The #NeverAgain movement was born as a result of the 2018 Valentine’s Day Massacre that killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD). The Florida student survivors, now considered leaders and teen activists, generated a surge of support from millions of Americans, including the former POTUS, Barack Obama. Their message to the now POTUS and lawmakers came in the form of active demands to do something to address school safety and gun laws in the country.

The strong urgings have sparked discussions among government officials and have led to considerations and proposed solutions to school shootings and about gun control.

According to CNN, Trump has even vocalized possible support of increasing the age limit for gun purchases, looking into mental health services, and the possibility of banning bump stocks--an attachment that changes a ‘regular’ rifle into an automatic.

NRA tries to discredit gun law proposals

As one would expect, the proposed restrictions were shot down--pun intended-- by the National Rifle Association (NRA). At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) On Thursday (Feb.22), the NRA expressed their disdain at being responsible for mass school killings because of their gun sales. In an address to a CPAC audience, the NRA made it clear that they stood firm on 2nd Amendment rights and then blamed the FBI, lack of Mental Health Services, easy access to schools, and poor school security for mass school killings.

On Friday, that following morning (Feb. 23), it was Trump’s turn. He took to the CPAC podium and picked up where the CEO and NRA spokeswoman left off. The POTUS spoke for 80 minutes, going off script for most of his speech. He spoke of strong support of the 2nd amendment, and the need to weaponize teachers and harden schools.

Trump pointed to the incompetence of school security officers, red flags and missed opportunities by law enforcement is the reason for the massacre at MSD. Little did America know, in the case of the Parkland, Florida shooting, that the accusations made by the NRA and Trump, would prove to be scarily accurate and even more factual than anyone could have guessed.

Officers hide while children are slaughtered

CNN’s John Berman reported on Friday evening (Feb. 23) that there were four officers outside of the school when the MSD shooting took place. This was confirmed in a press conference held earlier that day by Broward’s County Sheriff.

Sheriff Israel, the same Sheriff who joined the #NeverAgain movement with the teens and families since the start of the massacre’s aftermath, had to stand in front of a room full of media folk and announce to America that one of his officers, Scott Peterson, who was assigned to the school, stayed outside even though he knew there was an active shooter inside. Embarrassed, Israel continued by expressing his dismay about what he saw on the school’s video footage and not just because of Peterson, but that of three other police deputies who also stayed outside and even hid behind their cars.

Israel told the media that the video depicted four minutes of mayhem, with students running and screaming and bullets ringing out in the background. By the six-minute mark, the gunman was done. Yet, none of the officers went inside to help. Luckily, officers from nearby Coral Springs arrived on the scene and were the first responders to enter the building.

The political gun debate continues

Since the Sheriff’s press conference, President Trump has used the event to further promote his agenda of arming trusted school officials and teachers, because after all, according to the POTUS, teachers are the best defense because they are the ones who really love the children. But, one has to consider, if multiple trained and armed police officers hid, and didn’t rush to the aide of staff and students, who were under siege by a disturbed 19-year-old mass murderer, what makes lawmakers think the average teacher would run towards rapid gunfire, which by the way, is what police officers are trained to do.

One would say, no amount of tax cuts and bonuses for carrying a gun could change the mind of the average teacher—teachers can’t be bought, and this is what lawmakers are failing to understand. Most teachers, and principals, alike would suggest the money is better used for teacher pay increases, school crisis prevention programs and more adequately trained security personnel.

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