On the four-year anniversary of the mass shooting that took 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., families of the victims and gun control advocates took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to protest what they see as President Biden's ineffectiveness on the issue, reports the Associated Press. One father, Manuel Oliver, scaled a crane and unfurled a banner showing his son's face across the street from the White House. In a video, he said he was angered in part because he asked Biden to meet with him and never heard back. The activists are drawing attention to a website they have developed, which breaks down the number of U.S. American gun deaths, including suicides, that have occurred during Biden's term and urges him to take more actions involving gun policy. The tally has eclipsed 47,000, with 136 reports of gunfire on school grounds between August 1 and December 31 of last year alone.
Biden called the gun control movement "extraordinary" and said that "it is time to uphold the solemn obligation" to protect citizens from gun violence. Biden's team says he is doing everything possible on the issue given divisions on the issue in Congress. His administration has cracked down on homemade "ghost guns," which lack serial numbers and can be obtained without a background check. They have also worked to restrict access to pistol-stabilizing braces, which have been used in mass shootings, and encouraged cities to use COVID-19 relief funds to mitigate gun violence. Still, advocates want Biden to take further steps short of new legislation. Activists have asked Biden to create a national office to address gun violence and to make a new nomination to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, after Biden was forced to pull his first nominee last September.