U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “A judge says victims of the 2019 synagogue shooting in San Diego County that killed one worshiper and wounded three can sue the manufacturer of the semiautomatic rifle and the gun shop that sold it to a teenager,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday. “[V]ictims and families in the Poway synagogue shooting have adequately alleged that Smith & Wesson, the nation’s largest gun manufacturer, knew its AR15-style rifle could be easily modified into a machine-gun-like or an assault weapon in violation of California law, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Medel said Wednesday.”
Naturally, the gun-grabbers are crowing:
“The ruling is a victory for ‘all Americans who believe that the gun industry is not above the law,’ said Jon Lowy, chief counsel for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which sued on behalf of the victims.
Note the argument isn’t that the gun “had been” modified, but that “could be.” As none suffered any harm from modifications that never happened, how any can show standing to make that reach, and how it can even be allowed to be introduced is a puzzlement. But it becomes clear reading the Minute Order that what’s happening here isn’t being done to pursue Constitutional justice but to shred it.
It’s also clear that neither plaintiffs, their lawyers, or Judge Medel have demonstrated the qualifications and capabilities to be able to legally pronounce the ease with which such modifications could be made if that were even an issue here — which it’s not.
But if the undisguised goal of reclassifying semiautos as machineguns is sustained, it’s game over for “law-abiding” gun owners to stay that way and be true to “shall not be infringed” principles. They’ll have a decision to make that can no longer be put off, and that will test the seriousness of those who boldly (and mostly anonymously) declare “Molon Labe!” and “I will not comply,” particularly when some inevitably get caught and need our help to mount a legal defense.
No empirical evidence or data has proven that Smith & Wesson is out there brainwashing adolescents with social media and video game-style advertisement, aside from unfounded speculation built on gun-grabber talking points and personal biases. Nothing shows Smith & Wesson executives plotting to put their rifle “in the hands of persons in a demographic particularly likely to cause extreme harm — and indeed harm is the epitome (sic) of ‘cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others.”
Likewise, allegations that Smith & Wesson ignored “promises of safety measures” made by it and other rope-selling industry capitalists at a Bill Clinton/industry mutual suck-fest in 1997. Judge Medel’s order, along with what Andrew Cuomo is pulling in New York to eviscerate the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, perfectly illustrates how you can “compromise” and throw the circling jackals a scrap of flesh and they’ll only circle in closer, demanding more until there’s nothing left but you — which was what they were after in the first place.
At most, the FFL involved in the gun transfer is up to its neck over alleged infractions of California’s stupid (and in a rational world, unconstitutional) edicts aimed at disarming young adults of militia age from owning rifles. That’s a pity, a shame, and an outrage, and it illustrates a prime reason why I have long advocated that those subject to complex regulatory compliance requirements obtain expert help to keep just such oversights from happening.
In the case of Smith & Wesson, though, it’s clear this is a case of lawfare at its most subversive and filthiest, and even if the company is eventually “vindicated,” it will still have to go through great nuisance expense (which ultimately is passed on to customers, or else works to financially cripple if price increases in a competitive market are unfeasible). And even if the gunmaker wins this time, with what’s going on in New York, expect the violence monopoly lobby to continue to act out The Terminator’s tag line:
“I’ll be back.”
In this case, the analogy is wholly appropriate if one looks at this Medel character and asks who set him up in a position to terminate the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It’s not clear at first, because he presides over a superior court bench to which he has not been “elected-elected” (to paraphrase from Whoopi Goldberg), so it’s not like “We the People” have any say in his authority over us.
How’s that again?
“Medel won re-election for judge of the Superior Court of San Diego County in California outright in the primary on June 5, 2018, after the primary and general election were canceled,” Ballotpedia documents.
Doesn’t that contradict what I just asserted? Not really, because he’ll be on the bench until 2025, and “Medel ran for re-election to the superior court in 2012. As an unopposed incumbent, his name did not appear on the ballot. After the primary election, Medel was automatically re-elected.” Then, in 2018, “The primary election was canceled. Kenneth J. Medel (Nonpartisan) won the election without appearing on the ballot.”
The position is ostensibly nonpartisan, but Medel’s a Democrat and, based on results, committed to advancing the Democrat agenda from the bench. And how did he get on it in the first place?
“He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger…”
Thanks, Arnold! Just like your breakout movie character, count on you to screw up the future from the past.
And thanks again, major gun groups! How big were those “good size chunks” of money again?
How many more years and how many more times must it be proven that “compromise” is the path to eventual extermination?
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.