PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump had a message for U.S. children after a deadly shooting at Parkland school that left at least 17 people dead.
“I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer or a faith leader,” said the president during a Thursday morning news conference from Washington, D.C.
The president says he plans to visit the victims of the families killed and injured in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre but did not give an exact date.
“No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning,” said Trump.
Trump vowed his administration would take action to make schools safe places.
“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.
One issue the president did not address was gun control during his address was control, a move applauded by several of his fellow Rebpublicans.
“This is not the time to jump to some conclusion not knowing full facts,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.
But Florida Senator Bill Nelson said guns like the one the shooter used in Parkland should’t be allowed.
“An AR-15, which is what this rifle was, is not for hunting, that’s for killing,” he said.
Nelson conceded that despite the deadly shooting, nothing will change.
“I wish I had hope, I’m an optimist. But we’ve got to keep trying,” he said.
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said sided with Nelson in that she’d like to see changes in the gun laws.
“Our hearts have been broken by the tragedy of gun violence. This time Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida,” said Pelosi. “Once again we see the urgency for Congress to take true common sense action to prevent gun violence.”
To honor the victims of the school shooting, flags have been ordered to be flown at half-staff at both the state and federal level.
Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz, accused in the third worst school shooting in the U.S., has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland. Seventeen people were killed in the attack, another 14 wounded.
Republican Governor Scott, who traveled to South Florida hours after the tragedy, visited the school and then went Broward Health North in Pompano Beach where many of the victims were taken.
“The violence has to stop. We cannot lose another child in this country to violence in a school,” said Scott, adding that he wants to make sure this never happens again.
When asked about changes to the gun control laws, Scott hedged his bets.
“You know my heart goes out to everybody impacted today. You know all of us could internalize this if it were happening to their family. You know all of us want to live in a safe community. And there’s a time to continue to have this conversation about how do law enforcement, how do the mental health community make sure people are safe and we will continue to do that,” said Scott.
The governor did not say when that time would be.
One legislator who is ready to have that conversation now is state Rep. Jared Moskowitz. He’s a Parkland native and a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS.
My son is 4. While he was learning how to write in pre school his teachers daughter was killed in the shooting. How do we as the strongest nation on earth tell parents we can’t keep their kids safe. @MarcACaputo @Mdixon55 @fineout @Fla_Pol @Daniel_Sweeney @MaryEllenKlas
— Jared Moskowitz (@JaredEMoskowitz) February 15, 2018
Moskowitz said the country and elected officials have failed our children.
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) is calling on Congress to talk about gun violence now, not later. He spoke Thursday on the Senate floor.
“At some point, we’ve got to say enough is enough,” Nelson said. “At some point we, as a society, have to come together and put a stop to this.”
He continued, “To those who say it’s not the time to talk about gun violence because it’s too soon, we don’t want to politicize right after a tragedy … then I would ask, when is the right time? How many more times do we want to do this? How many more folks have to die?”