State of the Union Guest: Parkland's father who beat Louis CK to take part in Trump's speech



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When Louis C.K. Used games mocking Parkland, Florida, victims of school shootings while trying to revive their comedy career, a father of one of these victims responded in an unusual way: filming his own stand-up routine to denounce the comedian.

"Have you ever heard baby jokes? I have a dead baby. His name was Joaquin Oliver. He's going to be 18, but now he's dead, "says Manuel Oliver, stopping and looking directly at the camera while standing on what appears to be a dark stage, a bottle almost empty of water on a stool beside him. This is not a joke. "

He then moves away silently.

Oliver's son, Joaquin, also known as Guac, was one of 17 students and staff killed on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Oliver's activism caught the eye of the Democratic congressman representing Parkland. Rep. Ted Deutch invited Oliver to be his guest in President Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

In a tweet announcing his participation, Oliver reflected on whether the president would approach armed violence. He called it "the real national emergency," a coup on the wall promised by Trump along the southern border. The president said there is a "good chance" to declare a national emergency to build the border wall, and some are wondering how much of Trump's speech will be spent defending the wall.

Oliver was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday morning. In an interview with the Guardian, he said he spent the past year not only mourning the death of his son, his "best friend" but also taking over the life of an activist. He and his wife started a gun control group called Change the Ref after the son's death. He used the art to draw attention to his cause by creating interactive displays and giant murals, many of his son's face.

In December, C.K. parents angered when he scoffed at Parkland survivors during a stand-up routine at a comedy club on Long Island. The comedian doubled last month, telling a crowd at a San Jose comedy club because he joked about the shooting victims.

"If you need people to forget that you walked away, what you do is make a joke about kids being shot," said C.K., according to Daily Beast writer Stacey Solie, who attended the routine. C.K.'s career came to an abrupt halt in 2017 after the New York Times reported that it masturbated in front of female colleagues without their consent.

In response, Oliver's organization produced a public service announcement in the form of a stand-up routine. He started by talking about C.K.

"I recently heard that great line from a comedian. He said, "If you want people to forget that you were masturbating, just make a joke about kids being shot."

"And I thought," Jokes about kids being shot? "I can do that."

Oliver then tells the story of a student who attended school on a Valentine's Day. A skinny kid wearing headphones. Your father left you at school. "I love you," he told his father before getting out of the car. He was shot dead a few hours later.

In his set in San Jose, C.K. explained the rudeness of his jokes saying that comedy has to do with things not to be said in normal environments, according to Solie's account.

In his interview with The Guardian, Oliver criticized the comedian for using his platform to intimidate the survivors. He recalled an argument he had with someone who told him that comedians have the right to freedom of speech.

"I said, that's what you got wrong. We have incredible rights, but no one wrote those rights so you could intimidate people … That right was made for you to defend yourself," Oliver said.

Oliver is one of three Parkland parents to attend the State of the Union.

Fred Guttenberg will participate as guest of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Guttenberg was seen holding out a hand to Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh during the judge's confirmation hearing in September. "My daughter was murdered in Parkland," he seemed to say. The then Supreme Court nominee looked at Guttenberg, but did not shake his hand. It is unclear whether Kavanaugh heard Guttenberg. But that moment, captured in photos and videos from different angles, reverberated immediately along lines of political failures.

The other is Andy Pollack, who will be a guest of Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.). Pollack's daughter, Meadow, was killed in the shooting.

Eli Rosenberg and Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

See More Information:

Louis C. K. suggested the change. Then he sneered at Parkland survivors.

Louis C.K. responds to allegations of sexual misconduct: "These stories are true"

6 things to look for in Trump's State of the Union Address

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