The NRA’s rhetoric spurred deadly photographs on the Pittsburgh synagogue, the sufferer’s son claims in a lawsuit
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The son of a couple killed in an attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 believers is suing the National Rifle Association, arguing the group’s inflammatory rhetoric led to violence.
Marc Simon, the son of Sylvan and Bernice Simon, filed a lawsuit in Allegheny County’s Common Pleas Court on Thursday against the NRA, arms manufacturer Colt’s Manufacturing Co., and accused shooter Robert Bowers. Colt made the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which was reportedly used by Bowers.
A fourth defendant is the unknown company that sold Bowers the gun.
Bowers is accused of killing 11 parishioners at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the deadliest attack on Jews in US history. Police said the former truck driver expressed hatred of Jews during and after the October 2018 rampage.
“Bowers was not born because he feared and hated Jews,” the lawsuit said. “The gun lobby taught him that.”
Bowers has pleaded not guilty. No date has been set for the trial and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty.
The plaintiff argues that gun lobbyists like the NRA have radicalized people with “lying white supremacist conspiracy theories”. The lawsuit also states that Colt could have prevented the AR-15 from “bursting fire” or using a modification that would allow the rifle to fire faster.
An NRA spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. The group filed for bankruptcy last week and claims against them in Simon’s lawsuit are on hold due to the group’s reorganization.
Colt didn’t respond to the request for comment. Barring an unlawful obituary notice, the complaint accuses Colt of product liability, stating that the weapon is more like a military-style weapon than a civilian product.