One week after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, President Donald Trump held a listening session last night to hear from the families of victims. Andrew Pollack, the father of an 18-year-old daughter who was shot to death, said that he is outraged by the incident in Parkland, Florida.
"One school shooting and we all should've fixed it. And I'm pissed!," he said, according to Business Insider. "Because my daughter, I'm not going to see again. She's not here ... We protect airports, we protect concerts, stadiums, embassies — the Department of Education that I walked in today that has a security guard in the elevator. How do you think that makes me feel?"
Pollack's daughter, Meadow, was one of 17 victims killed by the 19-year-old alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz. The shooter now faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.
"I'm never going to see my kid again. I want you all to know that," Pollack said. "Never, ever will I see my kid. I want that to sink in — it's eternity. My beautiful daughter I'm never going to see again. And it's simple. We can fix it."
Pollack criticized the government for not doing enough to protect schools from shootings. "We as a country failed our children."
In the aftermath of the shooting, politicians have differed greatly on what their solutions are. While Democrats largely want stricter gun laws, many prominent Republicans argue that we cannot relinquish our Second Amendment rights.
Another parent, Cary Gruber, whose son survived the shooting said that gun laws should not be an issue across partisan lines. "If he's not old enough to go buy a drink, buy a beer, he should not be able to buy a gun at 18 years old," he said. The alleged shooter legally purchased his AR-15 rifle. "We gotta do something about this. We cannot have our children die, this is just heartbreaking. Please."
The listening session ended with Trump proposing that teachers and school staff arm themselves to deter future shooting incidents. "If you had a teacher who is adept at firearms it could very well end the attack very quickly," he said. He added that this would be one part of a larger plan. "I think they wouldn't go into the schools to start off with — I think it could very well solve your problem," he said. "So we'll be doing the background checks, we'll be doing a lot of different things, but we'll certainly be looking at ideas like that."
Thursday morning, he clarified that statement.
"I never said 'give teachers guns' like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC," he tweeted. "What I said was to look at the possibility of giving 'concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to......immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!"
[Photo: Getty Images]
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