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The Uvalde family sued Meta, the video game creator and gun manufacturer

Getty A mural dedicated to the victims of the mass school shooting in Uvalde, TexasGetty

The families of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting are suing the manufacturer of the gun used in the attack, the video game maker and parent company Instagram Meta.

In two new lawsuits, they claim the companies helped promote dangerous weapons to a generation of “socially vulnerable” youth, including the 18-year-old gunman.

Nineteen children and two teachers died in the attack at Robb Elementary School.

Friday marked the second anniversary of the Texas school shooting.

The dual lawsuits — filed in Texas and California — are against Activision, developer of the “Call of Duty” military video game series; Daniel Defense, a gun manufacturer known for its high-end rifles; and Meta.

The companies are accused of being responsible for “grooming” a generation of young people living in the fantasy of violent video games in the real world, with weapons of war easily accessible.

Gunman Salvador Ramos used an AR-15 style rifle in the attack.

The lawsuits claim that Meta and Activision “intentionally exposed” him to the gun he used in Uvalde and conditioned him to see it as a solution to his problems.

The lawsuits claim that Instagram, Activision and Daniel Defense “collaborated… in a scheme to prey on unsafe teenage boys,” the attorneys said in a press release.

“There is a direct link between the behavior of these companies and the shooting in Uvalde,” the statement said.

“This three-headed monster intentionally exposed him to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve problems, and trained him to use it.”

According to the lawsuit, the gunman had been playing Call of Duty, a war-themed video game with a rifle similar to the one used in the shooting, since he was 15 years old.

The lawsuit said the gunman was “concurrently” the subject of “aggressive marketing” by Daniel Defense, targeting teenagers with Instagram ads.

“Instagram created a connection between…a teenager…with guns and a gun company,” Josh Koskoff, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, told BBC’s US media partner CBS on Friday. .

“And no one exploits Instagram for this purpose more than Daniel Defense.”

An Activision spokesperson told CBS that “the Uvalde shooting was horrific and heartbreaking in every way,” adding that the company expressed its “deepest sympathies” to the victims and their families. family.

“Millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to terrible behavior,” the spokesperson said.

The BBC has contacted Meta, Daniel Defense and Activision for comment.

Daniel Defense, which is facing other lawsuits filed by the families of some victims, said in a 2022 statement that such litigation is “frivolous” and “politically motivated treat”.

On Wednesday, the victims’ families reached a $2 million settlement with the city of Uvalde.

More than 370 officers from multiple local, state and federal agencies were at Robb Elementary School during the attack.

It took police more than an hour to stop the gunman, who was barricaded inside adjacent classrooms.

Additionally, the families announced that they will take new legal action against 92 officers from the state Department of Public Safety for “shocking and widespread failures” during the response to the incident. shooting.

With files from Peter Bowes


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