Three days after the Parkland shooting, President Trump tweeted, “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign-there is no conclusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud” (Watkins, CNN)! Survivors of the Parkland shooting were outraged in their responses on Twitter. One student replied, “17 of my classmates are gone. That’s 17 futures, 17 children, and 17 friends stolen. But you’re right, it always has to be about you. How silly of me to forget. #neveragain” (Watkins, CNN). This was simply the beginning of the battle between the Trump Administration and the Parkland survivors.
Throughout the past couple months, as students have started to rise up, students have accused President Trump of not listening to them. More than that, most students believe that the lawmakers think they do not know what they are talking about when it comes to stricter gun laws. One student states, “President Trump needs to listen to the screams of the children and the screams of this nation… We’ve been locked in a classroom. We have seen our friends text their parents goodbye. We are the experts. We know exactly what we’re talking about. How dare you tell us we don’t know” (Moran, The Huffington Post)? One of the big problems with the Trump Administration’s response to the Parkland victims is this: President Trump has not stopped and taken a moment to be truly empathetic toward the students who were traumatized and who lost friends. He has not taken time to be empathetic toward the teachers who were in the classrooms, scared of what might happen to the children they take care of every day. The students and parents who are dealing with the aftermath of the Parkland shooting are angry with the comments and lack of support from President Trump (Satlin, The Huffington Post).
Outside of President Trump’s lack of empathy in his responses to the Parkland students, what is the Trump Administration doing that is making the students so angry? One of the main frustrations of the students is that they feel like their arguments are misunderstood and unheard. While President Trump is accusing the students of a desire to repeal the Second Amendment, the Parkland students are fighting for something else (Ciccone, Elite Daily). What is it that they are fighting for? Their main efforts are for: “1. Universal, comprehensive background checks, 2. Bringing the ATF into the 21st century with a digitalized, searchable database, 3. Funds for the Center for Disease Control to research the gun violence epidemic in America, 4. High-capacity magazine ban, and 5. Assault weapons ban” (March For Our Lives, Mission Statement). In addition, the students are fighting for a raise in the age limit for buying guns (Satlin, The Huffington Post). In other words, the Parkland students are not looking to repeal the Second Amendment but help create a safer Second Amendment. Where the frustration for the students lies is President Trump’s stance on gun control. His main arguments on gun control laws include, “1. Relevant information background checks, 2. Ban bump stocks (devices used to make legal semi-automatic weapons fire similarly to machine guns), 3. Arming teachers, 4. Raising the minimum age to purchase a semiautomatic weapon from 18 to 21, and 5. Mental health measures (he suggested that law enforcement should be able to take guns away from people they think are safety risks without going through the courts)” (Berenson, TIME). It is also apparent that President Trump is in support of the presence of officers in schools. Therefore, not only are the students feeling unheard by President Trump, but they are being disagreed with by him. Without the Trump Administration supporting the students, how far will they get in their fight? More importantly, in caring for the country, will President Trump ever consider the arguments of the students as valid? Will President Trump hear them?
Berenson, T. Here’s Where President Trump Stands on 5 Gun Control Ideas. TIME. http://time.com/5195469/donald-trump-gun-control-white-house/
Ciccone, N. This Parkland Student’s Response to Donald Trump’s Second Amendment Tweet is Perfect. Elite Daily. https://www.elitedaily.com/p/this-parkland-students-response-to-donald-trumps-second-amendment-tweet-is-perfect-8626949
Mission Statement. March For Our Lives. https://marchforourlives.com/mission-statement/
Moran, L. Parkland Survivors: Donald Trump ‘Needs To Listen To The Screams Of The Children.’ The Huffington Post. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/parkland-survivors-bill-maher-donald-trump_us_5a9a537fe4b089ec353a7acb
Satlin, A. H. Parkland Survivor: ‘I’ve Never Been So Unimpressed By A Person’ After Trump Call. The Huffington Post. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/parkland-survivor-trump-unimpressed_us_5a8fc5f0e4b01e9e56ba318a
Watkins, E. Trump tweet angers survivors of Parkland shooting. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/18/politics/donald-trump-florida-shooting-twitter/index.html
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