In the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, America was once again left struggling to sift through senseless violence in search of some way to move forward and prevent another of these all-too-common tragedies from striking again. Parkland is already the 18th school shooting this year.
Sadly, the country is largely without leadership when it comes to these shootings. The Democrats try to push for safer gun reform, and the Republicans repeatedly block every effort.
Yet again, President Trump showed himself either incapable or unwilling to provide guidance to the American people. It’s not surprising that he failed to respond properly to the Parkland shooting given that after the Las Vegas massacre — the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history — President Trump refused to push for any kind of meaningful reform.
It’s of course not a coincidence that the National Rifle Association donated millions to Trump’s campaign as well as numerous other Republicans. As the bodies of children continue to pile up and the GOP refuses to take action, the NRA must find themselves very pleased with their investments.
Yesterday, Trump sent out a tepid tweet about the Parkland tragedy, offering his feckless “prayers and condolences.” Both are cold comfort to someone who just lost a loved one to needless gun violence.
Usually, the rote phrase that Republicans offer up instead of taking any actual action is “thoughts and prayers.” The president, perhaps aware of how that phrase has essentially turned into shorthand for inaction, decided to switch it up. It’s an utterly underwhelming and utterly unhelpful tweet.
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
In response to the president’s tweet, a Twitter user purporting to be a student who survived the Parkland shooting wrote that she didn’t want Trump’s condolences and called him a “fucking piece of shit.” The user @chaddiedabaddie whose display name is Sarah, said that her friends and teachers were shot and classmates killed.
She demanded that Trump actually do something this time instead of just pretending to send prayers because prayers won’t stop the epidemic of gun violence. She ended with a simple yet honest observation that only gun control will have any effect on these kinds of incidents.
It took courage for this high school student to directly call out President Trump and she should be commended for it. Something must be done immediately so that other students aren’t subjected to the same horrors that she and her classmates had to endure.