Manuel Oliver is back in DC five years after the death of his son Joaquin Oliver, fighting for gun reform.
WASHINGTON DC, DC — The father of a Parkland shooting victim is back in DC to demand action against gun reform.
“I think it’s going to be more risky, more disruption,” said Manuel Oliver, who is no stranger to disruption as he tries to get attention to his case. Oliver has held protests outside the White House, demanding a meeting with President Joe Biden. He has even climbed a construction tower in downtown DC and called on Biden to pass gun laws.
Five years after his son Joaquin Oliver was murdered at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, Oliver says he and his wife are back to participate in Saturday’s March for Our Lives to make lawmakers uncomfortable with their inaction.
“The march was partly the result of the murder of my son Joaquin,” Oliver said. “We have a chance to make a statement to Joaquin on Saturday.”
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The Oliver family say they watched the 2018 protest from their Florida home. The tragedy was too recent and their hearts were too heavy to participate, but this year they are helping to lead the movement as gun law is at the forefront of the legislative agenda on Capitol Hill.
“We shouldn’t be begging for change because we’re trying to save lives. It makes perfect sense that what we put on the table should be approved,” Oliver explained as he stepped out of the Capitol after a vote on the house floor to pick some of the most aggressive gun control measures on Capitol Hill in years.
After hours of emotional testimony from victims of gun violence, the 223-to-204 vote passed legislation that would raise the minimum purchase age for most semi-automatic rifles to 21 and also ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Oliver says he’s realistic about the tough battle ahead in the Senate.
“I wish I could tell you that I have high hopes for what’s going on, but I don’t.”
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Manuel Oliver said he has no formal invitation but plans to go to the White House on Thursday to ask for answers.
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