FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. - Twenty-three empty school buses were parked outside the National Rifle Association headquarters in Virginia as part of a gun control demonstration led by the parents of a Parkland school shooting victim.
The nearly two dozen buses, which organizers say each seat an average 66 students, pulled up to the building in Fairfax County as a representation of the 1,518 children killed by gun violence this year.
Manuel and Patricia Oliver, whose son Joaquin "Guac" Oliver was killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are leading the "Never Again MSD" tour in their continued effort to stop gun violence and spark sensible changes to gun laws.
"Each school bus seat represents a child who will never get to visit Washington, D.C. on a class trip as millions of others do," said JP Hervis, a spokesperson for the group.
Attendees also participated in a "lie-in" in front of the NRA building on Waples Mill Road.
Fairfax police were in the area during the demonstration and closed the road between Pender Drive and the I-66 overpass for a short time. It has since been reopened.
D.C. is the 23rd city the Olivers have visited across the country since the tour began on July 3. Throughout their 10,000 miles of travel, they say they have met with several gun violence survivors and their families, including parents who lost loved ones in Uvlade, Sante Fe, Orlando Pulse, Las Vegas, Tucson, and Nashville, among other cities.
The Olivers are the co-founders of Change The Ref. They say the goal of the organization is to raise awareness about mass shootings and gun violence and work to reduce the influence of the NRA and gun manufacturers.