A graduation ceremony was held with no graduates, parents or even professors in Las Vegas. Parents of students, who should be graduating in 2021, have organized a fictional graduation ceremony in an unreal high school to remember children killed in gun violence in the US.
A former leader of the National Rifle Association (NRA), David Keene, was tricked into making a speech in front of thousands of empty chairs at a graduation ceremony at James Madison Academy in Las Vegas, (which doesn’t really exist). He was told that this is a rehearsal for the big graduation ceremony.
Wow, "change the ref," an amazing story, Joaquin Oliver's lost class tribute.— JR Horsting (@JRHorsting) June 24, 2021
On Rachel Maddow tonight. pic.twitter.com/xfNdAYIBqG
The former leader of NRA appeared in the fake graduation ceremony wearing a black graduate hat and a cap with a bright yellow sash in early June.
Each of the 3,044 seats of those who did not graduate with the high school class of 2021, represented students who have unfortunately lost their lives in mass shootings and gun violence in the country.
Former NRA Pres. David Keene was asked to give a graduation speech to a class of 3,044 students.— Buffy Wicks (@BuffyWicks) June 24, 2021
He practiced in front of 3,044 empty chairs.
But those 3,044 students will never hear his speech. Or graduate. Because they lost their lives to gun violence. pic.twitter.com/7xlsYDbmHT
Keene said: “Follow your dream and make it a reality.”
He continued: “This year, you focused on one of the most important of Madison’s amendments, the Second Amendment (A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.)There are some who continue to fight to gut the Second Amendment, but I’d be willing to bet that many of you will be among those who stand up and prevent them from succeeding.”
Former NRA president David Keene was asked to speak to James Madison Academy’s 2021 graduating class.— Everytown (@Everytown) June 28, 2021
But the school doesn't exist. He addressed 3,044 empty chairs representing teens who were killed by gun violence, who would have graduated this year. https://t.co/jgsXGenEph
The event was mainly organized by Change the Ref organization, to commemorate Joaquin Oliver who was killed inside his school in a gun violence incident in 2018 alongside another 17 victims. The organization is basically a gun control advocacy group.
CTR was formed by the parents of Joaquin, Manuel and Patricia Oliver, to empower our Future Leaders as it gives the kids of today the tools they need to be empowered to make changes to critical issues that affect our nation, through education, conversation, and activism.
Parents of Joaquin Oliver, a 17-year-old victim of the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, have put their late son’s face at 14 different MLB games as a cutout fan to raise awareness for gun violence. https://t.co/twDaGQ9uN2 pic.twitter.com/8O1JMHLjOn— ABC News (@ABC) September 9, 2020
Since the start of 2021, the US has reported 282 mass shootings. Despite COVID-19 lockdown last year the country had registered an increase of gun violence 614 mass shootings, compared to 434 in 2019.
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