WASHINGTON (WSVN) — More than four years after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, several of the victims’ families will return to the nation’s capital for a commemoration of a bipartisan gun safety law that was signed by President Biden last month.
President Joe Biden is set to host members of Congress and parents affected by the Parkland school shooting on Monday to mark the milestone.
Back in April, a number of Parkland parents traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend an event on ghost guns.
Biden said targeting these homemade firearms that can be ordered online, have no serial numbers and no registration was a smart move.
“Is it extreme to protect police officers? Extreme to protect our children? Extreme to keep guns out of the hands of people who couldn’t even pass a background check?” the commander in chief said at the time. “Look, the idea that someone on a terrorist list could purchase one of these guns. Is [gun legislation] extreme? It’s not extreme; it’s just basic common sense.”
Since the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre, parents of the 17 students and teachers who were fatally gunned down have said it’s common sense to do more to combat gun violence in the U.S.
They took their fight directly to President Donald Trump days after the shooting. After Biden was elected, they took their fight to him.
On this year’s anniversary of the mass shooting, artist Manuel Oliver, who lost his son Joaquin in the shooting, climbed atop a crane in Washington, D.C. to draw attention to the issue.
“People are dying every single day in our nation, so it’s just the inaction of our leaders,” said Oliver. “They need to learn that we will take measures.”
“Sending a message to lawmakers to change gun laws on the fourth anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas massacre,” he said.
Oliver was arrested and led away in handcuffs.
Months later, Oliver and his wife Patricia have been invited back to the White House, as well as other Parkland parents like Fred Guttenberg and Linda Beigel Schulman, to mark Biden signing the bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law.
It is the most significant new federal legislation since the assault weapons ban of 1994.
A trio of mass shootings in May — at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, a Southern California church and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — sparked a new urgency for action regarding gun reform.
Parkland families have praised the Biden administration’s efforts.
“We’re happy to see the Biden administration continue positive steps towards preventing anyone from dying from gun violence,” said Tony Montalto, the father of Parkland shooting victim Gina Montalto.
Parkland parents are also calling on Biden to create a national office of gun violence prevention to tackle the nation’s gun violence crisis.
The bill signing is scheduled to take place Monday at 11 a.m.
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