Last week, as is well known by now, the town of Parkland, Florida, became the latest front in the nationwide struggle against gun violence in the United States. An expelled student returned to their former high school and opened fire, killing 17 people and wounding many more.
In the wake of that tragedy, attention has again turned to the need for common sense gun control measures to be enacted. In an array of mass shootings in recent years, attackers have used literally the same type of weapon, and yet even still, the president and his Republican allies have yet to make any significant moves to implement common sense gun control in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
Someone, somewhere in the Trump administration sees what a bad look this inaction is, however. The president will be meeting with students and teachers on Wednesday for a “listening session” about the need for common sense gun control, although the White House did not immediately provide information about which students and teachers would be attending the meeting.
On Thursday, the president will, according to a White House schedule, be meeting with state and local officials for the purpose of discussing ways to further secure American schools.
During remarks offered on camera last Thursday, the day after the shooting, Trump touted the fact that he was set to soon meet with officials about that subject, but his apparent planned sit-down with students and teachers has received less attention in his public remarks so far.
In those Thursday remarks, he echoed comments of his from earlier, with him choosing to focus on the apparent need to ramp up the strength of the American mental healthcare system.
In a tweet about the subject, he completely deflected blame for not having done or planning on doing anything to address the incident and put it on the backs of Parkland community members for not having taken care of the school shooter’s alleged mental health problems.
In the face of the president’s inaction, students like Rose Gonzalez, who survived last week’s Parkland shooting, have been among the most vocal interests calling for gun control.
Gonzalez delivered an impassioned speech calling for gun control at a rally in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend, commenting, in part:
‘If the President wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association.’
As she went on to explain, the president has taken some thirty million dollars from the controversial group, a number that when divided by the approximate number of gun violence victims in the U.S. between January 1 and Gonzalez’s speech leaves a sum of about $5,800 per victim.
She posed the question:
‘Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump? If you don’t do anything to prevent this from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down. And we will be worthless to you.’
In the time since Gonzalez’s speech, the total number of gun violence victims in the U.S. since January 1 has hit at least 5,300 according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Even still, the president has yet to to anything significant to address the proliferation of guns in the United States. We will have to wait and see if he does anything after meeting with students and teachers later this week.
Featured Image via MANDEL NGAN/ AFP/Getty Images