After yet another fatal school shooting, Parkland gun control activist dad travels to White House

Manuel Oliver traveled to Washington, D.C., and on Thursday he stood in front of the White House. His son Joaquin “Guac” Oliver was among the 17 victims of the Valentine’s Day 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The 17-year-old senior was on the third floor of the 1200 building for his fourth period. He had a creative writing class with Stacey Lippel, a language arts teacher who asked him to write a love letter that day. The fire alarm interrupted the class and she evacuated the classroom.

Lippel heard students screaming and running back up the stairs. She decided to run back to the classroom and open the door, but she would never see Oliver again. Weeks later, Lippel testified at Capitol Hill and said the hallway turned into a war zone.

“Shots were firing and students were pouring into my class: Kids who were mine, kids who I had never seen before,” Lippel said. “I held my door open and pulled kids in as I watched the scene unfold before my eyes. I saw the shooter emerge from the stairwell.”

It was a 19-year-old former student armed with an Armalite Rifle, Model 15. According to the state’s public safety committee investigation, Joaquin tried to hide in the restrooms but the doors were locked. His grieving Venezuelan-American parents, Manuel and Patricia Oliver, have been pleading for gun control since.

Manuel and Patricia Oliver turned to activism to honor the memory of their late son Joaquin Oliver who died during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.

School shooting after school shooting they have asked lawmakers to prevent other tragedies for years. On Tuesday, a 15-year-old troubled student walked into a high school in Michigan with a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol to kill four students and wound a teacher and 6 students.

“I’m sick of seeing this happening. I know the pain that those families are feeling today,” Manuel Oliver said, as the White House prepared for a Thursday evening tree lighting ceremony. “I don’t have a formal invitation, there is no time for that.”

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has issued executive orders to limit stabilizing braces that can turn a pistol into a rifle and to crackdown on ghost guns. Manuel Oliver wants President Joe Biden to do more.

Joaquin Oliver died during the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“He promised me he would be working really hard on putting some rules and restrictions on the gun manufactures and the gun industry as a whole and I am still waiting.”

Manuel Oliver’s son would have been 21 years old this year.

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