Washington Post Reveals the Truth About the Sandy Hook Parent’s Bushmaster Lawsuit

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton (courtesy CNN)

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has taken it on the chin for telling New York’s Daily Mail that “I [don’t] think the victims of a crime with a gun should be able to sue the manufacturer.” In other words, he’s defending his vote for the Protection of Lawful Commerce Act and rejecting the lawsuit filed by bereaved Sandy Hook parents. To refresh your memory . . .

The parents of Sandy Hook murder victim Victoria Soto are suing Bushmaster for selling AR-15s “knowing that the AR15’s military firepower, unsuited to personal defense or recreation, enables an individual in possession of the weapon to inflict unparalleled civilian carnage.”

It’s a ridiculous premise on a lot of levels. The Sotos’ lawyers will have to prove that the AR-15 doesn’t have value for self-defense or recreation. And convince a judge/jury that an AR-15 poses a graver danger to civilians than, say, a bomb. Still, support for the Sotos’ emotion-driven attempt to punish Bushmaster for selling a legal product legally has become a litmus test for gun control advocates.

The washingtonpost.com article examines the attacks against Senator Sanders claims that “the truth is complicated.” Scribe Paul Waldman proceeds to do an excellent job explaining the simple truth of matter.

The key line in that interview is: “I do believe that gun manufacturers and gun dealers should be able to be sued when they should know that guns are going into the hands of wrong people.” The question in this particular case would be whether he agrees with the plaintiff’s charge that merely producing an AR-15 constitutes knowing that it’s going into the hands of the wrong people.

But given that his first impulse when asked a question about it is to say that he doesn’t want to see manufacturers and sellers driven out of business, it seems that Sanders is uncomfortable with the idea of doing through the courts what can’t be done through legislation.

That’s a question that both he and Clinton should have to address specifically. A legal strategy targeted at gun manufacturers could succeed where legislative strategies have failed (and such a strategy would be much easier if the PLCAA were repealed), but it would be an entirely different way of going about restraining gun violence. There’s no reason you can’t do both — try to pass expanded background checks, say, while simultaneously trying to sue gun manufacturers into oblivion — but if that’s the strategy either one of the candidates favors, they ought to say so and explain why.

We can answer that question! Both candidates want to degrade and destroy Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, by whatever means possible. Sanders’ defense of the PLCAA is nothing more than political expediency; he doesn’t want to admit his “mistake” (voting to enact the legislation). We know this because . . .

In the face of mounting criticism for his vote, Senator Sanders has announced his support for legislation designed to “reform” the PLCAA. Sanders says he wants to modify the law to put gun makers in the dock while maintaining protections for “Mom and Pop” gun dealers (the purported reason for supporting the PLCAA in the first place). But there is no way to thread that needle. Not that Democrat legislators would even try.

Barring the imposition of the rule of law regarding Ms. Clinton’s illegal handling of classified data, the former First Lady will receive the Democrat presidential nomination. Which will leave her facing a Republican nominee who can use the WaPo’s insights into her opposition of the PLCAA to reveal her antipathy to American gun rights. So there is that.


  1. avatar David in NC says:

    I stopped reading once I reached the photo. It should be the Incendiary Image of the Day, every day.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Oh, no, it most certainly *isn’t*.

      I dare *anyone* to top this pic of the HidaBeast:


      Go ahead, zoom in, it’s a whopping 1884 × 2203 pixels of.. pixels of, well, something.

      Let *that* haunt your dreams…

      1. avatar Tommycat says:

        You told me what it was…
        You warned me it was bad…

        1. avatar Avid Reader says:

          For the same reason you can’t stop watching a train wreck.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “WHY THE HELL DID I CLICK IT!!!”

          Did I deliver the goods or did I deliver the fvcking goods?

          I am *honored* to provide you that central nervous system trauma.

          If a railcar of 55 gallon drums of Brain Bleach doesn’t help, post traumatic stress treatment is covered under ObamaCare.

          Provided you can sh!t the crippling deductible so you could afford the Bronze plan.

