Following the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a young survivor delivered a heartbreaking plea for gun control.
Student David Hogg lived through the terrifying ordeal Wednesday afternoon. He spoke to CNN on Thursday, calling upon lawmakers to step up.
“What we really need is action because we can say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do these things, thoughts and prayers.’ What we need more than that is action,” he said. “Please. This is the 18th one this year. That’s unacceptable.”
He continued: “We’re children; you guys, like, are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, come over your politics, and get something done.”
Whoa. David Hogg, survivor of Florida school shooting:— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) February 15, 2018
"This is the 18th one this year. That’s unacceptable. We're children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role.”pic.twitter.com/WjUAQDKV93#ThursdayThoughts #GunReformNow
Although people are still in shock and grieving the victims of Wednesday’s tragedy, it is not too soon to discuss the root problem that led us to this moment in which we’ve seen 18 school shootings occur throughout the United States just in the first 45 days.
President Donald Trump offered his “condolences and prayers” immediately following the shooting, but it’s his own policies that contribute to the amount of gun violence this country is experiencing.
It was once more difficult for people with severe mental illness to purchase a gun — that is until Trump came along and revoked a President Barack Obama-era gun checks rule just about a year ago.
The rule added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own finances to the national background check database. Obama recommended the regulation in a 2013 memo after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 first-graders and six other people dead.
In February 2017, Trump quietly rolled back the rule, receiving praise from the National Rifle Association for doing so.
Another teen believed to be a student who survived the shooting called Trump out on Twitter using much stronger words.
“I don’t want your condolences you f*****g price (sic) of s**t, my friends and teachers were shot," wrote Twitter user @chaddiedabaddie. “Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.”
The girl's tweet quickly went viral, garnering more than 65,000 retweets. However, her account has since been made private.
This young woman just perfectly burnt the President of the United States. ??— Les Floyd (@Lesism) February 15, 2018
These conversations shouldn't be happening, in an ideal world, because there would be gun control in the US and we'd all see the murder rates drop considerably.
?? to Sarah: @chaddiedabaddie pic.twitter.com/XLTXvNRPM9
Then there are spineless politicians, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is cowering to Trump, presumably, to avoid getting on his bad side. On Thursday, in a series of conservative radio interviews, Ryan had the audacity to assert that the Florida school shooting should not threaten citizens’ rights to own guns.
“There’s more questions than answers at this stage,” Ryan said during an interview with Tom Katz on the Indiana radio station WIBC, according to Reuters.
He continued: “I don’t think that means you then roll that conversation into taking away citizens’ rights — taking away a law-abiding citizen’s rights. Obviously this conversation typically goes there. Right now, I think we need to take a breath and collect the facts.”
The facts are that a troubled, mentally disturbed teen casually walked onto the campus of his old high school heavily armed and killed more than a dozen innocent people. That information, alone, should be enough to warrant revisiting the gun control debate and taking aggressive action against guns.
Let’s also not forget that there have been a total of 41 mass shootings thus far this year, which includes the 18 school shootings. Several of them flew right under the radar.
It doesn’t have to be this difficult. If the government is so strongly opposed to banning guns entirely, like Australia did, then at the very least we should be passing legislation that makes it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands.
Our children, the future leaders of our country, deserve so much better than this.
The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were on campus to receive an education, something we encourage our youth to do, and yet we can’t do the bare minimum to keep them safe in the classroom.