Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Evil Bastard

The evil that men do lives after them; 
             Mark Antony in Julius Caesar.

That’s half a quote.  The rest is missing because apparently there wasn’t any good to Adam Lanza. There is a report out in cyber space about how strange and troubling he is and how everyone was afraid to deal with this nut job.  But despite being dead, his actions are still making trouble.

Not surprisingly, parents of his victims who are still dealing with what must be unending grief, have sued Bushmaster claiming they never should have released a military style weapon. 

(Note, I’m not a lawyer and real lawyers tell me changing one fact in a case can produce a different outcome.  So read this with that understanding.  I’m talking about generalities.)

Firearm manufacturers as well as others are shielded from product misuse lawsuits.  If you bash in someone’s skull with a properly made hammer, the manufacturer shouldn’t be held responsible for your misuse.  But if the hammer’s shaft breaks while you're nailing shingles on your roof, well that might be another thing.

Seems fair doesn’t it?

The media reports the parents are filing a suit based on what is known as the negligent entrustment exemption to the law. In a negligent entrustment case, a party can be held liable for entrusting a product, in this case the Bushmaster rifle, to another party who then causes harm to a third party.

I copied this from an internet legal source and if you take this as legal advise you’re nuts!   Negligent entrustment is a cause of action in tort law that arises where one party (the entrustor) is held liable for negligence because they negligently provided another party (the entrustee) with a dangerous instrumentality, and the entrusted party caused injury to a third party with that instrumentality. The cause of action most frequently arises where one person allows another to drive their automobile.

“The court needs to decide whether they want to extend negligent entrustment from a retailer selling a gun to someone standing right in front of them to the theory that the manufacturer of the weapon is also responsible when the weapon they made is then sold by another party to a third person,”  Albany Law School professor Timothy Lytton. 

Now Fuzznuts (I’m not going to mention his name again,) didn’t buy the AR.  He took his mother’s, but it seems the idea is the manufacturer should have known the product was too dangerous to sell to the unwashed public.  I think you can sense the direction of the case from a statement from their attorney Josh Koskoff:

“The AR-15 was specifically engineered for the United States Military to meet the needs of changing warfare.  In fact, one of the Army’s specifications for the AR-15 was that it has the capability to penetrate a steel helmet.”

It almost sounds like the Army expects the rifle to be capable, then thrust spearlike, to penetrate a steel helmet.

Other statements and amplification of the AR’s unsuitability can be found in the media claiming fire rates of hundreds of rounds per minute, penetrated protective body armor, and no civilian use.  You’re heard this rot before.

So it seems the circus is in town, and while it is tempting to get a large bowl of popcorn and watch the act there is one thing to remember.  In court, each lawyer presents his or her version of reality.  They don’t have to prove any relationship to the mundane, boring lives most of us live and their theory. They just have to get a jury to agree that their ‘reality’ is better than the other guy’s ‘reality.’

There are two kinds of people, those who believe you can divide people into two groups and those who say you can’t.  I belong to the second group.  I believe you can, at least in this case, divide people into three groups.

One: Those who understand this is the result of loving parents who, however misguided, want to prevent this from happening to any other child. 
Two: Those who have decided it’s those damn guns that are destroying society and why can’t everyone just admit we are right?
Three: Those of us who aren’t sure and have only heard one side. 

Take a few minutes to be sure you know the facts and the arguments.  You may be able to help group one and three and you’ll get to piss off group two, always a worthwhile activity.

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