          That $5,000 could have bought you a sh!tload of ammo…

      2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        Wow, she could give Michelle Obama a run for her money as being the worst dressed First Lady.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          As someone once said in blistering review of a ‘Heart’ concert on the appearance of vocalist Ann Wilson:

          “Yards and yards of loose flowing cloth covering yards and yards of loose flowing flesh”.

          I wish I could remember where I read that at the time…

      3. avatar MrSmith says:

        I am scarred for life.

    2. avatar Darkwing says:

      I disagree with you, she is hot, I want her, even though she is a carpet muncher.

  2. avatar Ebby123 says:

    “A legal strategy targeted at gun manufacturers could succeed where legislative strategies have failed (and such a strategy would be much easier if the PLCAA were repealed)… There’s no reason you can’t do both — try to pass expanded background checks, say, while simultaneously TRYING TO SUE GUN MANUFACTURERS INTO OBLIVION. ”

    Which is exactly the PLCAA was enacted you fascist tool. You just outed yourself.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      That was my first thought as well. Attempting to do through lawsuits what couldn’t be done through law is exactly why PLCAA was created in the first place. While we haven’t needed a specific law to prevent vehicle manufacturers from being sued when somebody uses their car negligently or illegally (e.g. drunk drives or uses it as a bank robbery getaway vehicle, etc), we did need this for the firearms industry because it’s a target for politically-motivated ideologues. You’d get laughed out of court if you tried to sue Toyota because you were hit by a drunk driver in a ’98 Camry or tried to sue Craftsman because a criminal attacked you with one of their hammers, but for some reason when the exact same sort of liability suit is brought against Bushmaster it’s totally legitimate and a presidential candidate is back on his heels now for not supporting this sort of complete and total insanity.

      1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        Actually, there were some lawmakers that were freaking out about Daesh using Toyota pickups and turning them into technicals. We need to pass common sense technical controls now, for the children!

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    Sandy Hook could have been any other day, or any other perp. It could have been an unregulated agent of your gov’t. In which case, you’re gonna need a lot of civilians with AR-15s to counterract. It’s probably occuring somewhere in a POS muslim community somewhere as I type this. This is a hunt for deep pockets/step towards communism two-fer.
    FUCT your people are bent and broken.

    Hoorah BUSHMASTER, your product at least performed
    EXACTLY as advertised.

  4. avatar Joe R. says:

    If you can’t have gun Manufacturers you can’t have guns [most people could not assemble a potato gun if you gave them a kit] and you’ll have to kill the people trying to oppress you with vehicles, etc.

    The law firm is a tight pack of POS (D). Interested in their own $ and gun grab political expediancy. F-dem.

    GOD ensured that all men sleep. Take away guns only in trade.

  5. avatar Coltman says:

    So if Claymores were available at the gas station next to the cigarettes would it be any different?

    Hmm, what if you could buy a near-unlimited amount of highly flammable liquid for less than $2/gallon and it could be used to start pretty much anything on fire. Would that be different? Especially when there is a bowl of matchbooks free for the taking sitting at the checkout counter.

    Even the gun stores don’t offer free ammo like breath mints. That should say something.

    1. avatar Mudshark says:

      My dad liked blowing stuff up, he used gasoline alot, blew a hole clean through the river levee when the dogs ran a coon in a hole. In 82 my sewer quit working it would drain slowly, I dug a hole down to my sewer pipe and poored 5 gallons of gas in it. Kerblooie, sewer lids where flying up a block away,caved the streat in too, I think sewer gas must have ignited. It was 4 in the morning and I kept my mouth shut.

      1. avatar Ironhorse says:

        File under: That happened.

      2. avatar Danny Griffin says:


  6. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

    So if the PLCAA is repealed are all manufacturers fair game? If a drunk driver kills my child, can I sue the automaker and the booze companies?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Oh, it doesn’t end there. You could also sue the company that makes the bottles/cans that contained the booze.

      1. avatar younggun21 says:

        And then you could sue the companies that made the tires that made the car able to drive, and the gas company that sold the drunk driver the fuel for his automobile, and the service station that fixed his radiator that would have made the car unable to operate on that fateful day, and sue the state who paved the road that the accident occurred on. I just gave myself an aneurysm.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      I actually took the trouble to e-mail an editorial writer who was pontificating against the PLCAA and asked him if he thought Pfizer should be sued every time a prescription-drug abuser bought one of their products from a pharmacist and either OD’ed or went on a drug-fueled rampage. I have yet to get a response.

