Handgun and American flag composite

Mother of Murdered Daughter is Angry at the Wrong Party

A terrible thing has happened to Sandy Phillips. Someone murdered her daughter and then an advocacy group used her tragedy to advance an agenda. It has wound up sending Mrs. Phillips into bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, she is mad at the wrong group.

Mrs. Phillips joined on with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and anti-gun advocates to sue Lucky Gunner, the gun store that sold the ammunition to her daughter’s killer.

Even now she just cannot escape the talking points of the anti-gun left to see the truth that she was used.

The Brady leadership also encouraged Lonnie and me to sue Lucky Gunner, the dealer that sold the stockpile of ammo to Jessi’s killer. We agreed that dealers should have to take some responsibility. Shouldn’t they have to vet a buyer of military-grade weaponry? Or a buyer of bullets en masse? The primary goal of our lawsuit was to make the gun dealer change its business practices—at a minimum, to ask for proof of identity and do a background check. [emphasis added]

Tragically, Mrs. Phillips’ daughter was killed by James Holmes, who entered a theater in Aurora, CO during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, and opened fire. Holmes was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Holmes had purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet. He purchased his four guns at area gun shops, the first of which, a Glock, he acquired in May at Gander Mountain, a national chain of outdoor retailers. Six days later, he went to a local Bass Pro Shops to purchase a shotgun. Between the two stores, over the next two months, he would also buy the AR-15 and the Remington.…

The AR-15 assault rifle is the largest gun Holmes used, though it’s a gun widely distributed by many manufacturers and available at many sporting-goods stores. He is thought to have purchased and used an aftermarket high-capacity magazine for the assault rifle, a clip capable of launching “50 to 60 rounds, even if it was semiautomatic, within one minute,” Oates said. But this, too, was legal – a prior ban on such magazines, under the federal assault weapon ban, expired in 2004. (Source)

Holmes had a Glock, a shot gun, an AR-15, and a Remington with a high capacity magazine. None of those are “military-grade” weaponry despite what Mrs. Phillips says. Likewise, it is perfectly legal to buy bullets en masse because someone who lawfully buys a gun is entitled to have ammunition for it. James Holmes may have turned out to be a murdered, but he bought all of his guns legally.

In other words, Mrs. Phillips, convinced by anti-gun advocates to do so, filed a lawsuit against a party that complied with the law and Mrs. Phillips lost. She is now going bankrupt because she filed a frivolous lawsuit.

She is no hero. She’s been used by anti-gun groups and now wants to be a victim all over again not because her daughter was murdered, but because she’s going bankrupt for doing something she should not have done.

We filed for Chapter 11 protection in January because we could not afford to pay the legal fees for Lucky Gunner.

But even if we could afford the gun dealer’s legal fees, we would never pay.

Mrs. Phillips can call herself a second amendment supporter all she wants, but she is no more a second amendment supporter than James Holmes had military weapons on him. She’s not getting a bum deal. She’s getting the logical outcome of suing a law abiding company that never broke the law, just because she wants someone to blame for her daughter’s death other than James Holmes.

Oh, and by the way, admitting that she’d never pay the fees even if she could probably isn’t the smartest thing to admit.

About the author

Erick Erickson

View all posts