The Las Vegas shooting was absolutely horrific. It was haunting for me and I just wrote about it from the opposite side of the country. I can only imagine what it must have been like for those who endured it.
It’s only natural that those who survived it and those who lost someone would want to hold someone accountable.
The problem is that the person responsible is dead, so they turned their attention to others. They want to blame gun manufacturers.
Unfortunately for them, they ran into a wall called the Nevada Supreme Court.
The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday rejected arguments in the case of a Route 91 Harvest festival victim, ruling that gun manufacturers and distributors are not responsible for the actions of the shooter.
The estate of Carrie Parsons sued, alleging that the manufacturers of the AR-15 assault rifle knew the weapon could be easily modified — effectively converted into an automatic weapon with the use of a bump stock. That claim, as well as protections in Nevada law for gun manufacturers, were the main issues in the lawsuit.
The AR-15 was one of many weapons used in the attack that left Parsons and 57 others dead at the country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip the night of Oct. 1, 2017. The deaths of two additional victims have been attributed to the shooting, bringing the death toll to 60.
Justice Kristina Pickering, writing the unanimous decision of the court, said Nevada law’s protections for gun makers stand because the deaths were not the result of a manufacturing defect.
This long-standing idea that gun manufacturers should be responsible for what a completely different party does with their products has always struck me as bizarre, to say the least.
After all, no one tries to sue Ford for drunk drivers. No one sues the maker of the Louisville Slugger because someone used one of the bats they made to bash someone’s skull in. No one sues knife manufacturers because a loved one was stabbed to death.
No, it’s only gun manufacturers who face this kind of thing.
This is also why they’re the only ones who have any federal protection against such lawsuits–a fact that doesn’t sit well with anti-Second Amendment types throughout the land.
However, the truth of the matter is that Colt–one of the companies sued–did nothing wrong. Every action we know they took with regard to the firearms used was lawful in every way. The truth of the matter is that the Las Vegas shooter passed multiple background checks in purchasing his weapons. There was absolutely nothing in his background that should have served as some kind of a red flag that he’d carry out such an attack.
So how was Colt supposed to know?
Every year, tons of AR-15s are sold in this country. Only a handful are used for anything illegal. As such, Colt and every other manufacturer out there has every reason to believe the products they make will be used for lawful purposes.
The issue is that some want us to believe that they’re responsible for things well beyond their control, and they want to bankrupt them for it. If they can do that, then no gun manufacturer is safe, which is kind of the point.