December 07, 2007

Stud/God Reynolds . . .

on the Omaha mall shooting, and mall owners' potential liability for enacting a gun ban on the premises:

A mall is a place of public accommodation. In addition, business owners generally take on a higher duty of care for customers on their premises, including a duty to protect them from the violent acts of third parties if those acts are reasonably foreseeable. The question is, given the tendency of mass shootings to occur in places where guns are banned, and given that gun bans take away customers' ability to defend themselves -- and other customers -- does this result in liability of shopping malls when such shootings occur? Or, at least, produce a duty to have more armed security than they otherwise would have (the Omaha mall appears to have had very little) in order to make up for the increased insecurity created by the gun ban? The question isn't open and shut, but it seems to me to be ripe for litigation.

(Yeah: I quoted almost his entire entry! Breaking the blog rules! Stealing potential traffic from Instapundit!)

His original post that takes up the idea of liability is here, and it's ripe with links, so get over there. In the meantime, I agree with his first point (yawn . . . another mass shooting in a "gun-free zone"), and applaud his second suggestion (that it might be time to consider litigation—"If it saves just one life, it's worth it."). Well, of course.

I don't really have anything to say that I haven't said before. But it's worth noting -- since apparently most of the media reports haven't -- that this was another mass shooting in a "gun-free" zone. It seems to me that we've reached the point at which a facility that bans firearms, making its patrons unable to defend themselves, should be subject to lawsuit for its failure to protect them. The pattern of mass shootings in "gun free" zones is well-established at this point, and I don't see why places that take the affirmative step of forcing their law-abiding patrons to go unarmed should get off scot-free. There's even an academic literature on mass shootings and concealed-gun carriage.
Posted by Attila Girl at December 7, 2007 12:07 PM | TrackBack
Comments

"The pattern of mass shootings in "gun free" zones is well-established at this point..."

We call it Washington, DC.

Posted by: John at December 7, 2007 03:57 PM




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