WASHINGTON — The father of one of the teens killed in the 2018 Parkland school shooting interrupted President Joe Biden at a White House event Monday that was meant to celebrate a new law aimed at reducing gun violence.
Manuel Oliver lost his 17-year-old son, Joaquin, in the Parkland shooting, in which 17 people were killed. He was one of several survivors and family members at the White House event.
Oliver interjected as Biden was saying that the bill was proof that, “despite the naysayers, we can make meaningful progress on dealing with gun violence.”
“We have to do more than that,” Oliver yelled from the audience at the event just outside the White House.
“Sit down and hear what I have to say,” Biden responded, gesturing to Oliver that he should sit down.
Oliver repeated that more has to be done and the president said, “Let him talk. Let him talk. Because make no mistake about it, this legislation is real progress. More has to be done.”
Oliver’s spokesperson, J.P. Hervis, told NBC News that Oliver never thought the event should be a celebration and that it would allow Republicans to claim they took action to address gun violence and avoid additional change.
Ahead of the White House event, Oliver tweeted, “The word CELEBRATION has no space in a society that saw 19 kids massacred just a month ago.”
The activist has previously criticized the Biden administration for not doing enough to respond to mass shootings. Earlier this year, he climbed a crane in Washington, D.C., to demand that the president or Congress pass meaningful measures.
“The whole world will listen to Joaquin today. He has a very important message. I asked for a meeting with Joe Biden a month ago. Never got that meeting,” Oliver said in a video taken high above the street.