President Biden’s Rose Garden speech touting the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act did not go off without drama on Monday, courtesy of Parkland father Manuel Oliver, who was told by the President to “sit down” after he interrupted the somber speech.
Oliver appeared to be urging Biden to “do more” while taking exception to the “pointless” celebration of a bill that in all reality accomplished little in the eyes of those who want more stringent gun control laws.
Oliver is the father of 17-year-old Joaquin, one of 14 students and three staff members who were slaughtered in a mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and while much of what he had to say to the President was unintelligible in the video, the grieving dad’s position on the White House “celebration” was made clear earlier in the day on CNN.
President Biden to protester: "Sit down. You'll hear what I have to say." pic.twitter.com/FZvMZoLam5
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 11, 2022
Appearing “News Day,” Oliver took issue with the idea that the law, which strengthens the abilities of states to enforce red flag laws and conduct enhanced background checks for under-21 gun buyers, is anything to celebrate.
Oliver doesn’t feel the law went nearly far enough in restricting gun owners.
“Well, it’s been a while that I’ve been calling out that using the word celebration, getting together, is like we’re going to a party, to a wedding today,” he began. “Meanwhile, you can see these mothers in Uvalde that just saw how their kids were massacred inside a school. So, for me, it’s not only not enough, and you know very well what I’ve been preaching for.”
“Even the president asked for more and it’s not happening,” he continued. “So, I really wish there was more in this package of bills. And I will do whatever I can to get more in this package of bills.”
“This is not the beginning or the end,” Oliver stated. “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.”
“Despite the naysayers,” said President Biden at the Rose Garden event, “we can make meaningful progress on dealing with gun violence.”
During the speech, Oliver stood up and shouted something, causing Biden to pause and snap back, “Sit down. You’ll hear what I have to say,” and “Let me finish my comments.”
The crowd began shouting at Oliver, and President Biden urged the crowd to “let him talk, let him talk.”
It appeared that Oliver yelled, “We have to do more than that,” Mediaite reports.
While Matthew McConaughey may have thought the bill was a “shining example” of compromise, Oliver believes it was “a big lie.”
“There’s nothing to celebrate,” Oliver told the Miami Herald by phone after being escorted out of the White House event. “It’s a big lie. We lie between ourselves thinking we have a solution to this when we actually don’t.”
According to Oliver, he was asking Biden to establish a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
“It was my chance to say something to the president, and that’s a chance we don’t have every single day,” he said. “That’s pretty much what this is about.”
But, repeated Oliver, the ceremony in the Rose Garden was pointless.
“There was no need for this event,” he stated. “At all.”
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