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The families of the victims of the 2022 Uvalde school shooting in Texas are taking legal action against a gun manufacturer, social media platform Meta, and the maker of the popular video game franchise “Call of Duty.” The lawsuits allege that these companies played a role in promoting the gun used in the shooting, which resulted in the death of 19 students and two teachers. One of the suits, filed in California, lists Meta and Activision, the parent company of “Call of Duty,” while another suit filed by family members of the victims includes defendant Daniel Defense, the maker of the AR-15-style gun used in the Uvalde shooting.

Plaintiffs in the California suit argue that Activision and Meta have contributed to the expansion of the market for firearms by providing direct access to children through their platforms. They claim that Activision is essentially training adolescents to become gunmen through games like “Call of Duty,” while Meta provides unsupervised access to minors through Instagram, allowing for firearm advertising despite rules against it. The lawsuit alleges that the Uvalde shooter discovered Daniel Defense rifles through playing “Call of Duty” and seeing ads on Instagram, which he had an unhealthy obsession with.

Activision responded to the lawsuit, calling the shooting “horrendous and heartbreaking,” and stating that millions of people enjoy video games without resorting to violence. Meta has not yet commented on the allegations. In the suit filed against Daniel Defense in Texas, plaintiffs accuse the gun maker of targeting vulnerable adolescents with marketing tactics that glorify combat and revenge, specifically through the AR-15. Daniel Defense has not responded to requests for comment, but the families of the victims are seeking accountability from all parties involved in the tragedy.

In a separate settlement earlier in the week, families of the victims received $2 million in a case against the city of Uvalde. Attorney Josh Koskoff, representing the plaintiffs, mentioned that more legal actions are planned against the state police officers who responded to the shooting. The shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde were carried out by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos using an AR-15 style rifle. The police response time to the shooting has faced criticism, with a state report citing systemic failures and poor decision making.

The families of the victims have also filed suits against city officials and law enforcement, alleging negligence in preventing the shooting. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the parent company of “Call of Duty,” for $68.7 billion has raised concerns about antitrust issues and access to games on different platforms. The legal actions taken by the families of the Uvalde shooting victims shed light on the complexities of accountability in cases of gun violence, social media influence, and the gaming industry.

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