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Charlotte Talks: Parkland, UNCC And How We Cope With Gun Violence

GUAC: My Son, My Hero

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020

Mass shootings have become tragically common, to the point where many have become apathetic. But not those who have lost loved ones - Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Parkland shooting, is the creator of a one man play about love, grief and his son.

In 2019, there were more mass shootings in the U.S. in than there were days in the year. A total of 417 mass shootings struck the U.S. last year, and the Gun Violence Archive claims there was a total of 15,381 gun deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidents.

This show isn’t about the cause or prevention of this epidemic – it’s about the people left behind. How do we cope with the loss of loved ones? How do we honor our heroes?

As the trend of mass shootings continues to rise, our need for understanding, healing and coping becomes vital.

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, a father created a one-man show about love, grief and his son, Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, one of the 17 victims.

Several graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have made their needs vocal by founding movements that urge lawmakers to make change.

After a tragedy at the UNC Charlotte, one mother created a foundation to eternalize her son's bravery

We discuss the ways we honor our loved ones and the process of grief, coping and taking action.


Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Parkland Mass Shooting and creator of one-man play, “GUAC: My Son, My Hero

Trevor Wild, graduate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, founder of March For Our Lives Orlando and Southeast regional director of March For Our Lives

Natalie Howell, mother of Riley Howell and president of Riley Howell Foundation

Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.