SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS—In response to the Department of Justice’s appeal of the court ruling finding the Air Force at fault for the worst mass shooting in Texas history, the Sutherland Springs Mass Shooting victims plead for fairness and offer to compromise in an open letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland. One of the victims, retired U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Macias, read the letter in the church turned memorial where 26 people died and 22 others were shot.
The Biden DOJ has touted a single standard of justice for all Americans, but this appeal contradicts that position. The Sutherland Springs victims ask their government to treat them the same way it has treated other mass shooting victims. The DOJ accepted responsibility for the FBI’s failures without taking the families to trial by settling with 14 victims in the Charleston, SC mass shooting case for $88 Million in October 2021 and with 40 victims from the Parkland, FL mass shooting for $127.5 Million in March 2022. But the DOJ refused to pay the court’s awards, even though the judge awarded, on average, less than half per person to the Sutherland Springs victims.
Senator Cornyn, Senator Cruz, the Inspector General and the Secretary of the Air Force publicly accepted responsibility for the governmental failures that led to the shooting. The Air Force initially documented 6,978 similar failures to enter convicted felons in the background check system.
The Biden Administration’s appeal takes the position that background checks do not prevent gun violence. Co-lead attorney April Strahan said, “The families don’t understand why they are not being treated the same as other mass shooting victims. But more than that, they don’t understand why the government is appealing a verdict that confirmed background check laws work. They don’t want others to suffer the way they have.” The NRA has come out in support of the DOJ appeal.
The Judge’s full opinion can be found here.