Constitutional Freedoms

Another Front Opens Up in the War on the Second Amendment

Connecticut case could create a pathway toward anti-gun rulings — opinion piece lays out the facts

Yet another front has opened up in the war on the Second Amendment.

This one is a cockamamie ruling from activist justices on the Connecticut Supreme Court. The colossal ignorance of some of our nation’s supposedly wisest people confounds the lucid brain. Some of their anti-gun rights rulings are mind-numbingly dumb.

Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson wrote in a dissent, according to Edweek.org, “Whether this court agrees with Congress or not, in adopting the [2005] arms act, Congress … made very clear its intent to absolve defendants like these — gun manufacturers and distributors from liability for criminal use of firearms by third parties except in the most limited and narrow circumstances and, particularly, to shield them from novel or vague standards of liability.”

Unfortunately, a narrow majority decided that Soto v. Bushmaster can be “revived.”

A lower court had originally dismissed the case, as was proper. However, with the state Supreme Court allowing another at-bat, if the plaintiffs prevail, this could create a novel pathway toward anti-gun rulings nationwide.

For the majority opinion, Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote, “Specifically, they [the plaintiffs] allege that the defendants knowingly marketed, advertised, and promoted the XM15-E2S for civilians to use to carry out offensive, military-style combat missions against their perceived enemies.”

What? Do they actually expect us to believe an American gun manufacturer marketed its product specifically for crazy or evil people to act on their delusions? “Perceived enemies”? You must have a partisan agenda to believe such nonsense.

Related: I Don’t Need My Rifle but It’s My Constitutional Right to Have It

Soto v. Bushmaster is a civil case brought by families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre during which a maniac murdered 20 children and six adults. I can understand the urge to want to do something, but shouldn’t that something actually work toward fixing the problem? You know … as in protecting our kids like we protect our money in a bank or diamonds in a jewelry store. As usual, this lawsuit would only punish law-abiding gun manufacturers and their customers.

The plaintiffs sought and the court granted an exemption from the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Congress passed the law in 2005 to protect arms manufacturers from frivolous or inappropriate lawsuits such as this one.

The plaintiffs conscripted and then sculpted the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) to fit their agenda and to go into battle against Bushmaster. The NRA said, “They asserted that any sale of an AR-15 to the civilian population was necessarily a fraudulent commercial practice, because (so they claimed) such firearms have no legitimate civilian use.”

That’s just absurd and shows their ignorance on the issue. As their evidence, they used “Remington ad copy that used militaristic images and language, appeals to patriotism, references to the gun’s use and proofing in combat.”

The NRA points out that companies use these types of images all the time to sell other legal merchandise.

The obvious comparison, and the one used by Bushmaster, is with an automobile. Could you sue Ford if someone used an F-150 to run down a bunch of people? If not, why not? If you can sue a gun manufacturer because someone misuses their product, shouldn’t you be able to sue a car manufacturer?

Two things in the pro-gun right’s favor is federal law supremacy and the Pandora’s box precedent any judge in the case will have to risk opening before ruling in the plaintiffs’ favor.

How many people will sue other companies under the same exception if the plaintiffs prevail? Think about anything a person can use to commit a crime. For example, could you sue Estwing if someone kills someone with one of their hammers?

You might say the company doesn’t market hammers as “weapons of war.” Well, the AR-15 isn’t a weapon of war either. It’s marketed primarily for self-defense. Remember, if they take away the most effective means for self-defense, they essentially take away your right to self-defense.

The AR-15 is a self-defense weapon also used for hunting, target shooting, and collecting. It works the same as other semi-automatic firearms. Pull the trigger once, and you fire one bullet. It is not a “weapon of war.”

And what if it were a weapon of war? When the framers included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, the arms they felt people had the right to keep and bear were, at the time, weapons of war. There’s a good argument over-regulating automatic weapons infringes on the Second Amendment.

Just food for thought and a topic to tackle another day.

If they don’t know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic firearms or that the AR-15 has “legitimate civilian uses,” they are embarrassingly ignorant. They are being irresponsible to have issued such a ruling without informing themselves about the entire scope of the subject.

So, while the two rifles may be identical in appearance, the critical difference is in how each functions. In fact, the AR-15 is often referred to as a “civilian version” of the M16. The M16 may be described as a weapon of war because you pull the trigger once, you fire multiple bullets. To legally possess an M16, or any full-automatic firearm, you must get a federal Class 3 license (FFL). The qualification process is quite involved and there is a prohibitively expensive $500 annual fee.

Another thing to consider is the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment not with hunting or target shooting in mind. They included it so the people could protect themselves from harm, including from an oppressive government.

They knew an armed populace wouldn’t be an easy target for tyranny.

In fact, they’d just been a part of an armed populace in action. Ask King George III if the armed Americans were easy to subjugate. What about the Redcoats at Lexington Green and their harrowing retreat back to Boston? I mean, if America hadn’t had an armed people at the time of the Revolutionary War, we’d all be speaking English … Oh, wait. Never mind.

You get my point.

The Connecticut justices who ruled to revive this lawsuit must know the above arguments, right? If not, shouldn’t they know? Especially when they’re ruling on this subject matter. If they know these facts and ruled in favor of bringing the lawsuit anyway, they are oppressors.

If they don’t know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic firearms or that the AR-15 has “legitimate civilian uses,” they are embarrassingly ignorant. They are being irresponsible to have issued such a ruling without informing themselves about the entire scope of the subject.

Can those Connecticut Supreme Court justices truly believe there’s even a remote possibility that the good folks at Bushmaster are intentionally marketing a product to mass murderers of children?

How could they rule for the plaintiffs, if they did not believe that? And that is disgusting.

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor and retired Seattle police officer. He has served as a field training officer on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. This OpsLens piece is used by permission.

Read more at OpsLens:
Two U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan
Nanny State Laws Enacted by Politicians Tarnish Public Perception of Police
The Air Force Doesn’t Train Warriors Anymore