Allen B. West

Gun store ordered to pay nearly $6 million to crime victims

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During the Democrat debate there was no missing the full-fledged assault on the Second Amendment rights of the American citizen. It was rather telling that no one wanted to touch the subject of the number of black-on-black murders in cities like Chicago – sixty, just last month – and there were of course no presidential visits there.

We’ve heard Hillary Clinton state she will use an executive order to institute gun control — just great, another person who doesn’t understand what “shall not be infringed” means. The NRA has become the convenient whipping boy for the progressive socialist left. Has anyone ever considered what happens to the woman who wants the ability to protect herself against assault? Or the mother at home with the kids while the husband is deployed? I suppose their right to self defense means little — after all they can just call 9-11. Or at least they can get a can of pepper spray.

The liberal left is going to do anything and everything to undermine the Second Amendment — and they pretty much said so Tuesday night. Gotta give it to ol’ Bernie Sanders though. He didn’t chase the rabbit when Hillary Clinton accused him of not being strong on gun control.

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But in the world of legal actions, it always comes down to establishing a precedent – and folks, I think we just got one.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “Jurors ordered a Wisconsin gun store to pay nearly $6 million on Tuesday to two Milwaukee police officers who were shot and seriously wounded by a gun purchased at the store.

The ruling came in a negligence lawsuit filed by the officers against Badger Guns, a shop in suburban Milwaukee that authorities have linked to hundreds of firearms found at crime scenes. The lawsuit said the shop ignored several warning signs that the gun used to shoot the officers was being sold to a so-called straw buyer who was illegally purchasing the weapon for someone else.

Officer Bryan Norberg and retired Officer Graham Kunisch were both shot after they stopped Julius Burton for riding his bike on the sidewalk in the summer of 2009. Surveillance video shows the officers scuffled with the young man and slammed him into a wall before he shot them both in the face. One bullet shattered eight of Mr. Norberg’s teeth, blew through his cheek and lodged into his shoulder. He remains on the force but argues that his wounds have made his work difficult. Mr. Kunisch was shot several times, resulting in him losing an eye and part of the frontal lobe of his brain. He said the wounds forced him to retire.

Investigators said Mr. Burton got the weapon, a Taurus .40-caliber handgun, a month before the confrontation, after giving $40 to another man, Jacob Collins, to make the purchase at the store in West Milwaukee. Jurors sided with the officers, ruling that the store was negligent. Jurors ordered the store to pay Mr. Norberg $1.5 million, Mr. Kunisch $3.6 million and punitive damages of $730,000.

The liability issues raised in the case gained national attention when U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently said she would push to repeal a George W. Bush-era gun law that Badger Guns’ lawyers said shielded the store from such claims. The gun shop’s attorneys denied wrongdoing. They said the owner of the store at the time of the gun sale, Adam Allan, couldn’t be held financially responsible for crimes connected to a weapon sold at his shop and that the clerk who sold the weapon didn’t intentionally commit a crime. Rather, they said Messrs. Collins and Burton went out of their way to deceive the salesman.

Authorities have said more than 500 firearms recovered from crime scenes had been traced back to Badger Guns and Badger Outdoors, making it the “No. 1 crime gun dealer in America,” according to a 2005 charging document from an unrelated case.”

Now to be honest, I do find it rather interesting that some 500 firearms linked to crimes were found to have emanated from Badger Guns and Badger Outdoors. However, if there were no discrepancies in background checks conducted, then perhaps the store was targeted by criminals as an easy spot.

But here is the interesting precedent that Hillary Clinton and the left will seek — a gun shop that has sold a firearm linked to a crime will be sued. This case establishes a precedent that the liberal left wants so dearly: the ability to financially hurt gun stores and therefore driving them out of business. Don’t forget that Seattle already passed a tax to pay for costs related to “gun violence,” as we reported here.

Now, I have to ask a simple question: how many guns did the federal government circulate as part of Operation Fast and Furious (not the movie, folks). We know a firearm supplied by the federal government as part of the program supervised by the Department of Justice (courtesy of Eric Holder), ended up killing U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. So can the Terry family sue the federal government? What’s the difference between the Wisconsin case and Operation Fast and Furious? Seems to me there is similarity. I doubt anyone will bring that point up.

The real deal is that the liberal left, namely Mrs. Clinton, firmly stated Tuesday night that she wants to go after gun manufacturers. So, let me ask another simple question: if folks start using hammers to kill people, will we bring lawsuits against Home Depot and Craftsman tools? Where did the Tsarnaev brothers buy their pressure cookers? Are Cuisinart and Bed, Bath and Beyond liable for the deaths and injuries at the Boston Marathon?

The case of Badger Guns does make you wonder how 500 firearms sold by that store end up in crime scenes. If there was some standing law broken, then they are culpable and responsible. But if this was just a really bad coincidence, then we are now destroying honest businesses over political ideology? I’m very sorry these officers were shot and they deserve the best care and treatment, but I know what the liberal left wants in the “long game.”

I shall close with a final simple question. If five people on the Supreme Court can make a ruling (remember the judicial branch is supposed to interpret the law, not make law) — that a new right, the right to same-sex marriage, can be created at the federal government level and all states must comply, then how is it that, using the same 14th Amendment equal protection clause, the Second Amendment right is not complied with by certain states and municipalities? I’m just saying, how can any state or city defy the Second Amendment right when it has been mandated by judicial activism edict to perform same-sex marriages? Folks, you can’t have one and not the other, that is blatant hypocrisy.

What happened at Badger Guns may be an isolated case, but let it not be used as a precedent to attack gun stores and manufacturers as a means to subvert the Second Amendment.

Seriously, I think President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder should be sued by families who lost loved ones due to their failed weapons program, Operation Fast and Furious.

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