Father Of Parkland Victim Interrupts WH Event On New Gun Law. Biden: ‘Let Him Talk’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an event to celebrate the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act on the South Lawn of the White House on July 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Calling the n... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an event to celebrate the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act on the South Lawn of the White House on July 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Calling the new law "the most significant gun violence reduction legislation in the last 30 years," the White House invited lawmakers, gun violence victims and other supporters to the White House to commemorate its passage. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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The father of one of the students killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018 interrupted President Biden during an event at the White House on Monday commemorating the new modest gun reform law that passed with bipartisan support.

Several family members of the Parkland shooting victims were in attendance as the President delivered remarks at the event held on the South Lawn. Parkland parent Manuel Oliver, who lost his teenage son Joaquin when a shooter opened fire and killed 17 at the high school four years ago, was in the audience.

As the President said the gun reform bill shows that “we can make meaningful progress on dealing with gun violence,” Oliver shouted, “we have to do more than that.”

From the podium, Biden told Oliver to “sit down and hear what I have to say” while gesturing at him to sit down.

Oliver continued shouting, prompting the President to remark, “let him talk.”

“Because make no mistake about it, this legislation is real progress, but more has to be done,” Biden said.

Hours before the White House event, Oliver tweeted that he was unhappy with the event being characterized as a “celebration.”

Oliver also appeared on CNN ahead of the White House event, in which he said he wishes “there was more in this package of bills” to take action against gun violence.

“I will do whatever I can to get more in this package of bills. This is not the beginning or the end. A lot of people are saying this is the beginning. No, this is part of a process. There was no reason for this event to be called as it’s called right now,” Oliver said.

The White House event comes after Congress passed a bipartisan gun reform bill late last month aimed at restricting gun access for people deemed a danger to society. The bill’s passage came a day after the Supreme Court struck down a century-old New York concealed carry licensing law, which has long required that license applicants show “proper cause” to have a concealed weapon.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came in the wake of mass shootings at a Buffalo, New York grocery store and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas weeks earlier.

The modest gun reform package is the only one of its kind to pass through Congress in about a decade. It passed with support from Republican senators in a 65-33 vote. It imposes stricter background checks for young gun buyers, increases penalties for third-party gun sellers, expands a ban on domestic abusers purchasing guns and deploys millions of funds into mental health programs and school security measures.

Although the bill’s passage was a breakthrough in that it passed without the usual GOP obstruction in an evenly-divided Senate, the bill fell short of Democrats’ demands, which included a ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to those under 21 years old and on high-capacity magazines.

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Notable Replies

  1. I do understand Oliver’s criticism, and I’m happy Biden let him continue. Hopefully though we proponents of stricter gun regulation will direct our ire mainly at the real roadblocks to common sense measures - the NRA and the Republican cult. Any Democrat obstructing efforts at common sense regulation deserves our anger as well.

  2. Avatar for normb normb says:

    Nothing like bringing Aspirin to a a plague outbreak.

  3. While I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child—especially to the senselessness of a mass shooting—we all need to distinguish allies from enemies, and direct our anger and energies where they truly belong: at the corruptly-packed Supreme Court, the GOP minority in the senate, and two Democratic senators who stupidly claim that perpetuating a quaint filibuster tradition (with racist origins) is more important than—literally—saving the lives of children.

    Kicking the dog when you get home from work isn’t a useful response to a terrible day on the job.

  4. I do too. But if your main complaint is that more needs to be done so don’t call it a celebration, I think that just creates another story about Biden’s endless troubles. It’s counterproductive if you zoom out. I understand that a grieving father is outraged at the situation. I don’t understand embarrassing one of your key allies.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

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