It’s been nearly a decade since the Sandy Hook massacre – one of the most horrific modern day tragedies in memory, with unfortunately a number of other horrific shootings in the years that followed. For much of that time, the response to each school shooting was largely the same – as some politicians feigned outrage and looked for scapegoats to blame the tragedy on that were largely a distraction from the issue itself. Presidents Obama and Biden both signed fairly significant executive orders to prevent these tragedies from happening again, but on the state and federal levels, meaningful legislation was largely absent – allowing for shootings to be seen as a way of life.
The path doesn’t necessarily have to stay this bleak, however, as a crucial decision made in a civil case several Sandy Hook survivors brought against the gun manufacturer Remington on Tuesday goes to show. Remington agreed to pay $73 million in damages to the survivors. Although this is hardly a substitute for the lives that were lost on that terrible day, and a considerably long time to wait for justice to be served, it’s a crucial first step in holding gun manufacturers responsible.
President Biden hailed the decision accordingly on Tuesday in his remarks, and used the occasion to call for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which would make it easier to hold gun manufacturers accountable for senseless deaths like what we’ve seen over the past decade. This might be a small step but it’s a clear move in the right direction and a welcome sign for things to come with the right leadership. Electing Democrats down the ticket is a good way to make sure it happens.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making