(AP/Evan Vucci)

Trump to hold "listening session" with students, teachers from Florida shooting

Trump will meet with students and teachers next week, but will he meet with those who have called for action?


Charlie May
February 18, 2018 10:09PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump is expected to hold a "listening session" with several students and teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School following the tragic shooting last week.

A White House schedule said Trump will meet with students and teachers on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. However, the White House has offered no indication of which students would attend.

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On Valentine's Day last week, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire and killed 17 people with an AR-15 rifle. He was only 19 years old, and had a well documented previous obsession with guns, violence and was feared to be capable of the very atrocity that he committed. On Friday, the FBI admitted the agency failed to act on a tip that could have prevented the school shooting.

In the aftermath of the incident, the students who emerged survivors have spoken loudly and clearly about taking proper action to prevent future tragedies. On Sunday morning, a group of students announced the "March For Our Lives," which will be a demonstration held in Washington D.C., on March 24. The students indicated other cities could join them in solidarity and that together they could call for gun reform legislation. Students have directly called out the president, and Republican lawmakers by name and condemned their ties to the National Rifle Association.

"This is about the adults. We feel neglected, and at this point, you're either with us or against us," 11th-grader Cameron Kasky said. "This is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians who are accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral."

On the other hand, Trump and Republican lawmakers have been noticeably silent in regards to any gun control, instead focusing only on mental health. Trump has even gone so far as to blame the ongoing Russia investigation for distracting the FBI from acting on a tip about Cruz.

Trump spoke on gun control recently in the context of the Las Vegas massacre last October, and made similar arguments about mental health.

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"Well, we do have gun control laws and this sick person - he was a sicko. I mean that's the big problem - they're sick people," Trump told Piers Morgan.

It's unlikely Trump's stance will change, and even Republican Gov. John Kasich said he had no confidence in Congress to take any action on guns, but if Trump meets with students who have condemned him outright, how will he react? If nothing comes of this meeting, was there even a point, or was it all just for show?


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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