We first encountered Manuel and Patricia Oliver outside the NRA convention in Dallas in 2018. Their son was one of the 17 people murdered at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida earlier that year. Mr. Oliver, an artist, painted a mural in front of a crowd of supporters and the media to demonstrate the need for more gun control in America.
The finished mural said, We Demand a Fair Game.
The Olivers created a confusingly named gun control advocacy operation they call Change the Ref that they say uses “urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic.”
Now as part of the Change the Ref effort, they’re promoting another site they’re calling The Unfinished Votes. It asks the families of victims of “gun violence” to submit the names and photos of their deceased loved ones as part of the push to elect more candidates who support stiffer gun control laws.
What’s noteworthy is how they’ve chosen to call attention to their Unfinished Votes thing. The Olivers have produced a video featuring an animated likeness of their dead son, Joaquin, whose avatar makes the case for voting for candidates who will enact more restrictions on civilian gun ownership.
Here’s the video:
Yo, it’s me. I’ve been gone for two years and nothing’s changed, bro. People are still getting killed by guns. What is that? Everyone knows it, but they don’t do anything. I’m tired of waiting for someone to fix it.
The disturbingly lifelike, virtual Joaquin (whose nickname was Guac) asks his audience to vote for anti-gun candidates this November because he can’t. (If only he’d lived in Chicago.)
Vote for politicians who care more about people’s lives than the gun lobby’s money. Vote for people not getting shot, bro. I mean, vote for me. Because I can’t.