The national conversation on gun control has been revitalized in the wake of last week's school shooting in Florida, which left 17 dead. President Donald Trump held a listening session on Wednesday with the students and families of victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A photographer shot an image of Trump holding what appeared to be a bulleted list of handwritten notes to help guide him through the meeting. The fifth item on the note simply read: "I hear you," prompting both outrage and criticism on social media.
During the 90-minute meeting, Trump was reluctant to offer any promises on the issue of gun control. The President asked attendees what solutions they had for the problem of gun violence in schools and the responses varied, with some suggesting increased security measures, increased action on mental health, and raising the age limit to purchase certain firearms, according to NPR. NPR notes that the last idea was later denounced in an NRA statement.
Ultimately, Trump landed on the idea of arming teachers and removing "gun-free zone" restrictions near schools.
"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly," Trump said. Trump has notably opposed this position in the past.
"Nobody wants to see a shootout in a school," replied Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. "School teachers have more than enough responsibility than to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life."
Nicole Hockley, a mother whose 6-year-old son was also killed at Sandy Hook, asked President Trump to consider his own children.
"You don't want to be me," she said. "No parent does. And you have the ability to make a difference and save lives today."
The President told the group he had heard "some" of their suggestions.
“We’re going to do something about this horrible situation that’s going on,” Trump concluded. “I want to listen. And then after I listen, we’re going to get things done.”
The emotions at the meeting were raw, but it was a Trump's "cheat sheet" that angered many across the country. Here's what some are saying:
[Photo: Getty Images]
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