    3. avatar int19h says:

      They’re already fair game. It’s just that it usually doesn’t occur to people that they can try suing someone over that; and when it does, there aren’t multi-million-dollar organizations eager to fund their lawsuit for political reasons.

    4. avatar Ironhorse says:

      I got hit by a drunk driver. Not sure what he drank, but maybe I could sue Ford for enabling him with the Ranger he hit me with.

    5. avatar BDub says:

      Perhaps Mrs. Clinton should be able to sue Obama for letting such a high level security clearance get into her chubby little fingers?

    6. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      If it stands to make lawyers wealthier and more powerful, of course you not only can, but should.

  7. avatar CarlosT says:

    The PLCAA protects the firearms industry from a completely insane legal theory that is not only anti-gun, it’s anti-commerce. Of course, for many of its proponents, this is a feature, not a bug. If manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and others trading in a product can be sued for its misuse, business is impossible.

    A culture of hyperaccountability would actually produce markets with zero accountability. The only businesses that could survive in that environment would those who shroud themselves and their products in anonymity. You don’t know who makes what so you don’t know who to sue. Being known would be much too risky.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Any claims that an AR-15 was somehow super-duper ultra deadly (much more so than other “traditional” firearms) at Sandy Hook is bogus and demonstrably false.

    When a classroom full of 1st or 2nd grade children are huddled in a corner, a spree killer can easily kill those children with several alternate firearms. One example of 125 year old firearm technology is a lever-action rifle chambered in .45-70 Government shooting 400+ grain hardcast lead bullets. Each bullet would easily pass through five young children causing mortal wounds. With a 5 round magazine, the spree killer could easily kill 25 children without reloading. Similar results are possible with a lever-action rifle chambered in .44 Magnum shooting 300 grain hardcast lead bullets.

    And it goes without saying that a 12 gauge shotgun with a 7 round magazine (+1 in the chamber) shooting 3 inch (Magnum) #000 buckshot shells would be devastating even without reloading. A second such shotgun or reloading on the fly of course amplifies the potential carnage.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Hell, in the time the cops gave Lanza to play around in, he could have used a brace of black-powder pistols and clubbed the kids to death after he emptied his guns.

  9. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    If you want to make a liberal hoplophobe’s head explode, tell them to go to Google Images and search for “AR-15 hunting.”

  10. avatar gs650g says:

    Background checks are just a mechanism to deny you without due process. They want a secret list you can’t see, check or appeal that embarrasses you in the store.

  11. avatar younggun21 says:

    I can’t see this lawsuit going forward with any self respecting judge presiding over the case. It would be a de-facto gun ban on any of the rifles in that style essentially legislating from the bench. If this went forward, no dealer would dare sell any AR style rifles knowing that they could be sued into oblivion right afterwards. Further, it sets a nasty precedent for anyone using one of their AR rifles in self defense since the ruling would have to prove that the rifles “have no defensive purpose” meaning that you could be sued for manslaughter or worse if you use it to defend your home.

    This would surely be a no go and the lawyers for the parents should be ashamed of themselves for taking money from a grieving family.

  12. avatar Ragnar says:

    “AR-15s “knowing that the AR15’s military firepower, unsuited to personal defense …”

    So why do police and other law enforcement agencies use them?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Because the use by police is offensive?
      It is soooo bad that some politician made the stupid assertion that an AR-15 in .223 is deadlier than a .30-06.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      The original meaning of the acronym “SWAT” – devised by the very same people who created the concept – was “Special Weapons Attack Teams”. They changed the label (but not the tactics) because the word “attack” was deemed to be too alarming to the public.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        I recall that ‘S.W.A.T.’ meant “Special Weapons And Tactics”.

        That’s what it was changed into?

        1. avatar int19h says:

          Like I said, the original meaning was different when they came up with the idea. They changed it because it sounded too aggressive to sell to the public. This is from Daryl Gates’ autobiography:

          One day, with a big smile on my face, I popped in to tell my deputy chief, Ed Davis, that I thought up an acronym for my special new unit. He was still, as we all were, glued to the classic concepts of policing, which discourage the formation of military-type units. But he realized some changes would have to be made.

