Joaquin Oliver was one of the 17 people shot and killed by a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day.
But last year, he was a politically active student sharing a message calling for greater restrictions on gun licensing in the US.
Now his sister, Andrea Ghersi, has shared a tweet about the eerily similar Sandy Hook shooting the 17-year-old shared two months before his death.
Amelia Lester explains why the aftermath of the school shooting in Florida feels different to that of any shooting before it. Post continues.
“My brother [Joaquin] retweeted this two months ago and it was a ‘mentally ill individual’ with an AR-15 that took my brother from our lives. It’s time we do something #neveragain,” Ghersi wrote.
The tweet was originally written by user Ed Krassenstein. He sent it out on the fifth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 young children and six adults. Lanza reportedly had a mental illness as well as an interest in mass shootings.
“It was five years ago today that a mentally ill man killed 20 kids and six staff at #Sandy Hook,” the tweet began.
“If you believe that mentally ill individuals should have easy access to firearms of any size, let alone guns comparable to the AR-15, then you need to realize the NRA has brainwashed you.”
The tragic irony of Joaquin sharing this message and then dying in almost identical circumstances is not lost on anyone.
Criticism of America’s National Rifle Association has been widespread in the wake of America’s latest shooting.
Yet the most recent statement from Vice President Wayne LaPierre rejected talk of gun control and upheld the NRA’s position that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.
The irony that this was the exact same statement the NRA made five years ago was lost on him.