Students seize control of gun debate, plan walkouts and march

Kohen and Brianna Hall join hundreds of community members at a prayer vigil at Parkridge Church in Parkland Fla. Feb. 15 2018
Giorgio Viera EPA via Shutterstock
Author

19 February, 2018

President Donald Trump has criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the agency disclosed that it failed to follow up on a detailed warning about the 19-year-old gunman who is charged with killing 17 people and wounding a dozen others at a Florida high school on Wednesday.

"How dare you", he added. Some teens have been critical of Trump for failing to mention guns in his comments about the attack.

Instead of going to classes, she urged her fellow students to stage protests on the 19th anniversary of the mass shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Florida politicians, meanwhile, scrambled to produce legislation in response to the February 14 attack that killed 17 people.

"The caller provided information about Nikolas Cruz and the potential of him becoming a school shooter", said Robert Lasky, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Miami Division.

In a TV interview, Republican Sen.

At a nearby gunshow, attendees said new laws would not have prevented the massacre, adding gun rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment. His family lives about 20 minutes from where the shooting took place, and his younger brother has played sports at that school. He is expected to announce a legislative package with GOP leaders of the legislature this week.

Lauderdale, the senior took to the lectern to call out the government officials who are in the National Rifle Association's pocket.

"Now is the time to get on the right side of this, because this is not something that we are going to let sweep under the carpet", she said on "Meet the Press". Blaming everyone but the shooter and the lack of gun control in our country.

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The students have vowed to become the face of a movement for tighter firearm regulations and plan to visit the state capitol in Tallahassee this week to demand immediate action.

White House officials say they are planning to hold events on school safety involving students, teachers and state and local officials next week.

Not every student at the Florida school was calling for more gun control.

Cruz said he hated "Jews, [N-words], immigrants".

Florida, where Cruz is accused of using an AR-15 assault weapon to kill 17 people at his former high school, lacks such a law. Following the deaths of his adoptive parents, Cruz was taken in by James and Kimberly Snead, and their 17-year-old son, who went to school with Cruz. Last year, Cruz was expelled.

Earlier, Florida's child welfare agency investigated after Cruz cut himself in an online video, but found him stable, according to state records. The investigator said Cruz was suffering from depression and on medication and had told Lynda Cruz he planned to buy a gun, but she couldn't determine why. Oquendo said even her 5-year-old son is learning how to hide under a desk and be quiet. A school counsellor told the investigator that Lynda Cruz had always tried to help her son and followed through on his therapy and medication, but the counsellor was concerned about the youth's desire to buy a gun.

According to the paper, DCF's investigation was completed that November 12.

The newspaper reported investigators ultimately decided that Cruz, then 18, was receiving enough support from mental health professionals and from his school, and any risk in his case was low.

Finklestein's office is representing the teenager, and he says there is "no question" that Cruz is guilty of the killings, but that the only question is whether he should live or die.


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