1 of 3 | Manuel Oliver, the father of a teenager slain in the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla,, interrupts President Joe Biden during an event celebrating the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act at the White House in 2022. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The father of a teenager killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., has filed a human rights lawsuit against the U.S. government over gun laws.
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.
"This is Joaquin's basic universal human right to life that is so important," Oliver said, arguing that U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment run counter to human rights laws. "These politicians are not prioritizing this issue. They should and they must and if they don't, we'll force them to do it."
Oliver said he wants legislators to pass laws that would prevent the gun industry from profiting off such mass shootings, which he called human rights violations.
"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.
Oliver was arrested in Washington after interrupting a speech by President Joe Biden in the summer of 2022. He tried to challenge Biden to push for stronger gun restrictions as the president signed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The charges were dropped in April.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez took the stage at the Washington, D.C., march for 6 minutes and 20 seconds
, the length of time the shooting went on at the school on February 14. She also read the names of those who died. Photo by David Tulis /UPI | License Photo