Manuel Oliver is one of the fathers of Parkland, those unfortunate souls who lost children in that horrific and vicious attack. He lost his son there.
I can only imagine their loss.
However, a number of them have decided to jump on the anti-Second Amendment train. While I understand the temptation–and believe me, I have every reason to understand it–I can’t excuse it.
Now, Oliver is speaking out about his outrage that President Joe Biden isn’t making gun control happen.
Manuel Oliver remembers when a school shooting could spark a national conversation about gun control. His son, Joaquin, was one of 17 people killed in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, an act of violence that briefly transformed the policy debate over access to firearms.
It’s why he’s so disappointed in the reaction — or lack of reaction — in Washington following last week’s mass shooting at a Michigan high school that left four dead.
“The problem is that we are getting used to these kinds of situations,” Oliver said. “And I remember during the Trump administration, everyone from the Democratic Party would jump and complain about gun violence when something like last week happened.”
Oliver’s despondency was echoed by other gun control advocates. In interviews, lawmakers, activists and former elected officials expressed a deep disappointment — bordering at times on outright anger — with what they regard as Washington’s collective shrug to the latest in a string of school shootings that have occurred in the past decade.
They say the muted response from politicians and the general public is a far cry from the forceful reaction seen after other school shootings, including the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Fla., and the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
In part, much of that is because of the numbers killed. I hate to say it, but the higher the body count, the more likely you’re going to see a huge response from Washington Democrats.
However, even if that weren’t the case, what are they going to do?
Democrats may hold slim, technical leads in both chambers–particularly in the Senate–but there’s not much they can do. Republicans still have enough votes to use the filibuster, and they will.
That’s a good thing. After all, the answer to these things isn’t more gun control. Punishing average, law-abiding citizens for the actions of the deranged is absolutely ridiculous.
And really, what gun control proposals would have prevented what happened in Michigan? Universal background checks and assault weapon bans don’t actually apply here.
About the only thing that might have made an impact is, maybe, a gun ban. However, based on the parents and what we’ve seen of them, it’s pretty likely they wouldn’t have complied. They’d have likely held onto their guns, which would have still ended up in their son’s hands. Nothing would have been different.
But there are things we may be able to do to address what happened. We can take steps that respect our rights and protect kids in our schools.
Too bad none of these parents want to have that conversation.