Culture

Florida School Shooting Survivors Demand Trump ‘Fix It’ At His White House Listening Session

After students across the U.S. staged walkouts and marched on various government offices, including the White House and Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., President Trump hosted a “listening session” with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors and victims’ families. The topic? School shootings and suggestions for what the federal government should do about them. As the people gathered around Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and various administration staffers began to speak, it became clear that regardless of the means implemented, they all wanted the White House to “fix it” now.

Samuel Zeif, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student who became famous after a tweet containing the text messages he exchanged with his younger brother during the shooting went viral, recalled the heroism of slain geography teacher Scott Beigel: “My 14-year-old brother was directly above me, in that classroom where Scott Beigel was murdered. Scott Beigel got my brother in the class.” However, he also questioned the shooter’s ability to purchase an assault rifle, saying, “I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war. An AR.”

Meanwhile Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas last week, was far more forthright when he addressed the president. “It should’ve been one school shooting, and we should’ve fixed it,” he shouted at one point. “And I’m pissed because my daughter, I’m not going to see again. She’s not here. She’s not here. She’s at King David cemetery. That’s where I go to see my kid now.”

In response to Pollack, whom the New York Times notes “was an unannounced guest at a listening session,” Trump insisted he and his staff were “going to do something about this horrible situation.” In a short series of remarks that followed the other attendees, announced and otherwise, the president emphasized the need for “very strong on background checks” and “a very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody.” He also latched onto another father’s suggestion that teachers or other school faculty and staff be armed for the students’ protection.

(Via CBS News, NBC News, New York Times and CNN)

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