FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — The father of a slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School victim poured paint and his heart into an exhibit Saturday night dedicated to his son.
Manuel Oliver, the father of slain Parkland student Joaquin Oliver, painted a mural for the ‘Ripped from the headlines’ art exhibition that was both difficult to watch, and yet you couldn’t take your eyes away from it.READ MORE: Residents Bubbling Up With Anger After Sunrise Utilities Department Sends Out Bloated Water Bills
The graphic designer and longtime artist painted an American flag with the word “ban” across it. He pasted a photo of his son, a Key Deer and a Florida Panther.
Underneath the animals he wrote “protected” and under his sons photo he wrote “extinct.”
The message was clear. He feels animals here in Florida are more protected than his son.
The father has worked tirelessly over the last year trying to get Congress to ban assault rifles after the mass shooting that took his sons life and 16 others last year.
He’s traveled all over the country painting murals dedicated to his son.
Oliver spent 30 minutes, uninterrupted, painting his 25th ‘Wall of demand.’READ MORE: Pair Of South Florida Children Who Died A Couple Weeks Apart Have Saved 11 Lives Through Organ Donation
But now back at home, it was no surprise he had a teary-eyed friend watch each stroke of paint while thinking about his own daughter.
Fred Guttenberg was in the crowd. His daughter Jaime was also killed in thy mass shooting on February 14th.
He said, “I hate that I know him, but I love that he’s in this fight with us and that we’re doing this. We’re going to change this country.”
You felt the pain as he hammered out holes and stuck flowers in the canvas.
He left those who marveled at his work with a final message.
“The only thing that I regret is not having someone to tell me this, the way that I’m telling you before February 14,” said Oliver.MORE NEWS: Extremely Vulnerable To COVID? Complete A Medical Exemption Form & Visit New Federal Site At MDC’s North Campus
The last day to see the exhibition is June 9th.