Parkland Shooting Activist Makes 3-D Print Of His Son To Protest Guns

Change The Ref founder Manuel Oliver, father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Joaquin 'Guac' Oliver, speaks onstage during Global Citizen - Movement Makers at The Times Center on Sept. 25 in New York City.
Noam Galai / Getty Images for Global Citizen

A 3D print of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of February’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida was unveiled in New York Times Square this week by his father to protest using 3D printers to make guns.

Manuel Oliver called the sculpture of his son, who was 17 at the time of his death, the world’s first “3D-printed activist,” adding that it was a statement against gun violence and to encourage voter registration Thursday, ABC News reported.

Oliver and his wife Patricia founded the nonprofit organization Change the Ref in an effort to raise awareness of mass shootings and to reduce the influence of organizations like the National Rifle Association on gun legislation, according to its website.

“This is the first time since February that I can see an image of my son standing next to me,” Oliver said at the event, according to ABC News. “Not a good feeling, but the idea here is to make it a powerful moment for the rest of you.”

Oliver added while he knows he cannot bring his son back, he is displaying the powerful 3D-printed image of his son “for the rest of the families who can still do something about it,” the network added.

Nikolas Jacob Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is accused of entering his old high school and going on a shooting rampage, killing Joaquin Oliver and others on Feb. 14, according to CBS News.

Manuel Oliver lays next to his wife Patricia Oliver as she holds a picture of their son Joaquin Oliver who was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting as they join with others for a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25in Coral Springs, Florida.
Manuel Oliver lays next to his wife Patricia Oliver as she holds a picture of their son Joaquin Oliver who was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting as they join with others for a ‘die’-in’ protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25in Coral Springs, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Change the Ref announced on its website that this upcoming Thursday, it will unveil a new billboard in Boston with the organization Stop Handgun Violence.

The statement said that the billboard “aims to compare the effective gun laws in Massachusetts with the lax dangerous gun laws in Florida, particularly Florida’s lack of criminal background checks as well as unregulated and unrestricted access to assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.”

Since February’s shooting, numerous students have become vocal advocates for stricter gun laws.

Many of the surviving students helped organize one of the largest anti-gun rallies in the country the following month in the March for Our Lives Protest nationwide, according to Time magazine.

The main rally happened in Washington, D.C. with satellite rallies occurring on the same day, March 24, in several other cities, including New York, Miami, Cincinnati, Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, according to NBC News.

Similar rallies in support of March for Our Lives also happened in Israel, New Zealand, Australia, England, Japan, Belgium, India, France and Chile, the network added.