All of a sudden it seems like the pro-gun gang is taking it on the chin. I am referring to a spate of lawsuits that have pushed back gun ‘rights’ in favor of gun ‘controls.’ And while I don’t want to assume that the trend will continue, it’s a basic shift in the legal landscape involving guns and may foreshadow more gun-control victories to come. It certainly promises that there will be more legal battles and here is why:
- Last week the 2nd Circuit upheld the Connecticut and New York laws that were passed after Sandy Hook, laws which effectively gave both states the right to closely regulate assault-style guns. The plaintiffs (NRA, etc.) of course argued the same old, same old; namely, that the little ol’ AR-15s were just like any other kind of semi-automatic hunting gun, even though I don’t believe anybody ever went into the woods looking to pop Bambi with a rifle that could shoot 60 rounds in three minutes or less. Which is basically how the Court saw the case, noting that taking this type of weapon out of civilian hands did not deprive consumers from buying any other type of semi-automatic gun. The Court agreed that the 2nd Amendment protected the right of gun owners to have semi-automatic rifles but didn’t protect any particular sub-group of same. Bye bye modern sporting gun.
- A jury in Milwaukee found a local gun shop guilty of aiding and abetting a straw sale which eventually led to two police officers being shot with the illegally-sold gun. The gun shop argued that they had no way of knowing that the buyer was actually fronting for someone else; the jury had trouble swallowing that cock-and-bull story when they were told that the jerk who bought the gun mistakenly wrote down his buddy’s address on the 4473.
- Another lawsuit was filed in Milwaukee, this one against Armslist, the website that allows unlicensed individuals to advertise, buy, sell and trade guns. In this case someone sold a 40-caliber handgun to a dope who promptly walked into a health spa, shot seven women and killed three of them including his own wife, and then went down in a blaze of glory by putting the gun against his own head. Last year another liability suit against Armslist was dismissed in Illinois because the owners of the website claimed that they required all users to agree to follow relevant gun laws. But the suit filed in Milwaukee sidesteps the issue of user responsibility entirely, arguing instead that the website’s user terms are “a ruse and a fraud intended to create the illusion of legal compliance” with the laws covering gun sales.
- Then the big news is out of Connecticut, where the District Court sent the suit by the Sandy Hook parents against Bushmaster back to state court. In this case the defendant – Bushmaster – had originally moved the case from state to federal court, evidently hoping that the suit would then bump up against the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act and get thrown out. The case might eventually wind up in the federal courts on appeal, but as of today it must first be heard in the state where the massacre took place.
All in all it’s been a rough month for the guns, made even more difficult by the fact that after the Republicans decided the 2nd Amendment trumped Benghazi as a campaign issue, Hillary shot right back and said that she was ready, willing and able to take on the NRA. So the question has to be asked: How come, as Brady’s Dan Gross says, we seem to have reached a “tipping point” in the debate over guns?
Here it is short and sweet. Everyone’s sick of the NRA. Sick of the killings, sick of the loss of life, sick of the blind devotion to the 2nd Amendment and sick of all those sacred gun ‘rights.’ Wayne-o is going online today to remind his members that Obama wants to take away their guns. It’s a hollow argument falling on increasingly deaf ears.