In Washington, D.C., the father of one of the victims of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was arrested Monday during a peaceful protest demanding the Biden administration take action to curb gun violence. Manuel Oliver, the father of 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, climbed a 150-foot-high construction crane and unfurled a banner that displayed a picture of his son and a message to President Biden reading, “45,000 people died from gun violence on your watch.”
His protest came on the fourth anniversary of the Parkland massacre — and as youth-led gun control groups launched an online tool called the “Shock Market” to track U.S. gun violence. A video unveiling the website features shocking statistics about U.S. firearm deaths and injuries in the year since Biden took office.
Manuel Oliver: “There is an explosive market to watch in America with numbers trending off the charts and forecasts that have no end in sight. And thanks to a lack of action from Congress and a lack of urgency from the White House, this is what it looked like after President Biden’s first year. We call it the Shock Market. And as the father of Joaquin Oliver, who was murdered four years ago in the Parkland shooting, President Biden, I call this unacceptable. The administration keeps an eye on a lot of numbers and indicators, so let’s remind them that when these go up, lives come crashing down. No one should have to experience gun violence like my family did.”
That was the voice of Manuel Oliver, who co-founded the gun control group Change the Ref with his wife Patricia.