Donald Trump held a so-called “listening session” on Wednesday with survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, along with their families and other people affected by gun violence. Much of the conversation centered around “school safety,” but one Stoneman survivor, Samuel Zeif, confronted Trump directly about gun control.
His speech was emotional and forceful. Here is part of what he said.
I don’t understand. I turned 18 the day after [the shooting], woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. I don’t understand why i can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war—an AR.
I was reading today that a person, 20 years old, walked in to a store and bought an AR-15 in five minutes with an expired ID. How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon. How did we not stop this after Columbine? After Sandy Hook? I’m sitting with a mother who lost her son. It’s still happening!
In Australia there was a shooting in 1999. You know after that they took a lot of ideas, they put legislation together and they stopped it. Can anyone here guess how many shootings there have been in a school since then in Australia? Zero.
We need to do something. That’s why we’re here. So let’s be strong for the fallen who don’t have a voice to speak anymore, and let’s never let this happen again.
Whether Trump chooses to act on Zeif’s unambiguous message remains to be seen. Already the president has indicated a willingness to do the bare minimum gun control advocates have asked for, and ban so-called “bump stocks.” But Zeif, along with a growing student movement around the country, is finding his voice to demand more before it’s too late.
Watch Zeif’s entire speech below: