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  •  Oh the analogies (4+ / 0-)

    I would say that there is no chance that a website should be liable for its users for any reason.

    To relate to a different amendment, many courts have found that websites are not liable for any allegedly defamatory comments that users make. This is what protects sites like Yelp. It is up to the individual user to use the First Amendment wisely. Just as in this case, the website was again found not liable for the actions of its users. To say that it should be liable in any way not only for what happens on its website, but what happens after the sale involving two users on the site is even further removed than most people have dared to stretch this silly 3rd party liability idea so far.

    Or, how about a different view from sales. Ford is not liable if somebody commits a hit and run and all that is known is that it was a Ford vehicle. The vehicle was not under their control at the time. This is why firearms manufacturers are not liable for any gun related crimes. If you sold your car to somebody, and they decided to drive down a crowded sidewalk, should we hold you liable, because you sold to a madman? You didn't know he was crazy? Well, too bad if this line of reasoning is pushed.

    3rd party liability is a very silly notion. It takes the blame and places it on somebody who had nothing to do with whatever happened. I will never understand how this makes sense in a rational world (which I know this is not).

    Trying to say that this website should be allowed to be sued is like saying that WalMart should be sued because two people were involved in a firearm sale where the trade was in their parking lot. After all, they have parking lot cameras (I think, if not, insert name of store that does, like Meijers, but I think that is more regional maybe). They might have seen it happen, never mind that the sheer volume of people that use their space is tremendous.

    Now, you might point out that the website is specifically for firearms. If that is the point, well I need simply point out that there are plenty upon plenty of reasons for owning firearms. The intent to hurt people is not something many people own a firearm for. I myself own a few firearms and concealed carry. I went through a full background check to get the license and I do carry it where I am legally allowed. I would consider using a site like this to purchase a firearm from somebody if the situation arose. How is the website to know the difference between me and somebody who actually does intend to do harm. If the person selling me a firearm from that site is not required to run a background check, then how should the website even remotely be liable?

    Sticking to the website theme, lets use a website analogy. Youtube allows all kinds of people to set up an account. Anyone can go through the sign up process and voila, they can upload videos. Some of these videos infringe on rights of others (or so the copyright groups claim, their false DMCA notices aside because that is another topic entirely). Those people are allowed to submit that the videos be removed, and they are per the DMCA notice and takedown provisions (which should be notice and notice, but again, not the topic here).  Now, do you think that if the Feds sent a letter to website saying "This user is not allowed to buy firearms" that they wouldn't disable that account? I am sure they would disable it, as they have so far complied with all laws that are applicable to them.

    So far, the attempts to pin blame on the website feel like nothing more than emotional overreaction in an attempt to lash out at anyone tangentially related to that case. The man who did the crime and knowingly sold the firearm is in jail. He is the only one who deserves blame, and he is both being punished.

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