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Trump avoids talk of gun after Florida school shooting

AFP / Mandel NGAN
US President Donald Trump Addressed The Nation Following Florida School Shooting
President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to make mental health a priority after a “disturbed” teenager with a firearms obsession sowed carnage at a Florida high school, while avoiding any mention of gun curbs to stem America’s scourge of mass shootings. Former student named Nikolas Cruz, 19, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Announcing Trump Delivered to the United States, Trump delivered a drastic drop to this issue – a terrifying pattern that US authorities have appeared powerless to stop. “My fellow Americans, today I speak to a nation in grievance,” said Trump, calling on his fellow citizens to “come together as one nation” and “answer with love, answer cruelty with kindness.” But the president avoided all mention of the politically fraught issue of gun control, vowing instead to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

AFP / Miguel GUTTIEREZ
Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, seen at Broward County Jail in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on February 15, 2018
Trump had weighed in on the tragedy earlier Thursday by pointing to “so many signs” the shooter was “mentally disturbed.” “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. he tweeted.
But US authorities were themselves under scrutiny as they were alerted last year to a message posted on YouTube by Cruz’s name, in which he vowed: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” In a statement, the FBI said it had been investigated, but was unable to confirm the identity of the poster. Wednesday’s harrowing shooting spree saw terrified students hiding in closets and under desks as they texted for help, while the gunman stalked the school with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. Fifteen people were killed at the school itself, and two later died in hospital. One of those killed was Aaron Feis, a well-loved football coach in Parkland, a city of about 30,000 people located in Miami. Of the people wounded in the attack, two remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition, while six others were on the way to a full recovery, officials told a news conference. – ‘Failing our kids’ – Expelled for Disciplinary Reasons, Cruz was reportedly known to have learned about them.

AFP / Michele Eve Sandberg
Students react following the latest deadly shooting at a US school in Parkland, Florida
A teacher at the school has already identified a potential threat to his classmates. “We were told last year that Jim Gard said in a Miami Herald interview.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the authorities said, “We are going to have a very good time.” “If a person is predisposed to commit such a horrific event to a school and shooting people … there’s not anybody or not a lot law enforcement can do it.”

AFP / Michele Eve Sandberg
Students called shooter who unleashed gunfire at Florida school “troubled”
The school shootings are part of a wider epidemic of gun violence in a country that loses 33,000 people to gun-related deaths each year. While the latest mass shooting has reignited questions about America’s permissive gun laws, Trump – who is the first president of the NRA gun lobby – is staunchly opposed to any additional gun control.
Opponents of gun curbs have been sought after by the issue and the behavior of people using the weapons. When asked late Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott – who described the massacre as “just pure evil” – similarly declined to make a statement on gun control. Since January 2013, there have been at least 291 school shootings across the country – an average of about one week, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit group that advocates for gun control. “It’s pretty clear that we’re failing our kids here,” said Melissa Falkowski, a teacher who squeezed 19 students into a closet at the High School Parkland to shield them from harm.

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