The Bill of Rights and what most people have traditionally thought of as “human rights” are mostly the same thing. Activists all over the world decry nations that don’t provide due process or free speech to their people.
So it might seem surprising to see someone file a “human rights lawsuit” against the United States government.
However, when you see who it is and what it’s over, it suddenly makes a whole lot more sense.
Joaquin Oliver was one of 17 killed in the 2018 massacre. His father, Manuel Oliver, argues in the lawsuit filed Thursday that the United States was obligated under international law to protect his son against such gun violence.
OK, then how?
How is the government actually meant to fulfill that obligation?
Where they supposed to provide Joaquin 24/7 bodyguards? That’s not necessarily going to stop a killer, after all.
So just how were they supposed to protect him? By restricting people like you and me, that’s how.
“Joaquin Oliver was killed as a consequence of the actions and omissions of the United States of America that enabled and facilitated high-risk firearm sales to unsuitable civilian buyers and prevented the adoption of widely accepted measures to protect persons from being injured or killed by guns,” Oliver’s lawsuit said.
Arturo Carrillo, director of the George Washington University Civil and Human Rights Law Clinic, helped file the suit on Oliver’s behalf, saying the United States is not above international human rights laws.
“We’re in an international tribunal that can tell the United States as a nation on the globe bound by international human rights law that it must do more by its people. It must protect their right to live free from gunfire,” Carrillo said.
Here’s the thing, and apparently Oliver’s lawsuit acknowledges this. There are laws in place that should have prevented Parkland. The killer was known to physically attack his mother, but charges where never filed. Had that happened and been followed through with, he’d have never been able to lawfully buy his gun.
That isn’t a case of the United States not doing anything.
Further laws, however, wouldn’t exactly be helpful in that regard, now would they?
If there’s an upside to this, it’s that it’s not like anything will happen. No matter how the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights rules, it’s not like there’s any force of law. The most they could do is tell the United States to do more.
Well, President Biden has been determined to pass gun control, so I can’t imagine there’s more he can do. His allies are already trying to help.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will tell the commission to pound sand if they side with this. Gun rights are human rights. The basic human right to be able to defend yourself cannot be revoked simply because someone misused that right. We don’t try to confiscate people’s tongues because some people misuse their freedom of speech.
Manuel Oliver is a very sad man, and it’s a shame the commission is being used to facilitate his latest effort to draw attention to himself and his late son. The guy looks like he’s broken, even lashing out at President Biden as he’s announcing gun control. I can’t imagine what it’s like to bury your son, so I’m willing to cut him a little slack, but only some.
This is nothing but an attention grab, and a particularly sad one. What’s more, it looks like some parties are using his grief to advance their own agenda, which is even sadder.