The lawsuit, filed by relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, questioned assault rifles’ availability to civilians.
Disappointing but not the end of this lawsuit. I’m guessing that the judge, a state judge, allowed the case to proceed as a way of probing and laying down some judicial opinion about the awful federal law she cites–a law written probably by the gun lobby and brought forward and enacted by Republicans. It’s noted in the paragraph below. I’ll highlight so you’ll see how rotten to the core this law is:
The judge, Barbara N. Bellis of State Superior Court, had surprised even some of the plaintiffs by allowing the case to move toward trial this year, despite a 2005 federal law that offers firearm manufacturers and sellers broad protection from lawsuits when guns are used in crimes.
But in a decision filed on Friday, Judge Bellis repeatedly cited the law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, as the basis for her reasoning. “This action falls squarely within the broad immunity provided” by the act, she wrote.
So how rotten is this law and the congresspeople who produced it? I highlight:
Judge Bellis ruled that their claims were too broad to fall under negligent entrustment, and said Congress had already deemed the civilian population competent to possess the weapons by the nature of its law.
“To extend the theory of negligent entrustment to the class of nonmilitary, nonpolice civilians — the general public — would imply that the general public lacks the ordinary prudence necessary to handle an object that Congress regards as appropriate for sale to the general public,” she wrote. “This the court is unwilling to do.”
Get that, you civilian population, like me? Do you feel your neighbors possess the “ordinary prudence necessary to handle” these guns? Oh let me add a few more ?????
I do have the necessary prudence, i.e., I would never handle one of those guns.
OK, I highlighted those incredible statements about how Congress has decided the general public is competent–and sane and moral and blah blah blah–enough to own heavy military weaponry. But I’m thinking highlighting isn’t enough. So I’m going back up there to make those highlighted portions HUGE. Here I go…
…and realized I can’t blow up only the bolded portions; the entire paragraph insists on growing larger than life, too.
So deal with it.
Anyhow, on a brighter note: the Newtown plaintiffs will appeal. I’m not sure whether they go first to the highest Connecticut court or go directly to the federal 2nd Circuit in Manhattan. I’m thinking this Connecticut state judge’s statements about the “Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (I mean, really, couldn’t they have been more subtle in entitling this awful act? Sort of more like the “Lawful Commerce in Selling Heavy Weaponry to Any Psychotic Who Shows Up At a Gun Show Act?”), OK, I lost my place in this sentence.
To begin again: Could Judge Bellis have been a tad sarcastic when she described the act? Will the appeal be founded in the idea that this act is in some way unconstitutional? I don’t know enough about the Constitution to figure out how it might be–the Constitution is not, as people nowadays seem to think, the little booklet with less than 5000 words: that’s the original Constitution. The Constitution itself is more like a huge room in a law library full of all those law books that TV shows about crime or whatever use for backdrops.
I’m hoping this lousy law is unconstitutional. I know it’s nonsensical, and deadly, and stupid and it’s allowing crazy people such as one Trump supporter to arm himself, show up at a Democratic Congresswoman’s campaign office and stand outside saying he’s there to defend freedom.
P.S. Don’t bother with comments saying “Gee, he’s not carrying a Newtown-style weapon, you gun-control-know-nothing.” It’s a gun, it shoots, he’s carrying it and he’s intimidating people with it. And I’d much rather know nothing about guns than be like you.