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'Trump needs to listen to screams of children': Florida shooting survivors

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
February 14 mass shooting survivors David Hogg (left) and Cameron Kasky

Two survivors from the February 14 mass shooting that left 17 people dead have called on to tighten gun laws, with one saying that US President Donald Trump “needs to listen to the screams of the children."  

“We are Millennials and we love complaining more than any other generation," David Hogg said in an interview with HBO on Friday night when asked how long he and fellow student Cameron Kasky would campaign for gun control laws.

Hogg said that the White House called him the day before Trump's meeting last month with students and family members impacted by school shootings. 

The student said he declined to meet the president, describing the invitation “very offensive considering the fact that there were funerals the next day, there was mourning we still had to do.”

“I ended on this message with them. I said, ‘We don’t need to listen to President Trump. President Trump needs to listen to the screams of the children and the screams of this nation,’” Hogg said.

Kasky talked about the “March for Our Lives” rally which is planned against gun violence for March 24 in Washington, DC.  

“With the march we want Americans to stop being afraid of demanding our politicians to take action. They work for us, we don’t work for them,” Kasky said. “The march is us coming out and saying to our employees, ‘You guys suck at your job.’”

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk off Air Force One as they arrive in Charlotte, North Carolina on  March 2, 2018, to attend the funeral of Reverend Billy Graham. (Photo by AFP)

Hogg slammed the Florida legislature for not discussing an assault weapons ban.

“We are just kids begging for our lives, getting murdered in our classrooms,” Kasky said.

Sixty-one percent of Americans support banning the kind of semi-automatic rifle that was used in the Parkland shooting.

AR-15 is categorized in some American states as an “assault weapon” for having a detachable high-capacity magazine and other military-style features, and because the rifle is designed to kill a large number of people quickly.

The suspect in the Parkland, Florida, shooting, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, purchased an AR-15 about a year ago, and used it in the massacre.

AR-15 rifles had been used in some of the deadliest shootings in the past few years in the United States, including a concert in October 2017 in Las Vegas, a nightclub in June 2016 in Orlando, and an elementary school in December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.

The February 14 rampage was the second-deadliest shooting at a US public school. The deadliest was the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an assault-weapons law which outlawed AR-15. The ban, however, expired in 2004, and sales of the rifle skyrocketed during the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

Following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012, some lawmakers tried to restore the 1994 ban but they failed.

Now again there are again growing calls from Democrats for an assault weapons ban, but not many are advocating for a blanket ban on semi-automatic weapons.  

President Trump and most members of Congress do not currently support an assault weapons ban.

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