While Trump echoed his NRA masters and called for more guns in schools, Parkland student Samuel Zeif looked him directly in the eye and said schools don't need more "weapons of war."
One of the students who survived the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, pushed back on Trump after he argued for more guns in schools.
Samuel Zeif, 18, lost his best friend in the school shooting. He was one of the survivors invited to Trump’s so-called “listening session” at the White House.
“I turned 18 the day after. Woke up to the news and my best friend was gone,” he told Trump. “And I don’t understand why I could still go in a store and buy a weapon of war.”
But Trump wasn’t listening, because he soon parroted the line of argument favored by the NRA, which donated $36 million to Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Trump called for more guns in school. He suggested that one solution to school shootings would involve teachers and other school officials, like custodians and cafeteria employees, to toting weapons on campus.
“We’re going to look at” concealed carry, he said. “Very strongly.”
Zeif directly pushed back on Trump’s call for more guns.
“I fully respect all of our amendments, including the Second,” he said. “But in Maryland, they have proven that the Second Amendment does not protect these types of weapons. They have banned over 45 different kinds of assault weapons, including the AR. Including the AR. They have limited magazine sizes. They have proven that it’s not like we have to lose our Second Amendment.”
Maryland’s ban on weapons like the AR-15, which was used in Parkland, was upheld by the Supreme Court last year.
“The Second Amendment I believe was for defense,” Zeif continued, “and I fully respect that, like I said. But these are not weapons of defense. These are weapons of war. And I just — I still can’t fathom that I myself am able to purchase one.”
Trump remained stone-faced while Zeif spoke, as he had through the duration of the event.
The White House “listening session” notably excluded many of the vocal teenage activists who have risen to public prominence since the murders. They were simply not invited by the Trump administration.
Others in attendance also slammed Trump’s advocacy for flooding schools with guns.
Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary said, “School teachers have more than enough responsibility than to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life. Nobody wants to see a shootout in a school.”
Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan at Sandy Hook, also opposed arming teachers.
Trump could even take heed of his own thoughts on the subject. In 2016 he wrote, ” Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!”
Unfortunately, like with much she said during the campaign, it turns out Hillary Clinton was right. Trump wants guns to flood the country, a position in lockstep with his benefactors at the NRA.
But citizens like Samuel Zeif, who personally suffered after America’s latest mass murder, are opposing Trump and not backing down.