Illegal Marketing?

I’m virtually certain that our regular readers know about the current lawsuit filed by Sandy Hook families against Remington/Bushmaster. Their odd little legal theory — and seemingly bought by the judge — is that Remington is liable for the actions of Some Asshole because the company improperly marketed a military weapon to civilians (and precognitively knew that regions that buy guns may see thieves stealing them from honest folk).

Sensible people with some grasp of the law know that suit should have been immediately dismissed with prejudice under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The PLCAA protects firearms business from imaginary liability for the misuse of a weapon by some end user…

…so long as the company obeyed all the myriad rules, regulations, and laws that govern the manufacture and sale of firearms. Companies are still liable for defective products and unlawful actions.

These misinformed moneygrubbers claim that marketing an arm commissioned by the military to civilians is “negligent entrustment,” another exception to PLCA immunity.

We could note that the military didn’t exactly “commission” the weapon design. It was marketed to the military some years after it was designed, and it was a heck of an uphill battle for the military to finally adopt it. So to speak.

[Informed folk can skip a paragraph or two.]

In fact, the military variant, the M16 family, is not the same as the AR family of semiautomatic arms sold to civilians. The military version has some specified modifications not in the original AR, and is is fully-automatic (legally speaking; some variants fired bursts, which the feds still class as “machine gun”).

Every time some ignorant, victim disarming crime-enabler calls semi-auto ARs weapons designed for soldiers in war theaters, I ask them to show the army that deliberately chooses to generally arm its troops with semiauto AR-15s instead of assault rifles or battle rifles.

And every time… –crickets–

Back to the lawsuit. Part of the plaintiffs’ claim is that Remington deliberately marketed ARs to teenage boys. (This ignore the fact that The Asshole didn’t buy the AR he used. He murdered the lawful owner, an middle-aged woman, and stole her gun.

Nonetheless, a moronic Yalie thinks she can prove that claim.

This historian just made it likelier that Sandy Hook parents will be able to take Remington to court
To support sales Winchester embarked on what it characterized as the “greatest commercial venture in the history of this country, probably in the history of the world.” They never lacked for ambition. In 1920 alone, they spent close to a million dollars on advertising.

A centerpiece of this effort was the company’s boy plan. Winchester prepared a letter about the .22 caliber rifle to send to boys between the ages of ten and sixteen. They asked retailers to send a list of the names of boys in their towns, so the company could send the letter to them under the retailer’s name. The company intended to reach precisely 3,363,537 boys this way.

Yes. You read that correctly. TL;DR: The Sandy Hook Asshole was driven to murder, theft, and more murder by the fact that nearly a century ago Winchester did market firearms to boys (back when it was perfectly legal for boys to buy guns, generally unlike today’s legal environment.

Since children cannot purchase firearms from FFLs, it would be silly for Remington to spend millions marketing to them. In 1920, it made sense, but no longer. Much better, more profitable, to market to parents.

Once upon a time, Remington lawfully marketed to a profitable demographic. Now they don’t because that demographic is no longer lawfully accessible.

Can you think of an industry whose products are being provided to children legally too young to use the products as intended? And who is doing it?

Hint: Condoms, and other birth control products. By schools. To children below the age of consent.

I guess it’s OK to protect victims of statuatory rape from the consequences, but not right to allow them to defend themselves against the rape in the first place.

Cui bono?

Ed. note: This commentary appeared first on TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!


5 thoughts on “Illegal Marketing?”

  1. From the article;

    “Other strands of Winchester’s boy marketing sold the gun on more mystical and deeply emotional terms.

    “a boy’s natural interest in a gun” – “yearning for a gun” – “natural instinct,” – “inborn trait of human nature” – “naturalized a boy’s desire” – “The Winchester Record, a company magazine, summarized it as the “the shooting instinct, which is present in most boys and girls.” The company explicitly tied guns to powerful feelings about masculinity and authenticity…”

    They always let it slip. They can’t help it. The godless understand next to nothing of men and boys. There is’nt anything MYSTICAL about emphasizing these traits.

    These are G-d given, inherent traits in human males, designed by H-m, that urge a boy to desire knowledge and participation in how to keep his family and his tribe safe and fed. His desire is already “naturalized” before the foundations of the earth were set. These are the qualities of “masculinity and authenticity” that we should praise Winchester for encouraging in our boys. Unless or course you’re a godless, (some) gun grabbing, sissy.
    By acknowledging these traits Winchester worked it’s way out of debt in the free and open market. Good for them.

  2. I was with you until you brought in condoms and “victims of statutory rape”. Consensual sex has no “victim”, obscene statutory rape laws to the contrary notwithstanding. We’re talking about boys and girls who are sexually mature. That’s what sexually mature mammals do: have sex. Jumping on a rabid religious panic is not going to help end prohibitions to gun ownership.

    1. ” Jumping on a rabid religious panic…”
      Religious panic… moi…

      -laughing hysterically-

      What part of “statutory” don’t you understand? I’m not saying a bloody thing about morality or faith. I’m pointing out that in our legal system(s) as it exists, the folks handing out birth control to legal minors, under the lawfully declared age of consent, are facilitating an unlawful activity, unlike the lawful marketing actions of Winchester the better part of a century ago.

      Whether or not such laws should exist, or the legal system of government, is beyond the purview of this column.

  3. The thing I don’t quite get is: What do WINCHESTER’S sales plans a century ago have to do with REMINGTON’S work today? Am I just stupid, or something?

    1. To understand this, you have to think like a victim disarmer. I’ll wait while you get the lobotomy and 100 mg Thorazine.
      OK. It works like this. Disarmers cannot differentiate between individuals or individual companies. (Some unlawful possessor of a firearm who does a bad thing is identical to Joe GOA, who does background checks, licenses, training, etc. Winchester and Remington both make firearms, so they are identical.)

      Disarmers are bad at history: If something happened once, it always happens. (Two psychopaths shot up Columbine, therefore all gun owners are trying to shoot up schools all the time. The industry once marketed directly to young men, therefore they still do.)

      I’ll wait while you get your next dose.
      Continuing on: Disarmers cannot differentiate between their feelz and reality. (They feelz that marketing to responsible young men is bad because guns are inherently bad, therefore it must have been illegal.) So they think they’re establishing a history of unlawful, negligent marketing on the part of the industry/Remington.

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