President Donald Trump held on Wednesday a listening session for students affected by the recent wave of school shootings. It was a noble gesture by the President. However, while the students and the parents pleaded with him to initiate meaningful changes on gun control laws, one reporter working for the Associated Press couldn’t help but notice that the President was carrying a few notes to help him during the meeting.
The notes appeared to be itemized. The talking points were clearly defined and all the President had to do was to read through. The first two questions were very clear: “What would you most want me to know about your experience?” followed by “What can we do to make you feel safe?”
There were also other questions and talking points on the notes as seen from the photo captured by the Associated Press journalist, but they weren’t visible. But a closer look revealed one final reminder on the list. It was the phrase “I hear you.” Presumably, this was a reminder to the President to be more empathetic to the plight of these students. It was meant to show that the President was listening to what they had gone through.
Despite this, the parents who were attending the summit tried to make the strongest impression they could. One parent, Andrew Pollack, who lost his 18-year-old daughter during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, was in particular very vocal on what needed to be done to fix this problem once and for all.
Pollack said that it has taken too long for the gun control debate to be taken seriously and the deaths witnessed so far should be a wake-up call to all Americans. He said that one school shooting should have been enough to push lawmakers into action, and waiting this long has led to more deaths. If the country’s leadership doesn’t act now, then such shootings will happen again in the future. The emotional father also told the President that he will never see his kid again, urging Trump to fix the gun problem.
The debate on gun control in the US has its own issues. There are many different competing arguments. President Trump has always been pro guns. He even suggested arming teachers in school to help prevent future shootings. The President is leaning towards the argument long held by pro-gun activists who say that stopping gun violence in the US can be achieved by arming more law abiding citizens.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has elicited a lot of emotions. Survivors of this traumatic event are calling on Congress to rethink gun control legislation and it looks like this movement is gaining momentum among young post-millennial Americans around the country. We will have to wait to see how President Trump will respond to all this, but he has already made it clear that he’s in favor of stricter background checks.