Father of student slain at Parkland High interrupts President Biden’s speech at gun reform event

The father of one of the students who was murdered in the 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, interrupted President Biden’s speech during an event at the White House to urge him to “do more” to combat gun violence.

Manuel Oliver lost his son, Joaqin Oliver, in the mass shooting that sparked nationwide protests and a strong grassroots effort to push Congress to act on gun safety reform. Oliver was invited to attend an event at the White House this week celebrating a new gun safety bill signed by the president in late June, but chose to utilize the opportunity to call on President Biden publicly and directly to ramp up his administration’s efforts on gun control.

“You have to do more!” Oliver said, interjecting as Biden touted the first major gun safety legislation in 30 years. “You have to open an office in the White House. Name a director,” he added. He continued to address the president but much of what he said was inaudible, video of the event shows. Security then intervened and escorted Oliver from the event.

Oliver claims he has been suggesting a dedicated gun safety office in the White House for many years. “I’ve been trying to send a message to President Biden,” Oliver said. “Today I had the opportunity to be there. But I’m not going to be part of the celebration.” Many have criticized the White House’s branding of the event as a “celebration” considering the many deaths that have occurred in the decades since the last meaningful gun safety bill was signed. 

“It’s been a while that I’ve been calling out that using the words ‘celebration,’ getting together, it’s like we’re going to a party, to a wedding today, you know, we all received invitations. And meanwhile, you can see these mothers in Uvalde that just saw how their kids were massacred inside a school,” Oliver told CNN this week.

He added, “I really wish there was more in this package of bills and I will do everything whatever I can to get more in this package of bills … We are celebrating and getting together in the White House. There’s no space for that word.”

The bipartisan gun safety bill signed by President Biden last month includes provisions for keeping guns away from those who are deemed a danger to themselves or others, works to close the loophole allowing domestic abusers to own firearms, and cracks down on the sale of guns to those who have a history of violent crime against animals or humans.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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