PARKLAND — In the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, the mother of one of the victims is speaking out and demanding action from President Donald Trump.
“President Trump, please do something! Do something,” implored Lori Alhadeff, mother of Alyssa Alhadeff, who was slain by the gunman. “Action! We need it now! These kids need safety now.”
Alhadeff’s impassioned plea came during a live broadcast Thursday on CNN.
“How do we allow a gunman to come into our children’s school?” a crying Alhadeff shouted. “How do they get through security? What security is there?”
The alleged gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, has a history of mental illness and is presently in police custody.
Alhadeff continued: “The gunman—a crazy person—just walks right into the school, knocks down the window of my child’s door and starts shooting. Shooting her! And killing her! I just spent the last two hours putting together the burial arrangements for my daughter’s funeral, who is 14.”
The bereaved mother aimed her next words directly at the president.
“President Trump, you say what can you do? You can stop the guns from getting into these children’s hands. What can you do? You can do a lot! This is not fair to our families and our children to go to school and have to get killed!”
Trump, who has toed the party line of stating he would “tackle the difficult issue of mental health” without so much as a mention of improved gun control, announced he plans to meet with the victims’ families and the grieving community.
“To be quite honest, I don’t really care that the president visits,” Marjory Stoneman teacher Alicia Blonde stated bluntly “Because the president is one that believes that we should have the right to bear arms. That it’s okay for somebody to have a weapon that could kill 40 or 50 people in a matter of seconds.”
An enraged student body has also called the president to task on social media for his inaction.
“I don’t want your condolences you fucking price [sic] of shit, my friends and teachers were shot,” read one of the more emphatic tweets, from a student named Sarah. “Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.”
Ramping up the heat even more for the embattled president is the recent video revelation that Cruz was perhaps a supporter, and one ardent enough to be filmed taking target practice in one of Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” hats.
The video in question, taken by a (likely thrilled) neighbor showed Cruz squeezing off rounds from a handgun in his yard, clad only in shorts, socks and the MAGA cap. It was believed to have been filmed a few months before the shooting occurred.
Cruz also posted a photo to his Instragram account of himself with an American flag bandanna wrapped around his face and—again—the MAGA hat atop his head.
Given the seeming confluence of the shooter’s and Trump’s ideas, one could be forgiven for doubting that the president will take any meaningful action on gun control, despite outcries from a populace growing more desperate for it. We may yet get there, though it seems sadly certain that it will take still more bloodshed to effect the needed change.