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President Donald Trump’s Listening Session With Shooting Survivors Takes Emotional Turn As Kids Beg For ‘Change’


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President Donald Trump’s Listening Session With Shooting Survivors Takes Emotional Turn As Kids Beg For ‘Change’


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President Trump invited student survivors of the Parkland shooting to discuss solutions and change to make schools safe again in a listening session at the White House — and yes, he did have to listen to arguments for stronger gun control laws.


President Donald Trump, 71, met with several survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting  on Feb, 21 to discuss what can be done to stop tragedies like this from ever occurring again. During the session, he listened to the harrowing stories of children who had to hide in closest and lost family members in the senseless tragedy, as well as parents who lost their young kids not only in Florida, but also the shootings at Sandy Hook and Columbine. While many students simply asked Trump for ‘change’, one 18-year-old survivor named Samuel Zeif took the microphone and, with a wavering voice, described his gut-wrenching loss during Nikolas Cruz‘s attack and brought the hard reality of how easy it is to get a gun in this country to the floor. “I lost a best friend, practically a brother. I’m here to use my voice because I know he can’t … I want to feel safe at school.” he said. “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… Me and my friends, we get scared when a car goes by… The 2nd amendment, I believe was for defense, and I fully respect that, like I said, but these [assault rifles] are not weapons of defense. These are weapons of war. And I just — I still can’t fathom that I myself am able to purchase one.”


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But that wasn’t all. The first parent to mention guns was Cary Gruber, the father of 15-year-old shooting survivor Justin Gruber. “Seventeen lives are gone. I was lucky enough to get my son home,” he told Trump. “It’s not left and right, it’s not political, it’s a human issue. If a person isn’t old enough to buy a drink, they shouldn’t be old enough to buy a gun. If he’s not old enough to buy a beer, he should not be able to buy a gun at 18 years old.” His words were followed by the heartwreching pleas from Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow Pollack was among the 17 victims of the school shooting. “How many schools, how many children have to get shot?” he demanded of the President. “It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it. And I’m pissed. Because my daughter…I’m not going to see again. She’s at King David cemetery.”


This tense and emotional meeting comes just hours after some of the students from the Parkland high school spoke to hundreds of gun control supporters at a rally in Tallahassee. Among the students who voiced their anger at the lack of action following these horrific attacks was senior Delaney Terr. “We’ve had enough of thoughts and prayers. We’ve had enough ‘you’re in our consideration, we’re going to think about it, we’re going to tell you how we feel because we support you so much’ because we know that that is not true. If you supported us, you would have made a change long ago and you would be making a change now, she said.”


“So this is to every lawmaker out there, no long can you take money from the NRA,” she added. “No longer can you fly under the radar and do whatever it is that you want to do. Because we are coming after you. We are coming after every single one of you and demanding that you take action. Demanding that you make a change.”


Trump has shown a willingness to consider legislation that might curb this violence, but only in very small ways. “Just a few moments ago I signed a memo directing the attorney general to propose regulations that ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” he said on Feb. 20, via CNN. The most common of these devices is the bump stock, which turns semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic machine guns, able to shoot hundreds of bullets in minutes. Time will tell if real change is possible in this divisive political climate.


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