Uh-oh, the gun industry just suffered a minor jolt that could become a knockout punch because a Federal judge has decided that the suit against Bushmaster brought by the parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook must be heard in a state, as opposed to a federal court. What this means is that the manufacturer, Bushmaster, will have to prove that their gun was not too dangerous to sell to the public, notwithstanding the fact that Adam Lanza was able to kill 20 kids and 6 adults in slightly more than five minutes’ time.
We don’t yet know which weapons were used to kill nine people at Umpqua Community College on October 1, but we do know that one of the guns carried into the school by Christopher Harper-Mercer was an assault rifle. The fact that the Connecticut Bushmaster suit was revived the day before another school slaughter took place is a horrifying coincidence that, if nothing else, tells us two things: 1) these mass shootings are become so frequent as to be almost routine; 2) the shooter’s access to an AR-15 in both incidents simply can’t be overlooked or ignored.
I’m hoping that if the Bushmaster case is argued in open court that Ben Carson will decide to weigh in on the side of the gun. His recent rise in the polls has coincided with a shameless effort to grab every single pro-gun vote, even if it means saying things that physicians should never say. Here’s a sample that was posted on his Facebook page although now it’s been taken down: “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.” Does this jerk have any idea how stupid, pandering and medically-unethical such a comment can be? Does he have any idea how reprehensible it is for a physician to compare the effects of any injury to a legal state of affairs?
Ben – you’re a creep. Nobody’s taking anybody’s rights away. What is going to happen when the Bushmaster suit is re-opened in state court, is that the whole issue of gun violence is finally going to be discussed by people who will be under oath and won’t be able to pretend that a marketing slogan can be used to obscure or fudge the truth. Because here’s the truth about the gun that Adam Lanza and probably Chris Mercer used when they opened fire in classrooms on both coasts. They didn’t use a ‘modern, sporting rifle,’ if by ‘sporting’ the gun industry tries to pretend that it’s no different than the old Remington 700 or Winchester 64 that I lug into the woods. It’s a military gun, pure and simple. it’s used by military and para-military forces worldwide, and just because some of the military guns can be set on full-auto doesn’t alter the fact that many armed forces units fire it in semi-auto mode as well.
But the argument about whether a semi-automatic weapon is just as lethal as a full-auto gun misses the whole point. And to understand the degree to which gun jerks like Carson will go to drag the argument away from the reality-lethality, here’s what he said today on Fox: “Guns don’t kill people. We need to figure out who is the dangerous person so we can intervene.” Okay Ben, how do you propose we ‘figure out’ the identity all those dangerous persons? Should we administer a Rorschach test to every gun buyer after they fill out a 4473? Or maybe you would prefer we use the Minnesota Multiphasic exam.
I don’t think there’s much chance that Ben Carson’s going to be the tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue come January 20, 2017. But I’d give anything for him to represent the gun industry when the case against Bushmaster comes into court. I can’t wait to hear him tell the parents of the kids gunned down at Sandy Hook that those lethal wounds weren’t as important as our 2nd Amendment rights. I just can’t wait.