Washington (February 22, 2018): United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to take steps to improve background checks for gun buyers in the wake of last week’s deadly Florida high school shooting as hundreds of students joined scattered protests around the United States.
“It’s not going to be talk like it has been in the past,” Trump said in a meeting about school safety that included six students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and educators were slain by a gunman with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle in the second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school.Survivors of that shooting poured into the Florida state capital, Tallahassee, to demand that lawmakers restrict sales of assault rifles. Some wore T-shirts and carried signs reading “We call B.S.,” one of the slogans of the movement started by the survivors.
Protesters joined the call from the streets of Washington, Chicago and Pittsburgh. The Feb. 14 massacre, the latest in a long series of deadly U.S. school shootings, stirred the nation’s long-running debate about gun rights and public safety, prompting officials from state lawmakers to Trump to consider new action.Investigators said the assault was carried out by 19-year-old former Stoneman student Nikolas Cruz, who purchased an AR-15 nearly a year ago. Police charged Cruz, who had been kicked out of the school due to disciplinary problems, with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
“Nikolas Cruz was able to purchase an assault rifle before he was able to buy a beer,” said Laurenzo Prado, a Stoneman junior, referring to a Florida law that allows people as young as 18 to buy assault weapons. “The laws of the country have failed.”