Trump searches for answers amid wrenching stories from Florida school shooting

Hearing from parents and students who lost friends and family members in last week’s school shooting in Florida, President Donald Trump said it was time for the nation to work together to better safeguard schools, as he advocated stronger security, including the possibility of allowing teachers and administrators to carry concealed weapons during the school day.

“It’s very difficult, it’s very complex, but we’ll find a solution,” the President said as he wrapped up the over hour long listening session, which featured tears from parents and students alike.

“I’m never going to see my kid again, I want you all to know that,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was among those killed last week in Florida.

“My beautiful daughter, I’m never going to see again,” Pollack added, flanked by his two sons.

The over hour long session was respectful on all sides, as parents and students pleaded with the President to do something to end school shootings.

“I was actually in the second classroom that was shot at,” said Jonathan Blank, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

“In my mind, as a kid, nothing that horrible should ever have to happen to you,” Blank added.

Echoing some of the calls for action by other more outspoken Douglas students who were not part of this White House event, Sam Zeif used his time before the President to make a tearful plea for change on powerful weapons like the AR-15.

“I don’t understand why I could still go into a store and buy a weapon of war,” Zeif said, fighting back tears.

“I don’t know how I’m ever going to step foot in that place again,” Zeif said of his school.

As for the President, he listened quietly as students and parents told their stories and made their requests – Mr. Trump said he’s still developing his plan to deal with school shootings, but seemed to outline a series of ideas that he backs:

+ Stronger school security, by hardening entrance points to schools.
+ Allowing teachers and administrators to carry a firearm in a school.
+ Stronger background checks on guns sales, though Mr. Trump has yet to define exactly what that would entail.
+ Raising the age to purchase a powerful weapon like an AR-15.
+ Doing more to provide mental health treatment to people – like the Florida shooter – who have been identified to authorities.

“If you have a teacher – who was adept at firearms – you could very well end the attack very quickly,” the President said of the idea of concealed carry in schools, as he compared it to airline pilots being allowed to carry a gun in the aftermath of the Nine Eleven attacks.

“If these cowards knew that the school was well guarded,” the President said, “I don’t think they would go into the school in the first place.”

“Thank you for pouring out your hearts, because the world is watching,” the President said as he wrapped up the White House event.

“We’re going to come up with a solution.”

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