FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump is scheduled to fly to Palm Beach Friday afternoon to spend time at his private Mar-a-Lago resort.
While in South Florida, the president said in a tweet that he planned to meet with those affected by the school shooting in Parkland.
I will be leaving for Florida today to meet with some of the bravest people on earth – but people whose lives have been totally shattered. Am also working with Congress on many fronts.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
On Thursday, Trump tried to console the nation, calling for prayers for the fallen. In his address, there was no mention of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle that alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz used to kill 17 people and injure more than a dozen. Instead, Trump focused on mental illness as the culprit.
“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” he said.
The President consistently invokes mental health, no gun control, after mass shootings.
For example, when 26 people were killed in a rural Texas church last November, Trump said, “This isn’t a guns situation, this is a mental health problem.”
But if tougher legislation to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unfit is a goal, Trump is going backward.
Last February, he signed a bill which killed an Obama-era regulation which allowed the Social Security Administration to provide information on severely mentally disabled people to the national background check database.
Last December, on the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in which 26 people, including 20 children were killed, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the administration’s efforts to prevent mass casualty shootings.
“I know that they’re looking at some of the mental health issues. It is something the President has raised before, but in terms of a specific policy that we’re moving forward with that would have prevented that, I’m not aware of what that would be,” she said.
Along with repealing the Obama-era regulation, the Trump administration has also endorsed reducing long-term allocations to Medicaid – which is one of the nation’s largest providers of mental health services.