Guns, video games and social networks: three companies face charges for the Uvalde massacre

Three companies face wrongful death lawsuits in the 2022 Uvalde school shooting, according to complaints filed in California and Texas.

The lawsuits, which accuse the companies of “grooming” the Robb Elementary School shooter, come after 19 families of students and teachers who died at the school announced Wednesday that they have reached a settlement with the city for $ 2 millions.

A newspaper with photographs of the victims of the attack, considered the deadliest in United States history.

The companies (Meta, Activision and Daniel Defense) contributed to attacker Salvador Ramos’ behavior in one way or another, the lawsuits allege.

Ramos downloaded the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in November 2021, according to the complaint filed in California against the distributor, Activision, Meta and others.

The game featured a Daniel Defense weapon called the DDM4 V7, which served as “a teaser for players eager to try out the weapon,” the lawsuit alleges.

At the same time, Ramos “was being courted through explicit and aggressive marketing” on Instagram, according to the lawsuit. Meta is the parent company of Instagram.

The massacre occurred on May 24, 2022 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Archive.

“In addition to hundreds of images depicting and glorifying the thrill of combat, Daniel Defense used Instagram to extol the illegal and murderous use of its weapons,” the lawsuit says. “Within weeks of downloading Modern Warfare, the attacker was searching for assault weapons, purchasing firearm accessories popularized by the game, and repeatedly returning to the Daniel Defense website.”

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“Just minutes after midnight on May 16, the shooter’s 18th birthday, he purchased a DDM4V7,” the lawsuit says. “Eight days later, the attacker inflicted unspeakable violence at Robb Elementary School, killing 21 people and injuring and traumatizing many more.”

Investigators in the Uvalde shooting found one of Ramos’s AR15-style rifles, made by Daniel Defense, at the school, according to then-Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, who is now mayor of Houston.

“Defendants are responsible for this profound corruption of our children,” says the lawsuit filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles. “In collaboration with certain firearms manufacturers, they have groomed a generation of socially vulnerable young men, insecure in their masculinity and eager to show strength and assert their dominance.”

According to the lawsuit filed in Uvalde, Texas District Court, Daniel Defense courts teens by harnessing and exploiting “the power of social media and first-person shooter simulations to attract teens to its website, where it can monitor your online activity, build a profile of your interests, and request your contact information.”

Release

In a statement, Josh Koskoff, partner at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder and attorney for the families, said: “There is a direct line between the conduct of these companies and the Uvalde shooting. Just 23 minutes after midnight on his 18th birthday, the Uvalde shooter purchased an AR-15 made by a company with less than one percent market share.”

“Why? Because, long before he was old enough to buy it, Instagram, Activision, and Daniel Defense targeted and farmed him online. This three-headed monster knowingly exposed him to the gun, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems and trained him to use it”the document continues.

An Activision company spokesperson said in a statement Friday: “The shooting in Uvalde was horrendous and heartbreaking in every way, and we express our deepest condolences to the families and communities who continue to be affected by this senseless act of violence. “Millions of people around the world enjoy video games without resorting to horrible acts.”

 
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