Parents of one the students killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting last year created Valentine’s Day heart candies with anti-gun violence slogans such as “don’t shoot” and “he’s gone” to mark the anniversary of their son’s Feb. 14, 2018 death.
Manuel and Patricia Oliver, whose son Joaquin “Guac” Oliver was one of the students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, shared the candy hearts on Twitter.
The classic Valentine’s Day treats from their anti-gun violence organization, Change the Ref, feature new words including “I’m bleeding,” “help,” “call 911” and “I love you.”
“This is the new reality on Valentine’s Day unless we do something,” Manuel Oliver said in a Wednesday video.
These candy hearts reflect the reality of Valentine’s Day in our schools if we don’t empower our youth to impact their future. Tomorrow and every day after we will continue our fight to #ChangeTheRef ❤️ pic.twitter.com/V9MewL3FRV— Change the Ref (@ChangeTheRef) February 14, 2019
These candy hearts reflect the reality of Valentine’s Day in our schools if we don’t empower our youth to impact their future. Tomorrow and every day after we will continue our fight to #ChangeTheRef ❤️ pic.twitter.com/bfAIfSE6O4— Change the Ref (@ChangeTheRef) February 14, 2019
Seventeen people were killed last Valentine's Day when a gunman opened fire inside Stoneman Douglas.
Surviving students and families have become outspoken anti-gun violence activists in the wake of the shooting, and Manuel Oliver has frequently turned to art to express his grief.
He created a mural depicting President TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE as a ringleader of a circus outside the annual National Rifle Association convention in May and putting a bulletproof vest on the “Fearless Girl” statue in New York.
He also unveiled a life-size, 3D-printed sculpture of his son in Times Square last year to protest the legality of 3D-printed guns. The figure was dressed how Joaquin Oliver looked on the day he died and was personalized with accessories to depict his character.
Manuel Oliver made headlines earlier this month when he repeatedly interrupted Trump ally and Florida Republican Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGallego on Jan. 6 rioters: 'F--- them' The Hill's Morning Report - For Biden, it goes from bad to worse Gaetz ex testified to federal grand jury in sex crimes investigation MORE during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence.
Gaetz later asked that Oliver be removed from the hearing.