Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, welcomed a 3D-printed statue of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, a 17-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior who was killed in the shooting at the Parkland, Florida high school on Valentine’s Day last year. The life size 3D sculpture of Joaquin is a tribute to his memory and has been used to support efforts for common-sense gun reforms, like universal background checks, across the country. The congresswoman is the first Member of Congress to host the statue, which will be hosted by other lawmakers who support similar gun reform efforts to protect American communities and save lives.
“The horrific tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 dead, 17 injured, and a nation of broken hearts in its wake,” said Rep. Gabbard. “Too many parents, like Manuel and Patricia, never knew they were saying their final goodbyes and last hugs and kisses with their sons and daughters. Too many parents have missed out on birthdays, holidays, weddings, and grandchildren because their own children have been lost. I’m honored to join Joaquin’s parents, loved ones, and many more who have built this movement to protect our children and help to prevent future tragedies like this. We must take action today, in honor of Joaquin and thousands more lost to gun violence, and protect our communities.”
“When Joaquin was murdered with an assault weapon designed for war and purchased by a 19 year old, we asked ourselves how this could happen?” asked Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin and founder of Change The Ref. “We need common sense gun laws in our nation, and we need them now.”
Background: Rep. Gabbard has supported common-sense gun safety legislation to protect our communities by pushing for universal background checks, banning bump stocks and assault weapons, strengthening school safety, blocking publication of instructions to build 3D guns, and more. Specifically, she has supported the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Act, the Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act, the Assault Weapons Ban, the Support Assault Firearms Elimination and Reduction for our Streets Act, the Domestic Violence Loophole Closure Act, the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act and more. She has an F rating from the NRA and a 100% legislative score from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.