The first of the civil liability Las Vegas shooting death law suits was filed this week. There will be many who are going to decry these lawsuits, and there will be a lot of them, as frivolous. There are many others who will cry out for justice for the victims – and that justice will be “civil justice” because the bad actor in this case, like in many cases, has killed himself. That act ended the criminal and retribution punishment available to the victims and their families.
Regardless of your personal belief, in this day and age, the Mandalay Bay hotel is going to be on the hot seat. They permitted a crazy gunman to drag into their hotel an armory worth of guns and ammo. The gunman set up his hotel room over a period of days, keeping out the maids. No one said a word to him during that time. I have read facts about his gambling habits and other specific factors which will play out in the civil trial. The only fact I know for certain is that I don’t know the totality of facts regarding what the Mandalay Bay could or should have done. I am sure the lawyer(s) representing the Plaintiff(s) and their families will establish a framework to hold the hotel somewhat responsible.
But it does beg the question: In a society were automatic weapons capable of killing people at long distances at rapid speeds are made commercially available without any significant restraints, how do we expect to stop those attacks, and who will be responsible when these vicious and well planned terror attacks, or the lone crazy gunman attacks, occur, like in Las Vegas?
The choice on how to “deal” with this problem resides in the government vs. private sector solution analysis. Should it be up to the hotel to make sure guests are NOT living in their hotel with an armory? Should government restrict all of society from even having these types of weapons? The Second Amendment, at this point, can’t stop reasonable regulation. We regulate freedom of speech, we can regulate gun ownership. The legal argument against same is simply a farce. Even the most conservative of Supreme Courts would be hard pressed to overturn reasonable and well-reasoned gun law regulations which properly weighed government regulation needs against the Constitutional right to gun ownership.
I would suggest that both approaches are needed. We need to take guns out of the hands of terrorists, crazy people, and criminals. We can do this without overturning, harming or otherwise impinging on our Constitutional rights. Further, we can use businesses who take measures to make sure these evil actors are not harming their patrons. We see this occurring at sporting events (no more large bags), at concerts, and in our public buildings. Sure, I agree, it is sadly intrusive. But it is not so intrusive compared to the damage, destruction and death just one bad actor can bring without those precautions.