President Trump on Thursday issued a statement from the White House addressing "a nation in grief" following the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead and injured several others.
“No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning,” said Trump.
“Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them -- a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise.”
He went on to stress the need to address mental health issues and to ask children in America “who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared” to seek help.
“I want to speak now directly to America’s children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared: 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."
“We must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life, that creates deep and meaningful human connections, and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors,” Trump continued.
The President said that his administration is working with local authorities to get to the bottom of what occurred on Wednesday.
He noted that he plans to visit Parkland, Florida to meet with families and victims and will be meeting with U.S. governors and attorney generals later this month to discuss ways to make “our schools and our children safer.”
Trump added that, “It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”
His remarks come as the White House and Republicans face criticism from liberals accusing them of prioritizing the interests of the NRA over the lives of children when it comes to gun control.
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday said that, “this is not the time to jump to some conclusion not knowing the full facts,” but that “if someone who is mentally ill is slipping through the cracks and getting a gun because we have laws on the books … if there are gaps there we need to look at those gaps."
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Thursday made a strong point in an interview with Fox News on Thursday that there was already a gun law in place that prohibits anyone from bringing guns to schools as gun-free zones and the shooter broke it, MRCTV reports.
Wednesday's brutal mass shooting that left 17 dead and several others badly wounded remains under investigation but it has been reported that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons.
It has also been reported that there were known red flags from Cruz’s use of social media and online forums, and that he was reported to the FBI.
He is expected to make his first court appearance soon.
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