In the wake of a mass shooting that claims the life of someone you care about, you want to blame someone. I’ve been there, so I get it.
For one Uvalde mother, being upset at a lot of people makes sense, but now she’s taking that anger to court.
The family of Eliahna Torres, who was killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, filed a lawsuit Monday against nearly two dozen people and entities, including the gun manufacturer and store that provided the rifle used in the May 24 attack and law enforcement officials who responded to the scene, according to court documents.
The 76-page federal lawsuit, filed by Everytown Law and a Texas law firm on behalf of Sandra Torres and Eliahna’s siblings, alleges the “mass shooting was enabled by the illegal, reckless, and negligent actions” of gun manufacturer Daniel Defense.
Investigators have said the Uvalde shooter used an AR-15-style rifle manufactured by Daniel Defense.
“Daniel Defense markets its AR-15-style rifles to young male consumers by using militaristic imagery and video game references, by marketing on various social media platforms, and by suggesting that its rifles can be used by civilians for offensive combat-style operations against non-combatants,” the suit alleges. The suit also claims Daniel Defense’s marketing tactics are unfair and violate the Federal Trade Commission Act.
CNN has reached out to all the defendants listed in the lawsuit for comment.
The lawsuit also accuses Oasis Outback, a gun store that delivered the Daniel Defense rifle to the shooter and sold him another weapon and ammunition, of negligent transfer of firearms.
The shooter “had picked up or bought well over $3,000 worth of guns and ammunition, including two AR-style rifles” at Oasis Outback and the store “had a duty not to sell weapons to the just-turned 18-year-old shooter, who it knew or reasonably should have known was likely to harm himself or others,” the lawsuit argues, citing witnesses in the Robb Elementary Investigative Committee Report who claim the shooter was nervous and behaving suspiciously in the store.
How Oasis Outback should have known such a thing isn’t mentioned here. Someone just buying a bunch of guns isn’t actually all that unusual. Many of us would do the same thing if we suddenly had access to a largeish sum of money, and none of us would shoot up anything except targets at the range.
Also included in the lawsuit is the Uvalde police department, who waited an eternity before entering the school–a wait that cost Lord only knows how many lives.
This particular tactic being used against Daniel Defense is one used after Newtown but isn’t necessarily going to work here. The previous lawsuit was settled by an insurance company that just wanted the problem to go away. It had nothing to do with whether Remington had actually done anything wrong.
Here, Daniel Defense isn’t actually liable for the actions of this vile excuse for a human being in Uvalde, either. Further, Everytown is going to be hard-pressed to actually show the alleged killer even saw the marketing in question. It’s incomprehensible that they could remotely be held liable for the actions of someone who never even saw said marketing.
And even if he did, there’s absolutely nothing in any gun marketing that remotely advocates anything like this. Nothing at all.
Then there are the police.
Yes, I blame them for not acting sooner and I don’t think the mother’s anger is misplaced here. However, I don’t see this actually accomplishing anything. The lawsuit alleges that police essentially seized her daughter illegally, an action that led to her death.
While I’d like to see that part hold up, the truth was that after Parkland, I’m skeptical that anything will come of this line of thought, either.
I get Torres being upset and wanting to punish someone. I just think this is going to go nowhere.