An aspiring child reporter attended Wednesday’s White House press briefing, but make no mistake: What he had to say was anything but a softball question.
Benje Choucroun, 13, asked press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders an important question about guns and school safety.
“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill,” Choucroun began. “One thing that affects mine and other students' mental health is to worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me about what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”
There’s a kid at today’s White House press briefing. He just asked Sarah Sanders about school shootings and safety https://t.co/PrmyAzaik0— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) May 30, 2018
It’s a question that’s likely on the minds of millions of schoolchildren across a wide spectrum of grades throughout the country. Sanders appeared to be choked up by the question while she responded.
“I think that as a kid and certainly as a parent there is nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe,” Sanders said. “So I’m sorry that you feel that way.”
What empathy she did display, however, was short-lived; she gave a strict non-answer in the rest of her reply.
”This administration takes it seriously, and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting this week. Again, an official meeting to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools and to make kids feel safe and to make their parents feel good about dropping them off,” Sanders said.
It isn’t Sanders’s fault, necessarily, that she had to give the non-answer reply that she did. The press secretary was clearly emotional from the question she received.
Yet, President Donald Trump and his administration’s policy on guns — or rather, their policy on not doing anything about gun violence — cannot be overlooked. This administration has promised to ban bump stock accessories, but is slow to act and actively stands against what the American people support — including closing the gun show loophole and banning certain types of weapons.
Choucroun displayed courage in asking his question to Sanders. It’s up to this administration to show courage now, and stand up to the gun lobby to pass meaningful reform. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like that’s likely to happen anytime soon.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters