Inside the insane lawsuit over Buffalo shooting

Inside the insane lawsuit over Buffalo shooting
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

In the wake of a mass shooting, people generally want someone to blame. Now, common sense would say that the person who pulled the trigger is the one to blame, but common sense isn’t exactly common.

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In the wake of Buffalo, we had a lot of push for gun control, but now we have a lawsuit that seems to blame everyone but the shooter.

Tech and social media giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google bear responsibility for radicalizing the Buffalo supermarket shooter, who was fueled by racist conspiracy theories he encountered online, the victim’s relatives said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

“They were the conspirators, even if they don’t want to admit it,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference announcing a 171-page lawsuit, which seeks unspecified financial damages as well as changes in how the companies operate.

The suit names several online platforms including Facebook’s parent company Meta, Instagram, Google, Discord and Amazon — which owns Twitch, the livestreaming platform the shooter used to broadcast last year’s shooting. The suit also names RMA Armament, the maker of the gunman’s body armor, as well as the firearms retailers that sold him weapons.

Buffalo attorney Terrence Connors, who along with Crump represents the families, said the legal team has thoroughly examined “the entire line of the gun distribution, the manufacturers of the body armor, the high capacity magazines that are plainly illegal,” as well as not social media platforms.

“What we found was downright scary,” he said.

Basically, they’re blaming Twitch because Twitch allows people to livestream and so the killer used it to livestream his rampage. It should be noted that they pulled the feed pretty quickly, but there was no way they could monitor every feed for something like this.

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But let’s get into the Second Amendment aspects of this. Let’s talk about what was so “downright scary.”

Firearms Policy Coalition took a look at the complaint and tweeted a bit of what was so “downright scary.”

In addition to the killer testing the trigger pull, he specifically asked for a particular brand and model of rifle.

These, the lawsuit alleges, should have been huge red flags. The dealer should have somehow known instinctively that this was someone who wanted to go on a killing rampage, slaughtering the innocent in job lots.

Of course, this is also how you know the attorneys know literally nothing about buying a gun.

Buying a gun is no different than buying any other good. Some people aren’t particular about what they get just so long as it’ll do the job while others have done copious amounts of research and know precisely what they want.

So, they ask for a particular brand.

Once they have that weapon in hand, though, then they get to examine the things you can’t research online. They pull the trigger to see how it feels, because that’s actually something a lot of gun people do. I’ve pulled the trigger on firearms that felt something like a wet sponge. I’ve pulled some that felt like I needed a come-along to get it to break.

So, you test it, much like you’d test drive a car.

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And yet, these attorneys think things like those are red flags?

In addition, a red flag was supposed to be that the gun store didn’t know him, that despite living just 25 minutes away, he wasn’t a regular.

First, this was an 18-year-old person. Why would they assume this wasn’t a first firearm purchase? Or are the attorneys and plaintiffs arguing that no one should be able to buy a gun unless they’re a regular customer, because if that’s the case they’re making, they’re kind of nuts. No one could ever be a regular customer because no one would ever be able to buy a gun.

What we seem to have here are lawyers who are capitalizing on people’s grief and looking to line their own pockets by basically suing everyone they can think of and hoping they’ll all settle out of court for a lot of money. They might think they can win with this, but I’m not sure they can, even in New York.

Especially since no one is alleging that the killer discussed his plans with the gun dealer or anything like that. So, they manufactured “red flags” how of what is pretty normal behavior and tried to lay the blame for Buffalo on, among others, a gun dealer.

Kind of pathetic, really.

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