Teens rally for gun control at White House

Carla Harmon
February 21, 2018

US President Donald Trump has signalled he is willing to join a discussion on gun restrictions amid the national outcry led by teenagers who survived last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school.

In St. Petersburg, on Florida's Gulf Coast 250 miles (400 miles) northwest of Parkland, hundreds of people gathered Saturday night in a park, where they lit candles in memory of the victims and called for legislative action on the state and federal level to end gun violence.

Fesler adds, "Every day when I say "bye" to my parents, I do acknowledge the fact that I could never see my parents again". Trump alluded in another tweet to the FBI's failure to act on tips that the suspect was unsafe, while bemoaning the bureau's focus on Russia's role in the 2016 election.

"My princess wasn't safe in that school", said Andrew Pollack, speaking at the funeral of his 18-year-old daughter Meadow. The White House says the president will host a "listening session" with students and teachers on Wednesday and will discuss school safety with state and local officials on Thursday.

Florida politicians, meanwhile, scrambled to produce legislation in response to the Wednesday attack that killed 17 people.

In a TV interview, Republican Sen. So my focus is not on having or not having a gun debate.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, also a Republican, attended a prayer vigil at the First Church Coral Springs, blocks from the shooting site. Tuesday about 100 students will head to Florida's capital to take their message for changing gun laws to state lawmakers.

"People in Washington tend to want to investigate, hold hearings and put off what truly needs to be done". On Sunday she cited Trump, Rubio and Scott by name in a warning to politicians backed by the NRA.

Demonstrators hold signs during a protest in favour of gun control reform in front of the White House on Monday.

The statement did not address how the president would react to more aggressive gun control measures. They are planning to march on Washington on March 24 to demand that children and their families "become a priority" for USA lawmakers, and hope that other protests will take place simultaneously in other cities on the same day.

A branch of the Women's March dedicated to young activists is calling on students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a national school walkout on March 14.

A 19-year-old former student is charged with the Valentine's Day slayings.

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior". "But a lot of us are just other students who figured there's strength in numbers".

"Very sad that the Federal Bureau of Investigation missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter". James Ciaramello, a freshman in the school's JROTC program, was heartbroken by the massacre but skeptical that firearms regulations could have prevented it.

Throughout the weekend, the president's mind remained on Russia after an indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday charged 13 Russians with a plot to interfere in the US presidential election.

Republicans who tend be in favor of "common sense gun control" will most likely see this as a victory, though. "There's always a way around it".

School and government records obtained Sunday show Cruz was diagnosed as developmentally delayed at age 3 and had disciplinary issues dating to middle school. In February 2014, while in 8th grade, Cruz was transferred to a special school for children with emotional and behavioral issues. He stayed there until 10th grade, when he was transferred to Stoneman Douglas. A legislative effort to ban the device fizzled out past year.

Cruz appeared in court Monday for a procedural hearing about how legal paperwork would be handled in the case.

Trump also met with first responders at the Broward County Sheriff's Office. A previous appearance had been by a video connection from jail.

The arrival of Trump and his wife Melania came at the end of a hard day for the families of those killed in Wednesday's rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who learned that the carnage could perhaps have been averted.

Lawyers for Cruz have said he will plead guilty if prosecutors agree not to pursue the death penalty. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said she was in favour of openness whenever possible. No decision has been made on that.

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