President Donald Trump on Thursday announced plans to visit Florida after a gunman opened fire in a high school there, and he said he will push for action on mental health issues and making schools more secure. (According to this)
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Trump said he would push for steps to make “our schools and our children safer” in the wake of the latest high-profile mass shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 17 people. He made no direct mention of the contentious gun control debate, even as activists and Democrats in Congress renewed calls for tougher measures.
“It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference,” the president said in a nationally televised address from the White House’s Diplomatic Room. “We must actually make that difference.”
“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” he said.
Police believe a former student who had reportedly been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was behind the shooting that also left at least 15 people wounded.
Speaking in a somber tone, the president called the shooting a scene of “terrible violence, hatred and evil” and said the nation was praying for victims and their families. He lamented the deaths of young people with full lives in front of them and declared that “no child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school.”
“To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you,” Trump said. “Whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain. We are all joined together as one American family. Your suffering is our burden, also.”
And hours after suggesting that there had been “so many signs” that the high school gunman was “mentally disturbed” — and urging Americans to do more to report such individuals — Trump used a portion of his remarks to directly address young Americans “who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared.” He sought to remind them that they are loved and called on them to seek help if they need it.
“I want you to know that you are never alone, and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you and who will do anything at all to protect you,” he said. “If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer or a faith leader. Answer hate with love. Answer cruelty with kindness.”
Earlier Thursday, Trump issued a proclamation honoring the victims and ordering U.S. flags be flown at half-staff through Monday. His televised remarks were his first in-public comments on the shooting; Trump had weighed in on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018