President Trump on Thursday condemned the college taking pictures bloodbath in Florida as a “scene of horrible violence, hatred, and evil,” whereas vowing to handle psychological well being points amid a renewed debate in Washington over how one can cease these recurring assaults.
“No youngster, no trainer ought to ever be at risk in an American college,” Trump stated within the Diplomatic Room of the White Home. “No mum or dad ought to ever need to worry for his or her little children after they kiss them goodbye within the morning.”
Later within the day, the president issued a proclamation ordering all flags to be flown at half-staff in public areas and army posts till Monday, to honor the victims.
Because the president centered within the aftermath of the tragedy on psychological well being, Democrats largely renewed their push for gun management measures — pointing to reviews the suspect had an AR-15.
The president stated Thursday he’s “dedicated” to working with state and native leaders to assist “safe our colleges and sort out the troublesome situation of psychological well being.” Trump didn’t explicitly talk about gun management, however prompt he’s not supportive of reflexive measures.
“It’s not sufficient to easily take actions that make us really feel like we’re making a distinction,” Trump stated. “We should really make that distinction.”
“No youngster, no trainer ought to ever be at risk in an American college”
Trump stated he’s planning to go to Parkland, Fla., within the coming days to satisfy with households and native officers and to proceed coordinating the federal response.
“We should additionally work collectively to create a tradition in our nation that embraces the dignity of life that creates deep and significant human connections and that turns classmates and colleagues into pals and neighbors,” he stated.
At one level throughout his speech, the president directed his remarks towards “America’s youngsters, particularly those that really feel misplaced, alone, confused, and even scared.”
“I need you to know that you’re by no means alone and also you by no means might be,” he stated. “You’ve gotten individuals who care about you, who love you, and who will do something in any respect to guard you. When you need assistance, flip to a trainer, a member of the family, an area police officer, or a religion chief. Reply hate with love. Reply cruelty with kindness.”
Nikolas Cruz, 19, was charged with a number of counts of premeditated homicide after authorities stated he went on the taking pictures spree Wednesday afternoon and killed 17 school and college students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in Parkland. Cruz is a former scholar of the college, police stated.
Lawyer Basic Jeff Classes, talking earlier than a gathering of sheriffs in Washington on Thursday, stated he has directed his workplace of authorized coverage to work with cupboard businesses to “research the intersection of psychological well being and criminality and establish how we are able to cease individuals able to such heinous crimes.”
“We should confront this downside,” Classes stated.
Earlier Thursday, Trump tweeted there have been so “many indicators” the Florida suspect was “mentally disturbed” – suggesting extra might have been performed to report him to authorities.
“So many indicators that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from college for unhealthy and erratic conduct. Neighbors and classmates knew he was an enormous downside. Should at all times report such situations to authorities, repeatedly!” Trump tweeted.
Cruz was taken into custody “with out incident” Wednesday by Coconut Creek police in a Coral Springs neighborhood, positioned only a few miles from the highschool itself. He allegedly had an AR-15 rifle and “numerous magazines.”
Cruz had been expelled from the highschool for “disciplinary causes,” and math trainer Jim Gard instructed the Miami Herald that earlier than Wednesday’s deadly taking pictures, Cruz might have been recognized as a possible menace.
Within the aftermath of the taking pictures, Democrats instantly referred to as on Congress to take up new gun laws. Republican lawmakers are prone to push again on such calls, as they’ve after previous shootings, focusing – as Trump did in Thursday’s tweet – on points like psychological sickness.
“We’re grieving with Parkland. However we’re not powerless. Caring for our children is our first job,” tweeted former President Barack Obama. “And till we are able to actually say that we’re doing sufficient to maintain them secure from hurt, together with lengthy overdue, commonsense gun security legal guidelines that almost all Individuals need, then we’ve got to vary.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a distinguished gun management advocate, tweeted, “One other mass taking pictures. Reportedly one other AR-15. My invoice to ban assault weapons is prepared for a vote. How lengthy will we settle for weapons of conflict getting used to slaughter our youngsters.”
Full particulars of Cruz’s psychological situation are usually not publicly recognized. Broward County Mayor Beam Furr instructed CNN he was getting therapy at a psychological well being clinic for some time, however hadn’t been there for greater than a 12 months.
Fox Information’ Judson Berger, Elizabeth Zwirz and The Related Press contributed to this report.