Supreme Court Ruling Criticized by Families of Mass Shooting Victims

Supreme Court Ruling Criticized by Families of Mass Shooting Victims

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to strike down the Donald Trump-era ban on rapid-fire “bump stocks” has been heavily criticized by the families of mass shootings’ victims. They warned the ruling will be followed by more tragedies in the future.

Talking to MSNBC on Friday, Fred Guttenberg, the father of the 2018 Parkland high-school shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, said that, “because of today’s decision, we won’t be talking about 15 killed or 20 killed. We’ll be talking about 100 killed or 200 killed.”

On Friday, the U.S. top court ruled with a 6 to 3 majority that the federal government did not have the authority to ban the rapid-fire gun accessory used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting at a concert that left 60 people dead.

The Supreme Court’s majority sided with a Texas gun-shop owner who had challenged the ban, introduced by the Trump administration following the deadly shooting, accusing the federal government of overreach by classifying “bump stocks” as machine guns.

Supreme Court
TV journalists work outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on June 14, 2024 in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court’s decision to lift a Trump-era ban on ‘bump stock’ was criticized by the families of…

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The court decided that a semiautomatic rifle with an attachment does not qualify as a machine gun under federal law. Its ruling said that rifles with a bump stock “cannot fire more than one shot ‘by a single function of the trigger,’ and even if they could, they would not do so automatically.”

Three Supreme Court justices, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, dissented, with Sotomayor saying that the decision “will have deadly consequences.”

On social media, families of recent mass shooting victims agreed with Sotomayor, expressing dismay at the ruling.

Sam Schwartz, the 20-year-old cousin of another Parkland victim, Alex Schachter, said on X, formerly Twitter, that the Supreme Court’s decision makes “mass shootings like the one that killed my cousin far more likely to include a higher death count.”

Schwartz added: “I’m not going to stand for this. We’re organizing this summer on the Tour To Save Democracy, stopping in vulnerable Republican seats to flip them blue. This is how we will create a Democratic trifecta that will pass SCOTUS reform & gun safety laws.”

Guttenberg told MSNBC that more people are going to die because of Friday’s ruling. “Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ signature will be on their death certificate,” he added. “For whatever reason, that man hates everything that makes America great. And this is going to be so deadly.”

Guttenberg said Americans should use their vote in November to stop the potential spread of violence. “Check your voter registration, make sure you vote in November, actually make sure you vote early if you can, because what this Supreme Court did is give MAGA the tools to potentially turn that time leading into the election into one where they’re going to threaten this kind of violence.”

Following the ruling, President Joe Biden has called for Congress to pass a ban on “bump stocks,” as well as an assault-weapon ban. “Send me a bill and I will sign it immediately,” he wrote on X.

Manuel Oliver, the father of Parkland victim Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, told CNN that activists’ calls for safer gun regulations have been ignored since 2018. He is now promoting his campaign for gun safety in Europe.

“We’re promoting the crazy idea of foreign citizens adopting American kids and bringing them to their safe countries, so they can be safe from the U.S. gun laws. How crazy is that? Is that crazy enough to grab people’s attention? Maybe,” Oliver said, adding that Americans should be ashamed of ignoring the problem of gun violence in the U.S.