Parkland Victim's Father on Thomas Massie Family Gun Photo: 'Worst Taste Ever'

The father of a Parkland victim hit out against Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) after he shared a photo of himself and family members holding guns days after the Oxford High School shooting.

Manuel Oliver, whose son 17-year-old Joaquin was one of the 17 people killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, appeared on CNN on Saturday.

Earlier that day, Massie shared a photo on Twitter that showed him and his family members posing with guns in front of a Christmas tree, with the caption: "Merry Christmas. PS. Santa, please bring ammo."

The tweet was shared just days after the November 30 shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan ended with four students dead and seven others injured, reigniting the nation's long debate over gun control.

Speaking with CNN's Jim Acosta, Oliver gave his reaction after he learned the tweet was trending and said it showed Americans needed to carefully consider who they elected as their leaders.

Oliver added: "That's a huge part of the problem. Someone, elected leaders, like this one that think that, I don't know, if they're trying to be ironic, funny, or what but it's the worst taste ever that you could handle on social media.

"This is also something that should teach us who we should elect and not. It's a very nasty post."

Acosta then asked Oliver if the post or similar statements "cause more pain?"

"No, pain is not the problem here. Because the way that we treat this, and this is probably a message for those families in Michigan." Oliver responded.

"I have a reason to keep on being a father, a strong reason to keep on being a father. And it didn't happen, I didn't feel this immediately after I lost Joaquin, but you start feeling that urgency of doing other things as a father."

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Massie for comment.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder and terrorism, among other charges, after he allegedly carried out the shooting at Oxford High School.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after they were arrested in Detroit early on Saturday morning. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to Education Week, there have been 29 school shootings in the U.S. this year, with 21 having happened since August 1.

The count is significantly higher than 2020, where there were 10 school shootings, although Education Week said the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to have been the cause for the lower figure.

Rep. Massie was critisized over the post
Rep. Massie was criticized over the Twitter post. In this photo, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) speaks during a press conference on U.S. House bill H.R. 428 in the Cannon House Office Building on March 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. T.J. Kirkpatrick / Stringer/Getty