In the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Trump administration held a “listening session” at the White House, which rightfully turned into a debate over gun control.
President Donald Trump, like always, suggested more weapons, mental hospitals and background checks, while the survivors and family members affected by the shooting shared their fears and pleaded for stricter gun laws to tackle the situation.
Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, sat down with survivors of the Parkland school shooting, victims’ families, local D.C. school administrators and the parents of the Columbine and Sandy Hook shooting victims to discuss ways to prevent these tragedies from occurring again.
Where the survivors demanded tighter security in schools, Trump and aides suggested arming teachers to avoid gun violence. The discussion stirred the gun control debate with one teenage survivor tearfully asking the president why it was so easy to buy AR-15 rifles, which have become a weapon of choice for most mass shooters across the country.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Sam Zeif is a survivor who is asking for gun reform.
Zeif and his brother survived the massacre but his best friend was killed in the horrific shooting.
“That’s why I’m here,” he told the president. “I lost my best friend; he was practically a brother. I’m here to use my voice because I know he can’t.”
He then went on to question why military grade weapons are still accessible to civilians.
“I don’t understand. I turned 18 the day after, woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. And I don’t understand why I could still go in a store and buy a weapon of war,” he continued. “How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon?”How did we not stop this after Columbine? After Sandy Hook? I’m sitting with a mother who lost her son. It’s still happening,” the teen said, gesturing to Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.
“After Sandy Hook, they said we wouldn’t let this happen again, yet it has continued to happen for five years. How many more deaths can we take as a country?” Hockley sadly asked.
Andrew Pollack, father of teenage Parkland shooting victim Meadow, also talked about his loss.
“We’re here because my daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week and she was taken from us,” he said. “Shot nine times on the third floor. We as a country failed our children. This shouldn’t happen.”
"We're here because my daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week and she was taken from us, shot 9 times on the third floor. We as a country failed our children. This shouldn't happen." -Andrew Pollack, father of Meadow, who was killed in Florida school shooting last week pic.twitter.com/w82FyXSjsr— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) February 21, 2018
Because it was a “listening session,” the commander-in-chief listened as the survivors speak their hearts out and shed tears over the lost lives, but went on to push the same ideology that suggested more guns.
Trump proposed arming teaching staff at schools may be effective.
“If he had a firearm ... he would have shot and that would have ended,” Trump said about Stoneman Douglas coach Aaron Feis, who was among the 17 victims.
So, the POTUS suggests a jail-like environment for schools, where survivors will re-live the horrifying moments again and again.
Zeif told Trump he and his friends were too afraid to step foot into the school again.
All these students want is a gun-free school, where a classmate would not be able to bring an AR-15 assault-style weapon to school let alone legally purchase it.
Where the survivors and parents spoke their hearts out, Trump took a peak at his “cue card.”
President Donald Trump holds notes during a White House listening session with students and parents affected by school shootings. (AP Photo by Carolyn Kaster) pic.twitter.com/Z0lZbSVaoF— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) February 21, 2018
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