UPDATED with video: The morning after 17 high school students and teachers were gunned down at a Parkland, FL high school, President Donald Trump called for a plan of action that does not just “make us feel better.”
“Today I speak to a nation in grief,” said Trump in a widely televised White House address.
“Our entire nation with one heavy heart is praying for the victims and their families. To every parent, teacher, and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain,” Trump said, sounding eerily similar to the speech he gave following the mass shooting in Las Vegas a few months earlier.
“We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also,” Trump continued. “No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning. Each person stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them, filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited promise. Each had dreams to pursue.”
Trump addressed the country’s kids directly:
“I want to speak now directly to America’s children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused, or even scared. I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who are about you who love you and who will do anything at all to protect you.”
Trump said his administration is working to help secure schools and “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
But Trump did not address gun policy. And, sadly there is no White House press briefing scheduled for Thursday for those hoping to continue their previous day’s “too soon to talk about gun policy” drinking game – though House Speaker Paul Ryan did use a version of that line during his brief Thursday comments on the previous day’s slaughter.
Ryan, like Trump and Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott, instead laser-focused on mental health. Trump began that talking point very early Thursday in a pre-dawn tweet that seemed to suggest the school, neighbors, and friends of the suspect should have done more: