Parkland Shooting

Father Turns Parkland Victim Into MLB Cutouts in Latest Action Against Gun Violence

Manuel Oliver set up images of his son, Joaquin Oliver, as cardboard cutouts at 14 Major League Baseball stadiums

NBC Universal, Inc.

A father in Parkland has been keeping his son’s memory alive since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting more than two years ago.

From a new billboard to cardboard cutouts at baseball stadiums, Manuel Oliver’s message is clear -- gun violence needs to stop. NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz spoke to Manuel, father of Joaquin Oliver, about the latest campaign.

SHELI: Tell me about this initiative. These are cardboard cutouts of your son at 14 Major League Baseball stadiums.

OLIVER: We saw this new way of being at the stadium so that’s where the idea came from. It’s not only the idea, but the intention of bringing your son and best friend to be part of this. People who are not really people inside of stadiums. Now in Joaquin’s case, he’s not at home watching his face in the stadium, he’s actually not here and he’s not able to go to any ballpark ever again so that’s where the impact comes into the message.

SHELI: What do you hope people will take from seeing your son in the midst of cheering fans?

OLIVER: I went to many baseball games with Joaquin and my whole goal in life was to become old and have Joaquin bringing his dad along with his kids to the baseball park. That’s not going to happen. That was over for me and for Joaquin, so I want people to go over that thought and they can do something to prevent this from happening in their families and they have someone to warn them, in this case, our movement. You can be part of this solution before tragedy hits you.

SHELI: There is also a new billboard on Miami Children’s Museum.

OLIVER: It’s related to the same intention. We have these digital billboards across the country, '"I was murdered. I can't vote. Vote for me!' Gun laws save lives." November 3 is a great opportunity for us to do some homework and see the background of any candidate, and we should support any of the ones who are really, willing to keep our kids alive and to stop gun fever and gun violence culture that’s been hitting so many families since decades.

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