff Bushmaster into issuing settlements. If the the law fails or settlements result—or both—the suit against Bushmaster turns into a precedent for suits against other AR-15 manufacturers and, eventually, any gun company whose products have been misused.
Powell laments the approach Newtown parents have taken. He believes these matters should be approached constitutionally—pushing for a repeal or augmentation of the Second Amendment, instead of trying to use the court system for financial gain and/or to close down an entire industry.
He also contends that the suit misses the real problems behind the misuse of guns in our country—one of which is the lack of parenting necessary to teach young men how “to become civilized.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.