Wrongly assigning blame

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Some of the family members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims are attempting to sue the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle used in that massacre.

On Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at the school before taking his own life.

Those pursuing the lawsuit are enraged that a shield law may ban the lawsuit unless a court decision negates the law.

Ideally shield laws against lawsuits should be unnecessary, but in highly emotional situations, jurors frequently mistake their mandate to determine who is responsible for a tragedy with a mandate to express sympathy for people's suffering, by giving those people money from whoever has deep enough pockets to provide the money.

The rifle used at Sandy Hook was manufactured legally. Some people believe such guns should not be legal to manufacture, but that is a matter to be decided by legislation, not litigation.