This evening, President Trump sat down with survivors of the Parkland School Shooting, as well as victims’ families, local D.C. school administrators, and families of the Columbine and Sandy Hook shootings. Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, Trump opened the floor to discussing ways to prevent school shootings moving forward.
Predictably, the discussion seesawed between demanding tighter security in schools and proposing that teachers be armed, to overly indulgent “thank you”s directed towards President Trump. Frankly, it was a shitshow which emphasized just how open parents—grieving or otherwise—are to the idea of turning schools into a prison-like hellscape, and how desperate helpless students are to feel safe again. Unfortunately, the former sentiment reigned supreme, because it’s easier to rely on the fantasy of a rifle-toting language arts teacher gunning down a mass murderer than to propose controversial legislation.
There were two big highlights of this entire ordeal, if you dared to parse through it: The parents of Sandy Hook victims—who actually knew what they were talking about—and 18-year-old Sam Zeif, a student who was inside Stoneman Douglas High School during the Parkland shooting. The panicked texts between him and his brother—who also survived the shooting—went viral in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Zeif admitted he was too afraid to step foot into Stoneman Douglas High School again, and that he and his friends are scared whenever a car drives by. He suggested that America use Australia’s response to a mass shooting nearly 20 years ago as a template for America’s gun policies moving forward.
“In Australia there was a shooting at a school in 1999,” Zeif said. “You know, after that, they took a lot of ideas, they put legislation together, and they stopped it. Can anyone here guess how many shootings there have been since then in Australia? Zero. We need to do something, and that’s why we’re here.”
Though choked up, Zeif managed to sound significantly more eloquent than President Trump, who had this brilliant suggestion for stopping mass shootings:
Background checks are gonna be very strong. We need that. And after we do that, when we see this trouble, we have to nab ‘em. You know, years ago we had mental hospitals, mental institutions, we had a lot of them, and a lot of them have closed. Some people thought it was the stigma, some people thought, frankly, the legislators thought it was too expensive. Today if you catch somebody you don’t know what to do with them, he hasn’t committed the crime but he may very well. And there’s no mental institution, there’s no place to bring ‘em. And we have that a lot. Even if they caught this person—I’m being nice when I use the word person—they probably wouldn’t have known what to do, they’re not gonna put him in jail. So there’s no middle ground of having that institution where you have trained people who can handle it and do something about it and find out how sick he really is. Cause he is a sick guy. And he should have been nabbed, a number of times, frankly.
I definitely don’t see “say nabbed several times” on his empathy script: