Uvalde Families' Suits Blame Gunmaker, Meta, Call of Duty

Filing says companies groom young men to live out their violent fantasies
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2024 5:30 PM CDT
Uvalde Families' Suits Blame Gunmaker, Meta, Call of Duty
Family members of Robb Elementary mass shooting victims Jackie Cazares and Tess Mata stand outside the boarded-up school building on Friday in Uvalde, Texas. Friday was the second anniversary of the massacre.   (Sam Owens/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

On the second anniversary of the Uvalde school shooting, new lawsuits were filed by victims' families against three corporations the filing says are responsible for essentially grooming "socially vulnerable" young men to carry out their violent video game fantasies against real people. The group sued Daniel Defense, maker of high-end rifles; Activision, maker of the shooter game Call of Duty, and Meta Platforms, parent of Facebook and Instagram, the Washington Post reports. A teenage attacker killed 19 students and two teachers at Texas' Robb Elementary School.

The suit likens the companies' marketing strategy to an infamous cigarette ad campaign. "Over the last 15 years, two of America's largest technology companies—Defendants Activision and Meta—have partnered with the firearms industry in a scheme that makes the Joe Camel campaign look laughably harmless, even quaint," it says. The suits were announced by Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the families who won a $73 million settlement for families of victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut in 2022.

"There is a direct line between the conduct of these companies and the Uvalde shooting," said Koskoff on Friday, per the AP. "This three-headed monster knowingly exposed him to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems and trained him to use it." The suit against Daniel Defense was filed in Uvalde District Court. Another naming Activision and Meta was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. (The families just settled a suit against the City of Uvalde and filed another one against state police officers and local officials.)

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