The $100-million lawsuits filed against the Oxford, Michigan school district by two sisters and students, including one who was shot during last week’s attack that left four students dead and seven injured, isn’t just about holding the district responsible for its failures according to the attorney representing the teens. No, Geoffrey Fieger says he has another motivation in handling the litigation; a desire for gun control laws.
Attorney Geoffrey Fieger put accused shooter’s [name redacted by Bearing Arms] parents, who posted on social media about gun rights and bought the gun allegedly used at the shooting at Oxford High, on a poster as he announced lawsuits.
“They’re the poster children for the second amendment gun nuts. Who go, Yeah, Give everyone guns!” said Fieger.
However, the parents are not being sued.
“I don’t think you can get water out of a rock,” said Fieger.
Now, Fieger has a history of making outrageous statements; he once declared that “rabbis are closer to Nazis than they think” and called then-Michigan Governor John Engler the “result of miscegenation between human beings and barnyard animals” during his unsuccessful run for governor as a Democrat in 1998 (Fieger received an anemic 37.8% of the vote and lost every county in Michigan save for Wayne County). And it’s true that the parents of the accused shooter certainly haven’t done anything to garner much public sympathy. But Fieger seems to be missing a crucial fact here: we have a right to keep and bear arms in this country. It’s not “second amendment gun nuts” who declare that the people have a right to own a gun. It’s the Constitution. And regardless of the behavior displayed by the parents both before and after they came to everyone’s attention, it doesn’t appear that there was anything in the parents’ past that would have prevented them from exercising that constitutional right.
And ultimately, while it’s the school district named in the lawsuit, Fieger’s main target (according to him, anyway) is the Second Amendment.
Attorney Fieger says we need to make guns less accessible somehow.
“These folks are the ones that are endangering all of us,” he said, pointing at the poster. “They are the ones that are out there screaming the loudest about taking away their gun rights.”
I’ve never heard of these parents before their names appeared in the news in conjunction with the shooting, and I’d say I’m pretty up to date on the folks who really are “screaming the loudest about taking away their gun rights.” But Fieger is clearly trying to paint all gun owners as dastardly, uncaring monsters who love their guns more than their own children. It’s a disgusting and despicable smear, but it’s also nothing new.
Frankly, it’s not much of an argument either. I mean, Fieger says his motivation in taking this case is to change the gun laws, right? And what changes does he want to see? Well, he can’t give you any specifics, just that “somehow” we’ve got to make it harder for everyone to exercise their right to keep and bear arms in the hope that will translate into fewer acts of violence.
But as attorney Terry Johnson reminded WXYZ-TV, it’s hard to argue that another law would have changed things when the suspect already broke multiple laws in carrying out his attack.
Johnson says more laws won’t prevent such shootings.
“He (accused shooter [name redacted]) illegally possessed a firearm, which is against the law. He brought it to school which is against the law. He shot in a building which is against the law. He shot at other people which is against the law,” said Johnson.
We were just reminded of the fact that gun control laws may provide for additional criminal charges after the fact, but don’t have a preventative effect in Florida yesterday, where a 19-year old stands accused of plotting a school shooting. Despite Florida’s ban on gun sales to those under the age of 21, the three-day waiting period on all gun purchases, and the state’s “red flag” gun seizure law, all of which were put into place after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the 19-year old suspect was apparently able to easily acquire both a gun and ammunition. The plot was thwarted because two other students who were told of the suspect’s plans reached out to police, not because Florida Republicans enacted new gun controls three years ago.
So no, I don’t believe that any new gun control laws are necessary in order to improve public safety. In fact, I think restricting the right of average, ordinary Americans to own and carry firearms in self-defense would harm both public safety and our civil rights. And while I do think that ultimately both the school district and parents are going to end up sharing culpability for the attack with the suspect who carried it out, color me skeptical about Fieger’s claim that he’s solely motivated by his desire to see new gun control laws on the books… at least until he announces he’s handling the case pro bono.