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Father of Parkland School Shooting Victim Interrupts Biden Speech on Guns in Protest

HeadlineJul 12, 2022

At the White House, the parent of a student killed in a 2018 mass shooting interrupted President Biden Monday to demand more federal action on gun control. Biden was holding a ceremony in the Rose Garden with survivors and family members affected by gun violence, celebrating his signature of a bipartisan gun safety bill, when Manuel Oliver rose to challenge Biden’s record on guns. Oliver lost his 17-year-old son Joaquin to a mass shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day 2018.

President Joe Biden: “Today is many things. It’s proof that despite the naysayers, we can make meaningful progress on dealing with gun violence.”

Manuel Oliver: “We have to do more than that!”

President Joe Biden: “Because, make no mistake — sit down, you’ll hear what I have to say. If you think” —

Manuel Oliver: “We have to do more than that!”

President Joe Biden: “You” —

Manuel Oliver: “We have to open an office in the White House. I’ve been trying to tell you this for years. [inaudible]”

President Joe Biden: “We have one.  Let me finish my comments.”

Manuel Oliver: [inaudible]

President Joe Biden: “Let him talk. Let him talk. No one — OK?”

Manuel Oliver was then escorted away by Secret Service agents. After the confrontation, he told reporters he’s demanding Biden create an office in the executive branch focused solely on gun violence.

Manuel Oliver: “What am I supposed to do today here? Listen to a package of bills that don’t solve 100% of the problem that is killing people every single day in America? Clap and be happy and be part of a celebration? Not me. We got a fancy invitation from the White House. It was like going to a wedding. And I’m here. I thought that I needed to be here. But I also needed to say what I said.”

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