          “It’s SWAT,” I said.
          “Oh, that’s pretty good. What’s it stand for?”
          “Special Weapons Attack Teams.”
          Davis blinked at me. “No.” There was no way, he said dismissively, he would ever use the word “attack.” I went out, crestfallen, but a moment later I was back.
          “Special Weapons and Tactics,” I said. “Okay?”
          “No problem. That’s fine,” Davis said. And that was how SWAT was born

  13. avatar DaveinLA says:

    “I do believe that gun manufacturers and gun dealers should be able to be sued when they should know that guns are going into the hands of wrong people.”

    So just when did Bushmaster begin selling direct to the consumer? Oh they should be sued for the actions even if twice (or more in this case, BM -> Dealer -> Purchaser -> Muderous Thief ) removed… wish I was a Liberal so I could understand this line of thinking of liability for premeditated knowledge of pre-crime concept…..

    1. avatar Bobiojimbo says:

      That way lies madness.

  14. avatar Bobiojimbo says:

    “I do believe that gun manufacturers and gun dealers should be able to be sued when they should know that guns are going into the hands of wrong people.”

    Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s easy to say after the fact: “Well, you should’ve known!” He didn’t say: “knowingly,” he said: “should know.” Very dangerous wording that is.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      “Knew or should have known” is common legal verbiage. For example, as a property owner, you are liable for injuries to others caused by defective conditions on your property if you “knew or should have known” of the defect and failed to repair or warn. “Should have known” means conditions or facts that would have been discovered by a reasonable investigation/inspection.

  15. avatar wrightl3 says:

    “In the face of mounting criticism for his vote, Senator Sanders has announced his support for legislation designed to “reform” the PLCAA. Sanders says he wants to modify the law to put gun makers in the dock while maintaining protections for “Mom and Pop” gun dealers (the purported reason for supporting the PLCAA in the first place). But there is no way to thread that needle. Not that Democrat legislators would even try.”
    This proves that e hates them anyway because if you drive the gun manufacturers out of business, the small dealers will also go under.

  16. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    Both Clinton and Sanders are unprincipled prostitutes:

    They will support the lobby that has the most money regardless of the consequences to the country, liberty, their own grandchildren or anything else.

    Money and power trumps everything else with these old socialists and we will all be better off when we are rid of them.

  17. avatar HellofromIllinois says:

    Unlike Mr. Fargo, I really don’t think Sanders wants to obliterate firearms rights. He is a very outspoken man on the issues he cares about and generally has avoided talking about firearms because he has more moderate views on the subject. If he was actually worried about anti-gun Democrats attacking him for his past voting record, he would be going after the firearms industry like he is going after Wall Street, but he is not. He skirts the issue as best he can and regularly mentions that firearms have lawful use such as the large number of hunters in his home state.

  18. avatar H says:

    Hillary got social media slapped for her comments about Newtown. One from a mom who lost her daughter there.

    It was the same time she said Vermont is the source of NY’s crime guns. 55 guns out of 7668. Lie much Hill?

  19. avatar Don says:

    Unsuited to personal defense or recreation? Then why does everyone guard stuff with them and then run around shooting them in organized sporting events on the weekends?


  20. avatar CP says:

    In any contract or legislation, never never never accept any clause or reference to consequential damages. Should the state be able to bring criminal charges — and victims be able to bring civil suits — against companies, owners, and employees of manufacturers of firearm and or ammunition? ABSOLUTELY! But not via consequential damages that are not directly a result of willful negligence. Example: If a the board members, senior management and employees of S&W plans out and enters a public library en mass with an M&P9s (and manage to use the crappy triggers) to shoot people, then certainly S&W should be brought up on both criminal and civil charges.

  21. avatar Kirk says:

    If gun manufacturers are sued out of existence where is are the popo an military going to get their defensive weapons?

  22. avatar Darkwing says:

    Ever notice, when a person blows up a building or use a bomb to murder people: they blame the person, BUT if you use a gun: the gun is the problem. It is not logical: thanks you Mr. Spock.

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