Feb 15, 2022 - News

Parkland survivors take Biden to task over gun violence

David Hogg speaks to a reporter holding a microphone
David Hogg speaks to reporters in Washington, D.C., near a crane from which Manuel Oliver displayed a protest banner. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

As many celebrated love Monday, the Parkland community mourned the fourth anniversary of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three staff members dead.

Why it matters: It can feel increasingly difficult for survivors and those who lost loved ones to get people to remember their tragedy each year, but the Parkland community continued to make headlines Monday.

What happened: Parkland activists publicly called on President Biden to take action against gun violence, saying they wouldn't accept lip service without legislation.

  • Manuel Oliver, who lost his son Joaquin Oliver in the shooting, was arrested after he climbed a crane in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning to hang a large banner that read, "45K people died from gun violence on your watch."
  • Former Parkland student David Hogg went on CNN to demand Biden "do something" to prevent gun violence, suggesting steps like creating a national office of gun violence prevention, appointing a national director of gun violence prevention, and coming up with a comprehensive plan to dramatically reduce gun deaths.
  • March For Our Lives, the gun violence prevention group founded by Parkland students, along with advocacy organizations Guns Down America and Change the Ref launched "Shock Market," a site tracking gun violence in the U.S. since Biden took office.

What they're saying: "Biden has been a friend, but not a leader," Hogg said on CNN. "He's made small steps but it's not enough. The president hasn't been receptive to our demands. We expected this from Trump, but we're shocked that it's coming from Biden."

  • Before he was arrested, Oliver tweeted a video of himself atop the crane, saying "The whole world will listen to Joaquin today. … I asked for a meeting with Joe Biden a month ago, never got that meeting."

The big picture: Biden has announced executive orders meant to prevent gun violence, but federal gun control proposals have stalled in Congress.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note that 14 students and three staff members were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. A previous version said 17 students and a teacher died.

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