President Joe Biden was heckled Monday during a White House event celebrating his administration signing gun control legislation into law.
Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed during the Parkland shooting in 2018, interrupted Biden yelling, “You have to do more than this!”
Biden responded by telling Oliver, “Sit down. You’ll hear what I have to say.”
“You have to open an office in the White House!” Oliver continued. “I’ve been trying to tell you this for years! And years!”
Security escorted Oliver out of the event.
A man who got up during @POTUS remarks on gun control is escorted out of the White House event. pic.twitter.com/p0YpWezmRq
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) July 11, 2022
The event hailing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence legislation in 30 years, was deemed “a big lie” by Oliver. Nikolas Cruz, 19, gunned down Oliver’s 17-year-old son at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
Oliver tweeted his frustration over including the word celebration in the day’s events before going to the White House. He also told CNN, “It’s like we’re going to a party or a wedding,” which it wasn’t.
The word CELEBRATION has no space in a society that saw 19 kids massacred just a month ago. “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Not me, not Joaquin. @ChangeTheRef
— Manuel Oliver (@manueloliver00) July 11, 2022
Manuel Oliver to CNN on what he'd tell Biden today: "It's been a while that I've been calling out…using the word celebration, getting together, is like we're going to a party, to a wedding…it's not…enough…There was no reason for this event to be called as it's called[.]" pic.twitter.com/UiZ5ECA7qy
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) July 11, 2022
“There’s nothing to celebrate,” Oliver told the Miami Herald, “It’s a big lie. We lie between ourselves thinking we have a solution to this when we actually don’t.” The dad continued, “There was no need for this event,” he added. “At all.”
He told the Herald he had the opportunity to say something to the President, and he took it.
The Miami-Herald reported that the Parkland shooting victim’s dad’s remarks were “either a righteous denunciation of an ill-conceived celebration or a frustrating distraction from a landmark achievement,” but it depended on perspective.
A recent Pew Research poll shows broad approval for the legislation (64%), while 78% of the country thinks it will do little (42%) or nothing at all (36%) to reduce gun violence.