Uvalde families sue tech and arms companies

Families of the victims of the Uvalde, Texas, shooting sued tech and arms companies Friday, accusing them of “wrongful death.”

In two separate complaints in California and Texas, the families accused companies including Meta, Activision — the publisher of the video game Call of Duty — and arms manufacturer Daniel Defense of grooming “a generation of young men who are socially vulnerable, insecure about their masculinity, and eager to show strength and assert dominance” and “indoctrinating a particular demographic: adolescents who are vulnerable to marketing that stokes their sense of aggrievement and desire for power.”

“To put a finer point on it: Defendants are chewing up alienated teenage boys and spitting out mass shooters,” reads the California complaint.

“Before the Uvalde school shooter, there was the Parkland school shooter, and before him, the Sandy Hook school shooter,” the complaint continues. “These were the three most deadly K-12 school shootings in American history. In each one, the shooter was between the ages of 18 and 21 years old; in each one, the shooter was a devoted player of Call of Duty; and in each one, the shooter committed their attack in tactical gear, wielding an assault rifle.”

The twin Friday complaints follow the announcement of another suit by Uvalde families against more than 90 Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers earlier this week over their response to the deadly shooting two years ago.

“There is a direct line between the conduct of these companies and the Uvalde shooting,” an attorney for the families, Josh Koskoff, said in a Friday press release on the suits against the companies. “Just 23 minutes after midnight on his 18th birthday, the Uvalde shooter bought an AR-15 made by a company with a market share of less than one percent.”

In an emailed statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for Activision said that “the Uvalde shooting was horrendous and heartbreaking in every way, and we express our deepest sympathies to the families and communities who remain impacted by this senseless act of violence.”

“Millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts,” the spokesperson added.

The Hill has reached out to Meta and Daniel Defense.

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